"It sucked, it sucked, it sucked,” uttered a completely dejected Gentry. “That's my thoughts on the game. We didn't do anything right and everything was terrible, coaching included. You know, it was an embarrassment. We embarrassed our franchise. That includes everyone."
And beyond the vastly disappointing play, the Pelicans lost Anthony Davis to a concussion — the third of his career — not a minute into the third quarter after Nikola Jokic’s head connected with Davis’ face on the following play.
AD got head-butted by Jokic pic.twitter.com/vGm8WoYaCQ— Andrew Smith (@DruProductions) November 18, 2017
When Davis left the game, the Pelicans were trailing 66-58. By the time the contest was over, the Nuggets had added a whooping 82 points to their total in just a mere 23 minutes of the game clock!
That’s totally unacceptable, yet far from surprising because the Pelicans began the game in the biggest of funks and found themselves trailing 29-6 barely seven minutes into the contest!
For whatever the reason, New Orleans came out of the gates flatter than what Kyrie Irving once believed to be the shape of the Earth.
Am I intentionally trying to be funny?
You bet I am because it sure beats despair!
After sitting through a loss that brought back memories of some of the worst defeats in franchise history and then being reminded moments later that this group of Pelicans allowed more points to an opponent than the Suns did to the Rockets less than 24 hours ago, tonight’s drubbing at the hands of the Nuggets should cause extreme discomfort in every fan’s stomach.
Am I angry at the coaching staff, front office and ownership?
However, I’m a hell of a lot more perturbed at our group of players and you should be as well. It’s up to Gentry and his staff to best prepare their troops for battle, but it’s entirely on the participating players to give a damn. The Pelicans effort, intensity and all other necessary intangibles paled in comparison to the Nuggets. I mean, what is this garbage?
Today I wrote about how the Pelicans should be a great rebounding team and instead are a middling one. Lineups with Diallo are even worse, maybe plays like this are why #Pelicans pic.twitter.com/RpoykJVwpK— Justin Jett (@JustinJett_) November 18, 2017
I know for a fact that the coaching staff has emphasized offensive rebounding since the start of training camp, yet after Darius Miller launched a three pointer, every single Pelicans player decides to slowly backpedal to get back on defense. Did you notice the score? It’s not like things were going great, where every shot attempt was ripping through the nets up to this point!
No one deserves to be applauded for any numbers tonight, so if you’re interested in box score data, here’s a link. Instead, I want to finish tonight’s recap off with a plea of sorts.
New Orleans Pelicans, you have enough talent to be relevant, but at the same time, it’s entirely on you to be fiercely competitive and bring the requisite energy, focus and discipline. Whether rightly or wrongly, the coaching staff has afforded you the freedom to be creative and opportunistic on offense. Defensively, you’ve got to do the right things to stop opposing teams from scoring at will, like closing out on all shooters timely, making the proper rotations when teammates need help and putting bodies on opponents when shots go up. And as for all those frustrating moments — when things aren’t going your way, swallow hard, move on, and go and try to check off the very next thing on your incredibly long to-do list.
There’s a ton of little things that matter on the basketball court.
That will do it. #Pelicans fall to the Nuggets 146-114. The 146 points allowed is a new franchise record for New Orleans.— Daniel Sallerson (@dsallerson) November 18, 2017
Tonight, it quickly became apparent that very little mattered to the collective whole soon after the ball was tipped, and we were reminded of the fact time and again. That can’t happen any more, not if playoff aspirations are to be a thing.