Sometimes there are bad breaks here or there can make a season come up short of expectations. Then there are the kinds of breaks that leave nothing but little pieces. The New Orleans Pelicans are way beyond all of that, hopes shattered by a 1-11 start and now staggering to the finish line of a season that has been smashed by injury and disappointment. It was a cruel irony that on the night of a rare win Monday over the New York Knicks, the Pelicans (27-47) were officially eliminated from playoff contention. And, it was sadly fitting that it came with two more injuries. First, forward Alonzo Gee hobbled off the floor in the third quarter. Then, point guard Jrue Holiday caught an inadvertent elbow from Kristaps Porzingis in the final minute and suffered a right inferior orbital wall fracture. Both players are now out for the rest of the season.
All-Star forward Anthony Davis has already been shut down for the season and will require surgery on his left knee. Tyreke Evans (right knee), Quincy Pondexter (left knee), Eric Gordon (broken right ring finger) and Bryce Dejean-Jones also had their seasons ended early and hit the operating table. Backup point guard Norris Cole is listed as day-to-day with a lower back injury, but has missed 12 consecutive games. Ryan Anderson is out with a sports hernia. Coach Alvin Gentry has used 37 different lineups and the Pelicans rank second in the league in the number of player-games lost this season due to injury. “I am going to send out an all-points bulletin to anybody in the French Quarter; we need a voodoo doctor or something here,” Gentry cracked with a touch of gallows humor. “We’ve got to find the bones under this place (Smoothie King Center) or do something because this becoming comical.
Bad breaks are one thing. Broken plans and promises are quite another and the Pelicans need more than spells from a voodoo doctor to fix them.