After Sunday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Pelicans were eliminated from playoff contention officially when the Portland Trailblazers defeated the 76ers.
New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said his team was disappointed with how their stint in the NBA’s bubble has gone but said the team is till focused on winning its final two games in Orlando. The Pelicans are back on the court Tuesday night for an 8 p.m. matchup with the Sacramento Kings and Gentry is expecting to see his team compete.
“The big thing is that we have to keep a good spirit about us in every game that we play,” he said. “This is going to be an opportunity for the young guys to get some extended time, and as I said, I think because of that they’re going to play in meaningful situations and they’re going to have to be able to execute and they’re going to have to be able to do some things defensively and rotating guys and everything. So I think it’s good.”
Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Jrue Holiday out against the Kings for precautionary reasons opening minutes for other Pelicans players.
“Obviously some of them have been banged up kind of most of the season and stuff, so it’s just a precautionary thing, really,” Gentry said. I think we sat down and just agreed that it’s the right thing to do right now.”
Gentry also added that he isn’t worried about his job status and instead is focused on the team’s final two contests.
"That’s not in my job description, because if it was I wouldn’t fire myself,” he said with a laugh. “As far as that is concerned, I told you guys I don’t ever worry about anything like that. I’m the coach until I’m not the coach, and I act accordingly.
“[It’s] not anything that I can control, so my whole thing is that I’m going to invest my time in something that’s productive, like trying to get guys better and talking to them about their game and trying to improve. Other than that, it’s not anything in my department that I worry about.”