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Pelicans plunge in NBA Power Rankings after winless week

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Looking toward the future with 21 games. Time to seriously root for losses.

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Playoffs? Playoffs! It's all over but the fat lady singing at this point. Anthony Davis and Alvin Gentry were both talking about next season following yet another collapse, this time against the Utah Jazz. (At least Jrue Holiday should be in the starting lineup!) Thankfully this time the New Orleans Pelicans didn't wait until the fourth quarter to throw in the towel, allowing a debilitating 14-0 run to end the third quarter after battling back to a 70-all tie.

Another winless week stretched the losing streak to four. It is the sixth streak of at least four losses in a row this season, matching the total of such streaks in the last two seasons combined. (To be completely fair, the 2013-14 team had three separate EIGHT game losing streaks.) Playoff hopes, as Gentry alluded to after a loss to the Houston Rockets Wednesday night, are a figment of the imagination at this point. While New Orleans is not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs (a 21 game win streak to end the season would almost guarantee a playoff berth) the possibility of such an outcome is approaching infinitesimal.

Proj W Proj L Playoff % Draft Position
ESPN BPI 33 49 <0.1% T-6th
Basketball Reference 32.4 49.6 0.2% 6th
Five Thirty Eight 33 49 <1% T-7th
numberFire 32.6 49.4 0.0% 6th

There is still a projected jumble between 6th and 11th in the standings. The Pelicans are joined by the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings, and Orlando Magic. between 32 and 36 victories. Tonight the Kings visit a severely depleted Pelicans team that needs losses to secure the highest possible pick. There are 21 games (and 36 days) until the end of the season. If there is ever a time to root for losses, it has arrived and begins tonight.

NBA.com

Last Week: 20 - This Week: 23

Jrue Holiday may finally be back into the starting lineup for the Pelicans this week, a move that obviously comes too late for the Pelicans to make the playoffs, but could make them more of a spoiler down the stretch. Only five teams have been worse in the first minutes of the first quarter than the Pelicans, who have been outscored in the first six minutes in nine of their last 13 games, including all four on their current losing streak.

ESPN

Last Week: 20 - This Week: 24

With the Pelicans forced to deal with yet another demoralizing injury thanks to Eric Gordon's re-fractured finger, Friday figures to be one of the last upbeat occasions of the season. That's when Anthony Davis celebrates his 23rd birthday as one of just three players that age over the past 30 seasons, along with Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard, to top 5,000 points and 500 blocks.

Sports Illustrated

Last Week: 21 - This Week: 25

Alvin Gentry apologized for stating what we’ve all pretty much known for a while: the Pelicans’ playoff hopes are over. Now, he may want to do the same for continuing to bring Jrue Holiday off the bench.

CBS Sports

Last Week: 24 - This Week: 23

As is their pattern this year, the Pelicans responded to having a slim window to make a playoff run by throwing up all over themselves. It's time to shut down Anthony Davis for the year and focus on next year.