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What Everybody is Saying and Nobody is Talking About

Published: November 6, 2016

Everybody was saying that last week’s piece would be a one-off. That I was just going to be able to do it once, and after that I would fade back into the oblivion. But what nobody was talking about was how determined I am to show how stupid it is to talk in these extremes, that I will come back every single week and do this article until this type of language is gone for good.

You see, I have very few passions in life, but one is language. Say what you mean, and mean what you say people! If somebody texts you something chuckle worthy, text them back, ‘I chuckled.’ DO NOT text back LOL or LMAO. Because you weren’t. And you weren’t rolling on the floor either. People think it’s an innocent exaggeration, but then when you really do hear something so funny that it causes you to literally laugh so hard that your ass comes off, nobody is going to believe you when you text them that. They are just going to imagine you chuckled.

And the forum does not matter either. I can’t tell you how many times I have read, “It’s just a message board, loosen up.” or “You know what I meant,” on Twitter. It should not be my job to discern what you mean or to change my expectations for language on the internet. This is where most of us interact now, so if that’s the case, shouldn’t we be MORE clear with our language online?

With that said, let’s take a look at what everybody is saying and nobody is talking about.

What Everybody is Saying

The Pelicans Defense is Good and Their Offense is Bad


The stats tell us that the explanation is simple. The Pelicans are better than average on defense, but the offense is abysmal. But I am here to tell you, the defense sucks too. While the defensive rating is above average compared to the other 29 teams, it is a bit of a mirage. It would be middle of the back if you took away the Memphis game where both teams were simply atrocious, and around 20 if you also took out the San Antonio game where they were rested three key players and forced to play guys you or I never heard of.

This supposedly good to great defense just sends teams to the line far too often, and even worse, they send the wrong guys. They are not hacking big men, but instead sharp shooting guards, and as a result the Pelicans opponents shoot a blistering 83% from the line against them. Luckily, they force their opponents to turn the ball over a lot, but they don’t convert those turnovers into points, so it isn’t as much of a benefit as it could be.

Bottom line is that isn’t a defensively sturdy team with an offense that needs a slight boost to make it competitive. It is a team with a weak defense that looks better because it has played some weak offenses, that also happens to have a terrible offense. That is why the 0-6 record (soon to be 0-7) is not that surprising. A team with a top-10 unit on one end is going to get a few wins, even if the other side of the ball is terrible. But this is not a top-10 defense right now. That stat is a mirage.

2. Alvin Gentry Should be Fired


Everybody is saying that Gentry should be fired, but what nobody is talking about is the fact that Dell Demps won’t be the man to do it. The two are tied at the hip, and there is no scenario where Dell Demps ever gets to hire another coach again. If Gentry goes, then Dell is gone too and that is way too much structural change for a franchise to undergo during the season. The process of finding a new coach and new GM is a huge undertaking, and one that hopefully this franchise will take more seriously than Terrence Jones’s name plate.

If Gentry is fired at the end of the season, I will feel somewhat sorry for the guy because he has never had the players he thought he was going to have way back when he brought out all those cool charts and graphs. But I also think it is clear as day that he isn’t the long-term solution here, so replacing him has upside. But it isn’t coming any time soon, because when he goes, Dell goes.

3. A Hardship Exception Could Stop the Bleeding for the Pelicans


The first reaction from Pelicans twitter when the Lance Stephenson injury broke was, “uh, we’re cursed!” Yeah, that’s what everybody was saying, but soon after it turned to the question of whether or not the team would be granted a hardship exception and who they would use it on. I have a contrarian view on this one, and it’s…. It DOESN”T MATTER!

Who cares what scrub with no experience in the system comes for a cup of coffee for this desperate team. In the last few hours, it has been guys like Jimmer Fredette, Nate Wolters, and Nate Robinson. And guess what? None of them mattered. And this new addition, if the Pelicans even get an exception won’t matter. Whoever they go out and get will be worse than every rotation player on every team the Pelicans play. They are a talent deficient team right now, and with Lance going out and some other scrub possibly coming in, they will lose even more talent.

