The Pelicans are trying to save a season in which nothing has gone as planned, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. After earning a playoff spot last season and bringing in new coach Alvin Gentry’s up-tempo approach, New Orleans expected to take the next step. Instead, the team got off to a terrible start and is currently 13-26, four games out of the eighth seed in the West. “We get into too many close games where it wasn’t decided because the team made a play; it was decided because we didn’t execute or had a mental breakdown defensively,” Gentry said. “When you’re in close games, you’ve got to be able to execute down the stretch.”
There’s more tonight from New Orleans:
- GM Dell Demps hinted that deals could be coming before next month’s deadline, according to Justin Verrier of ESPN.com. Making his first comments since the season began, Demps made it clear the front office is unhappy with the on-court performance. “People always ask about trades: ‘Are you gonna make a trade? Are you gonna do something for the short term?'” Demps said. “I say, ‘We have to do what makes sense.’ We can’t just make a trade just to make a trade, get rid of a guy and bring back lesser talent, or that’s going to make the team deficient. So we’re looking right now. But we got to be smart, we got to make sure that we’re looking at the right things.” Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson will become free agents this summer, but Demps said he believes the value of expiring contracts has declined over the past decade.
- Part of the problem is Anthony Davis‘ inability to become a leader, contends Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. The columnist says that despite Davis’ flashy statistics, he hasn’t exhibited the intangibles to lead a team. Ding adds that at age 22 and in his fourth season in the NBA, it’s time for Davis to figure out that part of the game.
- Mickey Loomis insists he can handle his dual roles with the Pelicans and the NFL’s Saints, writes Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune. Loomis serves as head of basketball operations for the Pelicans and executive vice president and GM of the NFL team. “I’ve said to you guys that my role with the Pelicans is probably a little overblown,” Loomis said. “We’ve got a general manager and a head coach there that we’ve got a lot of confidence in to get that ship righted.”