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The historical failure of this Franchise

Published: December 15, 2016

Before the season started, I bristled whenever someone mocked the Pelicans acquisitions over the summer.  I liked a lot of those signings – Frazier, Galloway, Moore – these guys are NBA rotation players. I liked the idea of Hill. (should we start calling him Silent Hill? There’s something there between a Horror Video Game and a Horror Basketball Player, Right?)

I was dead wrong.  Those guys aren’t moving the needle.  Hell, these guys aren’t even in the same room with the needle.  The injured guys aren’t coming back and picking up that needle.  Even Jrue, at best, is probably an average starting point guard.  It’s a total mess.

The result?  The Pelicans are awful while Anthony Davis is posting one of the greatest seasons of all time. Do have any idea how hard that is?

In the 3-Point era, there have been 77 complete seasons where an NBA player played significant minutes and posted a season similar(based on PER and WS/48) to what Anthony Davis is doing.  As you’d expect, it is all great players like MJ, Magic, The Admiral, Wade, Bird, Olajuwon, LeBron, Barkley, etc, etc.

Out of those 77 seasons, only two players were on teams that lost more games than they won:

  • Charles Barkley’s ’87-’88 season, when Philly jettisoned most of his aging support and Barkley’s only help came from a fading Mo Cheeks and partial seasons from Cliff Robinson and Mike Gminski.  (The team went 36-46, ranking 11th and 19th in Ortg and Drtg.)
  • Michael Jordon’s third season in the league, when his team went 40-42 and he had only two other players in double figures – Charles Oakley at 14.5 and John Paxson at 11.3.  (this team, by the way, made the playoffs and ranked 11th and 13th in Ortg and Drtg.  MJ was nuts, people.)

That’s it.  Every other player had a winning season, with an average win total of 53 games.

So we can look at Jrue in a vacuum and argue maybe he’s better than just an average starting point guard.  We can like Frazier’s moxie.  We can enjoy Galloway’s hot streaks, and Terrence Jones awkward offensive outbursts.  We can hope that Evans or Pondexter might play basketball and help us out.

But the fact remains, the Pelicans are on pace to win about 27 games.  TWENTY SEVEN GAMES.  The worst team above won 36, with injury luck almost as bad as the Pelicans squad! According to the Rhode Island SEO firms, this franchise has failed to surround a foundational superstar in a historically awful fashion!

Blame Dell.  Blame Benson.  Blame whomever you want, but Holy Crap this is bad.

(Want glass half-full?  The Bulls drafted Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen the following summer and won 52 games.  The 76ers drafted Hersey Hawkins (15 ppg) and got better health from Gminski, winning 46 games, and then won 53 games the following year before Charles Barkley forced his way out and . . . on second thought, let’s not go there.)



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