What Nobody is Talking About 

1. Al Davis’s Soul is Living Inside of Tom Benson

Proof: The Movie Fallen starring Denzel Washington

I was embarrassed to admit it for a long time, but I am a lifelong Raiders fan. It’s easier to say this year, however, because they are finally respectable. And why, you may ask? Well, it’s because Al Davis finally passed away after holding the franchise back for years, and GM Reggie McKenzie was finally able to dig out of the mess Al left in his wake. You see, as Al’s life was coming to an end, he went from being a brilliant, pioneering owner to a ‘win first’ moron who sabotaged the future for the sake of trying to be competitive right away.

He overpaid big name vets or guys he was loyal to, despite their declining performance. He concentrated more on free agency and trades than on the draft, and even when he did make draft picks, he took ready to play guys over guys with more upside. I mean, who takes a kicker with the 17th pick? But Al needed a kicker because a few field goals was the difference between 8-8 and the playoffs the year before, so you go get what you need right now! Future be damned.

Any of this sound familiar? Well, Davis died in April of 2011, and a couple of months later the Saints took Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram. Davis loved his Heisman winners, collecting them like rare coins. In 2012, the Saints didn’t have a first or second round pick because of trades. In 2013, they had the fewest picks in the NFL, and in 2014, the third fewest. And I don’t even have to recap the Pelicans NBA draft history the last few years since Benson took over, do I?

If you have seen the movie Fallen, you know what happened. Al Davis passed away and his soul went into the body of Tom Benson. Like Davis, he is a man who is in the final chapter of his life and the now has infinitely more importance than the future. Now, it is still possible to win if your owner is pushing this agenda, but your margin for error is much smaller. You have to hit on almost every move, because you are making less of them, and your veterans have to stay healthy and motivated. That has not happened here, and as a result this team stinks. Nobody deserves more blame for that than Al Davis…. I mean, Tom Benson.

2. Fans Are Spending Too Much for This Product

Proof: ‘Pelicans Overpriced Tickets’ yield no relevant results

I want you to imagine that you go to a restaurant fairly regularly and the food is terrible, and the atmosphere is outdated. The only thing that saves the meal is that there is one waiter who occasionally hops on the piano and plays a lovely ballet. Would you continue to go back? Of course not. Yet, people still keep spending money on this terrible product called the Pelicans that is by no means entertaining.

The music, halftime shows, and general ambiance is straight from the 80’s or 90’s, and is a general embarrassment for a city that is all about fun and culture. The on court product stinks, and it’s not just about winning and losing — but how you win and lose. And this team doesn’t even lose in a particularly interesting way. It’s a crappy product, and it should be viewed like any other business. You have tons of entertainment options. Why spend a penny on this garbage? Force them to look in the mirror and improve the on court product and the overall experience. Refuse to show up until they do.

3. Anthony Davis Accounts for Half of the Pelicans Free Throws

Proof: The term ‘ Draw a Foul’ when searched, yields pictures of amateur artists drawing birds

Anthony Davis has played 228 minutes and he has 74 FT attempts. The rest of the Pelicans have played 1262 minutes and have 75 FT attempts. Getting to the line means you have put pressure on the defense. It means you are getting individual players on the other team into foul trouble and that you are getting your team closer to the bonus. Outside of Davis, nobody on this team is doing that. Solomon Hill has the second most attempts on this team with 14, and of course he is shooting just 57% from the line after 83% over the first three years of his career.

This team doesn’t get to the line, and when AD inevitably goes down with his minor injuries, the offense will get (somehow) even worse. There are no easy points with this team. There are no ways to stop a drought or to manufacture something out of nothing on that end. And don’t expect Jrue Holiday or Quincy Pondexter to help at all, because they both have terrible FTR’s. Take AD off this team, and they would likely be dead last in FTA’s, and that is a recipe for one of the 2-3 worst records in the NBA over the course of a season when paired with a terrible 3-pt%.


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