New Orleans-- The NBA All-Star break is upon us, with the Pelicans right in the thick of the playoff hunt with 8 teams in the Western Conference separated by just 4 and a half games.
When addressing the state of the Pelicans at this point in the season, Head Coach Alvin Gentry summed-it up best: "It's been ups and downs."
We are well past the halfway mark, with 57 down and 25 more to go and quickly approaching the playoffs. Up until now, there have been really good moments for the Pels and then there have been some they'd like to forget. In addition to their head-scratching third quarter problems, they've also managed to do better on the road than at home.
"If I had to talk about the biggest disappointment," Gentry said. "I'd say it's our home record. We just have to come back after the break, continue to concentrate on winning our home games and continue to play. We've been playing at a real high rate on the road."
"We are between playoffs in and out so we know every game is going to be important for us," said Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic. "We know that we need to take care especially of home court. Before All-Star break we wanted to finish strong. That was our mindset and we did a great job. We don't need to stop now. We need to keep playing, keep building from this moment because there is a lot of room for us to improve as a team and we need to just keep working."
The Pelicans have now won 3 in a row, and have slowly seen more players contributing since losing DeMarcus Cousins, which is going to be a key piece in their push for the post-season.
"I think for us to ultimately be successful at the level that we want to, that's what we'll have to do," Gentry said. "I don't think it can be AD. I don't think it can be Jrue. I think it's got to be 3 or 4 guys that have these really good games, and then another couple of guys that have games a little bit better than what you expected for us to be really successful."
After the All-Star break, the Pels are back in action Friday, February 23rd when they host the Heat. They also announced Thursday that they will make-up their game against the Pacers on Wednesday March 21st.