NEW YORK — The New Orleans Pelicans have misplaced seven of their previous 9 video games. They’re in 14th place within the Western Convention.
Celebrity Anthony Davis mentioned that all the dropping is not sitting effectively with anybody within the group.
“We’re a better team than our record shows. Everyone seems to be pissed off. Gamers, coaches, entrance workplace. We have simply bought to do better,” Davis mentioned after the Pelicans’ 126-121 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night time.
Davis had 34 factors and a career-high 26 rebounds towards the Nets, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to offset New Orleans’ shoddy protection. The Pelicans allowed Brooklyn to shoot 60 % within the first half and put up 73 factors — the Nets’ highest first-half whole in 16 years.
“We wasn’t taking part in no protection,” Davis mentioned. “The entire first half, they did no matter they wished. They did not really feel us on the defensive finish. We wasn’t bodily, wasn’t speaking. They bought a lot layups, a lot of open 3s. They shot the ball extraordinarily effectively within the first half due to our lazy protection.”
Davis added that the Pelicans are “one of many worst defensive groups within the league” once they fail to talk, rebound and assist each other, as they did towards the Nets within the first half, when Brooklyn led by as many as 24 factors.
Davis, although, credited New Orleans for bettering its protection within the second half. The Pelicans held Brooklyn to 42 % taking pictures after halftime.
The five-time All-Star additionally expressed confidence that the Pelicans have sufficient expertise flip issues round as soon as they get wholesome. Elfrid Payton just lately returned to the lineup after lacking almost 30 video games due to ankle and hand accidents. Nikola Mirotic has missed 10 video games due to an ankle damage.
“We all know what we did final yr. We all know how good of a team we’re this yr,” Davis mentioned of the Pelicans, who upset the Portland Path Blazers in a first-round sweep within the 2018 playoffs. “We simply bought [Payton] again, after which we’ve got Niko out; we won’t keep wholesome. We nonetheless have to go on the market and show it. We simply cannot really feel sorry for ourselves.”
Looming over this Pelicans’ season, after all, is Davis’ future.
The 25-year-old shall be an unrestricted free agent in the summertime of 2020, however he’s eligible for a particular five-year, $239 million supermax extension this summer season from the Pelicans, in the event that they select to provide it.
If Davis have been to flip down that supermax deal in July, it will be a devastating blow to the Pelicans, who would have nearly no selection however to open commerce talks, although coach Alvin Gentry mentioned late final month that “we’re not buying and selling him below any circumstance.”
On Tuesday night time, Davis was requested if there is likely to be a level the place he would resolve that he did not need to play for a team that’s 14th within the Western Convention, the spot that the Pelicans at the moment occupy within the standings.
Davis minimize off the query abruptly, saying there is not a level the place he’d take into consideration that.
“I do not. Subsequent query,” he mentioned.