The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the worst teams in the NBA.
Coach Alvin Gentry said they stopped competing during a 46-point loss to Dallas on Saturday, their eighth consecutive defeat.
Perhaps they can learn something from the visiting Detroit Pistons, their opponent Monday night whose last performance represented a significant bounce-back effort.
“I don’t think we competed,” Gentry said after the 130-84 loss to the Mavericks. “When they got separation, I didn’t think we competed. I think that’s the worst thing in the world to do, (is) to stop competing.
“So, it’s a terrible game, a poorly played game, a poorly coached game, (and) all of us got to take responsibility. I take as much responsibility as they do, because I’ve got to find a way to get them playing at the highest level that they can and competing, and they didn’t do that.”
The Pelicans overhauled their roster in the offseason, and they have adjusted to a series of injuries. As a result, they don’t have a stable lineup or rotation and no identity.
“We control our own destiny,” Gentry said. “We’ve got to be the ones that compete. We’ve got to be the ones that play hard. We’ve got to be the ones that (don’t) turn it over. We’ve got to be the ones that rebound. We’ve got to find the open guy. All of those things right there.
“We don’t want to become the pin cushion for the NBA — and the way we’re doing it right now, that’s where we’re headed — we’ll be the pin cushion for the NBA. Everybody will come in and think they can get a win. Everybody will think at home they’re going to get a win, and that’s the worst thing you can be in this league.”
The Pistons also have a poor record and were similarly discouraged after a 127-103 loss to division rival Milwaukee on Wednesday, but they bounced back to beat Indiana on Friday.
Detroit was tied with the Pacers before scoring the final seven points in a 108-101 home victory.
The decisive run began with a little more than a minute remaining when Derrick Rose made an acrobatic basket from the lane.
Indiana tied the score before Rose fed Blake Griffin for a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left. Rose added another basket to put the Pistons in control.
“He was the MVP (in 2011) for a reason,” Griffin said of Rose. “He’s very poised with the ball in his hands — doesn’t get rattled, doesn’t get sped up, really, especially in late game. That was really, really good execution, about as well as we could’ve done it.”
Andre Drummond contributed his fifth 20-20 game of the season, finishing with 25 points and 22 rebounds.
“I think we definitely played tough,” Drummond said. “Everybody, one through 12, the guys that played, when they came in the game they sustained the same toughness and the outcome was a win. We played our (backsides) off in that fourth quarter and came out with a great win.”
–Field Level Media