The New Orleans Pelicans reached a new low on Thursday with a 99-88 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at home. After the loss, New Orleans' fourth in a row and sixth in its last seven games, coach Alvin Gentry dismissed a question about his job security.
"I really don't give a s--- about my job status," Gentry told reporters. "I'm gonna work hard, and I'm gonna coach until the day they tell me I'm not the coach here anymore. It doesn't matter. I don't ever worry about that. That is not anything that I spend five seconds worrying about. My worry is that, 'How do I get the guys in the locker room to play at the level that I want 'em to?' That's where all my effort goes. It doesn't go anywhere else."
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry "I don't give a shit about my job status, that's not what I worry about" pic.twitter.com/jFIRRuQu15— gifdsports (@gifdsports) December 9, 2016
The Pelicans are 7-16 on the season. If they built some momentum with their four game-winning streak when Jrue Holiday returned to the lineup, it is entirely gone now. Holiday has missed the last two games with turf toe, Buddy Hield is still shooting 27.7 percent from 3-point range and Anthony Davis desperately needs some help on offense. Gentry wasn't the only one who was on edge after the loss to Philadelphia, via ESPN's Justin Verrier:
Asked if this feels like a low point for the team, Pelicans star Anthony Davis replied, "Yup."
Asked if this is the most frustrated he has been after a loss in his five seasons in New Orleans, Davis replied, "Yup."
"Even when we won, I thought it was fool's gold," Pelicans forward Solomon Hill said. "We won games, but our ball movement is nonexistent. We come down, pick-and-roll and throw it to AD, and you just have AD scoring over three people. We want to get him in position where it's two at [most], or one.
"We have to come down [and] move the ball, move the ball and then get it to AD. I think we just come down and throw it right to him and we just wait and watch. We can say we want ball movement, but when he's going, everybody's out there watching."
It's easy to feel bad for Gentry and the Pelicans. He has not been set up for success, and they have not been fully healthy for years now. Their opponents, however, have absolutely no sympathy, and nor should they. As San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich put it on Thursday, "you have to participate in your own recovery." If New Orleans is going to get out of this hole, it has to share the ball and be disciplined on defense. Otherwise, it will keep losing, even against the likes of the lowly Sixers.