Thunder Gently Destroy Pelicans

Published: February 11, 2016

The New Orleans Pelicans (20-33) were soundly defeated in nearly every possible way by the clearly superior team, the Oklahoma City Thunder (40-14). The Pelicans lost every quarter, and the margins were 4, 5, 12, and 5 for a total of 26, on their way to a 121-95 loss.

The Thunder shot better, rebounded better, had more assists, and had more blocks. The Pelicans fouled slightly less, and the Thunder had 11 more turnovers good for 18 more points off turnovers. Were it not for that, this would have been a true disaster. At this point, this is just the expected outcome.

The Pelicans are of course without Pondexter, Gordon, and Evans, but the team announced mid-game than Evans did in fact have his season-ending knee surgery, so we all need to get used used to not having him and Pondexter. Gordon is slated to come back not too long after All-Star Weekend. Also, Bryce Dejean-Jones is in the process of negotiating at least a rest-of-season deal. With the trade deadline looming and the Pelicans’ next game after that, it would not surprise me if any Dejean-Jones deal was not signed until closer to the 19th than the 12th, even if a trade comes early.

In the past couple nights, Gentry has actually done some things I hoped he would do. He played his bigs more minutes both nights (more last night), and played bigger in general during some stretches. In fact, the Pelicans planned to start Toney Douglas, but took him out and added Gee closer to game time. Additionally, Babbitt played some late. He’s played recently in some blowouts or very short minutes in other games, not having seen regular play since November. I’m sure it was at least in part due to game circumstances, but it may have also served the purpose of proving that he is not hurt in case he can be a little throw in into a trade.

Whether these little things make a lick of difference or not does not make a lick of difference. The reason is that this team should make a move before the deadline. The reason is not to make a push for the playoffs. The reason is not attempt to “optimize draft options.” The reason is to actually bring in a more-than-role-player that Gentry has selected, rather than the guys they brought back this summer or signed using small exceptions. This team needs to get some guys that are going to play decent minutes with Davis and Holiday beyond next season, so it might as well start this season.

If nothing happens, look for an interesting article shortly after the deadline.

Enjoy All-Star Weekend.

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