Rollin' In The Rye

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Time for the Pelicans to Tank

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The New Orleans Pelicans are at the bottom of the pecking order in the Western Conference, something they should take as a blessing in disguise.

Anthony Davis doesn’t have a running mate, and knowing that he’s in the Big Easy till 2020, it might as well be the time that the Pelicans take the necessary step to make that happen.

Holding a 4-12 record, they currently have the fourth worst record in the league. Only behind the Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Brooklyn Nets.

This places them in the perfect position to tank, to hopefully get them some superstar potential in the 2016 Draft.

To do that the Pelicans need to keep on losing.

That might be a tough thing to stomach for a team that has the Brow – a once in a lifetime talent. But if you can’t get that player in the playoffs, does anything really matter for the Pelicans this year?

With another 66 games to go, the Pelicans would need to go 41-25 to be able to reach 45 wins – the same number of wins they had to clinch last year’s 8th seed.

That pace would be the same as a 50-win team, something that doesn’t look too accomplishable for the injury prone Pelicans.

At the moment, six of their 15 players are sidelined for Saturday’s game against the Jazz, including Davis.

With injuries ultimately forcing the Pelicans into their horrible start, this makes the playoffs seem like a distant reality for Alvin Gentry.

To chase after it would be a risky move, considering you would need to overwork the only superstar you have. The same man you just made your future by signing him to a $145 million extension this past summer.

The Pelicans are dedicated to winning, but they can’t hang their hat on the fact that Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, or Ryan Anderson will eventually become the second option to a championship caliber squad.

They are decent players, but last season none of them averaged over 20 points a game. Instead they combined for a total of 66 games missed.

Evans, who only missed three games last season, has yet to make his season debut because of injury.

You could wait for them to blossom, but at the moment there are better things to do. Especially when you look around at the competition in the West.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have Rubio, Wiggins, and Towns. The Utah Jazz have Hayward, Favors, and Gobert. The Oklahoma City Thunder have Durant, Ibaka, and Westbrook.

There are other talented bunches to mention, but the aforementioned teams didn’t even make the playoffs last year.

Because of what’s already happened, Gentry could let his team take a deep breath this season. Instead, just make the Pelicans hustle during practice to learn his new offence, and let them sleep at night just after they’re done praying for Ben Simmons.


 

You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97

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