New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry called Friday's 32-point loss at Denver "terrible."
The 15-year head coach even said the game was an "embarrassment to the franchise" after his squad allowed 146 points, the most in franchise history.
On Sunday, after a two-day window allowed time for Gentry to reflect and pinpoint what specifically went so wrong, the coach stuck to his previous remarks: Friday was dreadful, and Gentry blames himself.
“I don’t really have anything to say,” Gentry said. “The last game, we were terrible. Like I said, I thought everything was. The play, the coaching, the approach. Everything was. I take that upon me, because I’ve got to have those guys ready to play. And we weren’t ready to play. The approach was not what it should’ve been, and the focus was not what it should’ve been."
To the Pelicans coach, Friday's lopsided loss happens in today's NBA, a league where the trendy 3-point ball can punish any team on any night nowadays — just ask the sharpshooting Orlando Magic, who are 8-8 like the Pelicans, and the Utah Jazz.
Magic center Nikola Vucevic said Orlando's 125-85 loss to the 10-loss Jazz on Saturday was "just an embarrassment," according to the Orlando Sentinel. Sound familiar?
"It’s one game," Gentry said. "And it happens in this league. I look last night, and Orlando was losing at home by 45 to Utah — 40 or whatever it was to Utah. So there’s going to be games like that.”
Even so, New Orleans' chase to contend in the stocked Western Conference does not appear to be any more welcoming, especially not this week.
The Pelicans host the loaded-with-stars Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m. Monday in the Smoothie King Center to kick-start a potentially rocky slate of games in the next seven days against a number of the goliaths in the West.
After hosting the Thunder on Monday, New Orleans will welcome the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday before hitting the road for a back-to-back at Phoenix and Golden State on Nov. 24-25, respectively.
“Everyone wants to talk about the tough stretch,” Gentry said. “They’re all tough stretches. When you’re playing on the road or at home, and you’re playing against good teams — or any team in the NBA — they’re capable of beating you on any night.”
The Pelicans, who are at .500 for the fourth time this season, could use something — anything — positive as doubt relentlessly creeps in behind losses that outdo their potential.
New Orleans got some Sunday afternoon.
All-NBA forward Anthony Davis was cleared of his original concussion diagnosis and is listed as probable against the Thunder. Davis, who originally was removed Friday's loss with a concussion, suffered a "contusion of the orbit bone" above his right eye, removing him from the league's concussion protocol.
The four-time All-Star forward participated in Sunday's practice in a non-contact capacity after he revealed no concussion-like symptoms following Friday's game.
“They determined that he didn’t have a concussion," Gentry said. "Then he went through the normal protocol anyway. He’s fine. He’s questionable (Monday), but, you know, he’s fine."