*Norris Cole, Alonzo Gee, Bryce DeJean-Jones and Omer Asik take the floor alongside Anthony Davis.*
The time has come. After such an embarrassingly excruciating loss to the laughably bad Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, it is time to officially pull the plug on the season. I do not want to be around to read about yet another postgame quote where Alvin Gentry questions the will of his players or about always having to escape out of a hole.
I repeat: it is time.
Tonight will be the first chance for New Orleans to officially grab hold of the #TankFlight initiative against a Cleveland Cavaliers team that has to be seething with remorse after Avery Bradley stole a win right from their grasps.
Sure, Cleveland will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back. That's fine. These are the games that are supposed to be lost by the Pelicans right now. No more of this hang around for three quarters, toy with our emotions and then cough up the game in the end stuff. No, I would like AT LEAST a double digit drubbing. Really dive into things head first.
Normally this would be the time that I would go over three keys to victory tonight. Well guess what: I am going to look at it from the other way.
Three Keys to a Loss
1. Allow Bryce Dejean-Jones -- not Alonzo Gee -- to pick up LeBron James on defense.
For all of his warts, Gee fights hard on every possession and has the athletic tools to at least be in the same arena as James. Nearly everyone in the league not named Kawhi Leonard has difficulty dealing with James in the post, but one has to think that Gee would at least make him put some effort into it.
Enter Dejean-Jones. Listed at only 203 pounds, Dejean-Jones is giving up nearly 50 pounds to The King if given the pleasure of handling him on the block. Given that LeBron hasn't made a three since 2016 began (may or may not be an exaggeration), most of his operating will take place within the painted area. Poor Dejean-Jones would never stand a chance.
2. Let Cole have the most field goal attempts by the end of the game.
Honestly, this one may just occur organically. Going against his old Miami Heat brethren, Cole will undoubtedly be looking to chuck his frozen ropes towards the rim early and often. Even after a 1 for 10 performance (in only 13 minutes mind you!) against the Lakers, I think Cole should be given free reign.
You want to take that contested pull up on a three on two? Go right on ahead my friend. Let's see if you can make it 2 for 20 over 26 minutes tonight.
3. Keep on starting that brick-tastic starting five, Alvin!
Keep spitting that fire baby!
The starting lineup that was referenced up top is being outscored 83.5 go 95.6 per 100 possessions -- per NBA.com -- resulting in a net rating of -12.1.
FEEL THE FEVER!
Gee (pun intended), I wonder why the Pelicans routinely find themselves having to claw back from double digit deficits early games? A Cavs team that is better suited as frontrunners should have no problem ballooning a first quarter lead at home. My goal is to have an Anderson Varejao sighting by the end of it all.
If all goes as planned, we will remember tonight as the night that New Orleans finally decided to #StriveForGreatness and #TakeFlight.
What: Pelicans at Cavaliers
Where: Quicken Loans Arena
When: February 6th, 6:30 PM
How: FSNO, 99.5 FM WRNO