While Anthony Davis is back on the court for the Pelicans after last week’s trade deadline drama, things don’t look quite right in New Orleans. On Tuesday night, the Pelicans were run off their home court by the Magic, suffering a 118-88 loss to a team outside the playoff picture in the East.
“We sucked,” Davis said after the game, per Brett Martel of The Associated Press. “Nobody was interested in playing, is what it looked like.”
It certainly seems possible that Davis’ trade request and all the speculation about his future continues to impact the Pelicans’ performance on the floor. Head coach Alvin Gentry was in no mood to have that discussion though, as Martel relays.
“What we’re trying to do is just move on from it. We need to bury it,” Gentry said of Davis’ decision to request a trade. “Whatever our new normal is, we want to get back to that and put all the other stuff behind us and just start playing and trying to win basketball games, and trying to compete and try to get our young players better. That’s all I want to do. That’s it. And I’m not going to talk about it anymore. I’m done talking about it.”
Here’s more from around the Southwest:
- In a column for The Advocate, Scott Kushner argues that the Davis saga – particularly his return to the court – has been a “prolonged, smug jab at the intelligence of Pelicans fans.” In Kushner’s view, the Pelicans and Davis are no longer invested in one another, and the team should either stand up to the NBA by benching Davis or have someone from management or ownership publicly address the situation.
- Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley appeared likely to be traded leading up to last week’s deadline, and admitted that he had trouble sleeping and checked his phone “a thousand times,” as Royce Young of ESPN.com details. Conley, who described Thursday as a long, emotional, and difficult day, has been fairly quiet on the court since the deadline, scoring 11 points on Saturday and then missing Tuesday’s game with an illness.
- In advance of Jonas Valanciunas‘ debut with the Grizzlies on Tuesday, David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal explored how the team’s newest big man would fit in. The plan is for Valanciunas to come off the bench behind Ivan Rabb, but if he keeps playing like he did last night (23 points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes), that plan may be short-lived.
- During a radio appearance on KESN-FM 103.3 ESPN in Dallas, Bobby Marks examined how the Mavericks might use their cap room this summer after moving Harrison Barnes, suggesting that Nikola Vucevic will be among Dallas’ top targets (link via The Dallas Morning News). The Mavs’ interest in Vucevic was previously reported.