Coming into the season with high hopes, the Pelicans are watching their season unravel, and the situation came a head Friday night when coach Alvin Gentry blasted the team.
''Terrible, terrible, bad effort,'' Gentry said after a 104-88 loss to the Suns. ''Not playing hard, not giving a damn, that's the way I want to sum it up. We didn't play with effort. We didn't play together as a team, so nothing worked. Nothing, nothing.''
ESPN's preseason rankings had New Orleans as the seventh team in the tough Western Conference. With arguably one of the best players in the league in Anthony Davis, the Pelicans went 45-37 last year and made the playoffs. They lost in the first round, but it was a season to build on.
The Pelicans had fired coach Monty Williams and brought in Gentry, the Warriors associate head coach, to get to the next level. But New Orleans is off to a 7-19 start this season. Only the Lakers are worse in the West.
Friday saw another listless effort, especially on the road, where the Pelicans have only two wins this season.
"We played terrible," Davis said. "We weren't competing and we didn't play hard. They just did whatever they wanted and we acted like we didn't want to be here."