The irresistible force meets the easily movable object.
It’s an apt phrasing for Wednesday’s meeting between the Spurs and Pelicans, considering the teams’ respective home and road records.
San Antonio is 26-0 at home. New Orleans is 5-18 on the road.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is keenly aware of the issue as his team continues to fight from the back of the pack in the Western Conference playoff picture. Fresh off a seven-game homestand that netted New Orleans a respectable 5-2 record, the Pelicans’ focus has shifted to games away from the Smoothie King Center.
“We have to play better on the road,” Gentry said. “We have struggled like crazy on the road. We have got to find a way to come up with some wins there. We have a favorable home schedule, but if we are going to be a factor, we are going to have to find a way to win some games away.”
Jrue Holiday had his worst shooting night in more than three years in Monday’s 105-90 loss to the Grizzlies. A 1-for-14 performance from the field included misses from virtually every spot on the floor — but several teammates said they aren’t concerned about the blip on Holiday’s strong start to 2016.
In January, Holiday averaged 18 points on 44-percent shooting and averaged seven assists to just two turnovers in 29.2 minutes per night. While his start to February was an auspicious one, he has an opportunity to fix it in a hurry.
“It’s Jrue, so he doesn’t let that stuff bother him and he shouldn’t,” forward Ryan Anderson said. “Obviously, you have to earn the right to have a game with 14 shots, and if you miss them all, alright. He’s most definitely earned that right and we most definitely have confidence in him for every shot he takes. We need him to take those shots.”
Anderson skirted out of the Smoothie King Center in a hurry Monday night, avoiding reporters following the loss.
While not as noticeable Holiday’s struggles, Anderson made just 3 of 9 shot attempts and committed four turnovers while pulling in just three rebounds. Considering Anderson had scored at least 23 points in each of the previous four games, the drop-off was notable and caused the veteran to lose his patience after the game.
“Sometimes I’m my own worst critic,” Anderson said. “As much as people want to write awful things about me, I think worse. There’s moments, like after that game, when I just wanted to get out of there. It just happens. It’s part of the game where I wanted to blow off a little steam and not dwell on it so I could move on.
“(Tuesday) was a very good practice day, so we could just reset our minds and get our focus back for winning mode. We are prepared and ready to go. There will be plenty of more times where you see me storming off of the court, but it’s nothing personal.”
Point guard Tyreke Evans has missed the past three games due to a lingering ailment in his right knee and Gentry said he’s not certain whether Evans will be available for Wednesday’s game.
Before Monday’s loss to Memphis, Gentry said Evans would “probably be able to go if it was a playoff game” but didn’t want to risk him with so much of the season remaining. Evans is listed as doubtful on the injury report, downgraded from questionable Monday.
“He’s feeling better but we won’t know until we actually get there and figure out how he feels or whatever,” Gentry said. “Like I said, we are just going to make sure he’s feeling really, really good before we send him back out there.”