New Orleans Pelicans v San Antonio Spurs

Published: March 3, 2016

The New Orleans Pelicans (23-36) host the San Antonio Spurs (51-9) at the Smoothie King Center tonight at 7pm CT (UTC -6). The game is on TNT and the Pelicans Radio Network, 99.5 FM locally.

It doesn’t matter who starts or who is injured. Coach Gentry said himself what myself and many other fans have been saying since December, that this team, at least as presently constructed and with current availability, can not make the playoffs. The whole “just 4 games behind” (replace the number as appropriately thing that has been ridden and ridden by some, the organization included, which is expected, has been an empty analysis, a lazy slogan, or a marketing scheme. Many have of course abandoned the mantra, and with the typical zeal of a convert after doing so. That number has also slowly risen since late December when the team started to get it together, on average, which drives the point home even more.

As such, I feel completely justified is ignoring many things, so I will. I will ignore who starts, because that is a distraction. The concern will be justified by saying referring to patterns of coaching or whatnot, but the minutes matter, not why. I will ignore players to the extent I feel they will not be on the team next season. That is to say, I will ignore, for example, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson (as an analyst) to some extent. I will ignore Norris Cole more, excepting when he is affecting players that I will ignore less in some significant way. I will ignore who is injured, because they are not really affecting what I’ll be seeing so much as what I won’t be seeing.

Tonight, what do I want to see:

  • Holiday and Davis on the court and playing well together. This can be either working directly with each other, being part of the same play but not sharing the ball, or giving the Spurs a 1-2 punch.
  • Some solid decision-making in one area of the game, at least, such as pick-and-roll defense. Choose something, anything, to be good at. Then try to be good at it. Some solid decision-making, not all. Sure, I want all, but I’m a realist here.
  • Passing and shooting. Just pass, just shoot. Forget efficiency, forget highlights. This team is not going to make a name for itself with shooters and they aren’t getting another one in soon to change that. Passing . . . that they can work on, and passing to others sharpens the skill of passing to Davis, which is what matters to Gentry (and Davis). Take whatever shot you want, as long as someone passed the ball to you and someone passed it to them . . . or there is 2s on the clock.

I have grown weary of waiting for the tide to simply rise slowly amid all the injury devastation and the clear mismatch of players and Coach. Just do something. Pick one.

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