DALLAS — The New Orleans Pelicans are frustrated with their 0-6 start, and no one more so than face of the franchise Anthony Davis.
Following a 107-98 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Saturday, a game where Dallas outscored NOLA 65-50 in the second half, Davis was seen talking to a team official outside the locker room following the loss before Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry addressed the media and prior to the visiting locker room opening to the media.
Understandably, AD, who had 25 and six against the Mavs, didn’t have much to say after the loss, but he did step up and show some great accountability.
“We didn’t play hard enough. We stopped playing defense. They started playing harder than us and they wanted it more,” Davis said of the Mavericks’ first home victory of the season.
Eric Gordon also chipped in 21 for the Pels, but even with NOLA depleted due to injuries to Tyreke Evans and other players being on minute restrictions, AD knows that excuses just aren’t part of the equation right now.
“We just got to find ways to win still. We don’t make excuses. We got to find a way to win with the team we have now,” Davis said.
And as the face of the team, he takes full responsibility for the Pels’ 0-6 start.
“I just try to go out there and play and try to do everything I can to help this team win. Obviously, it’s not enough, so just got to get back to the drawing board,” Davis said.
NOLA is the lone winless team in the Western Conference and one of only three, the 0-7 Brooklyn Nets and the 0-6 Philadelphia 76ers are the others, in the entire Association.
And yes, first-year Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry is concerned about what sort of hole his young team is digging themselves so early in the season.
“Oh yeah, I worry about it after one game. I just think that we’re in a situation where we’re in a very tough division. We’re in an unbelievable conference and so it’s tough enough to make the playoffs if you’re playing well. To start off with 0-6, it’s not what we anticipated and it’s not a situation where it’s easy to dig yourself out of. There’s no easy answers,” Gentry said.
“We got to figure out a way to get this thing turned around, and the only way you can do that is through being locked in defensively and finding a way to get more flow through your offense.”
Davis is already in his fourth year in the league but is still all of 22, so he definitely fits the bill as a young player, and one thing that defines all young players is wild inconsistency.
But AD admits that even he has grown frustrated with just how wildly inconsistent he and his teammates have been through the first six games of the season.
“It’s very frustrating. We got to come out and compete to a level that when the game’s over, we’re drained. We’re not doing that right now,” Davis said. “We only compete in spurts, in three quarters or two quarters. We got to find a way to compete the whole game.”
NOLA gets another chance at that elusive first win on Tuesday night against those same Mavericks at Smoothie King Center in the Big Easy.
But until his team starts accomplishing one rather simple goal, Gentry doesn’t care who the opponent is, the results will continue to be unfavorable.
“It doesn’t matter who we play, we got to play a complete game. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this,” Gentry said.
Like his teammates, AD is trying to find a way to channel that frustration into a more focused and disciplined approach because there’s no denying how much talent the Pels have. And the consensus around the league is that once NOLA gets its first win, they could go on a nice run.
But until that happens, such talk is nothing more than mere speculation.
“Never in a million years did I think we’d start 0-6, but we are. So we just got to find a way to get on a roll where we get a couple wins,” Davis said.