New Orleans -- On the second game of a back-to-back, the Pelicans came-up just short against the Nuggets 105-99. Due to a string of injuries, the Pelicans had only nine guys playing, and the fatigue was evident down the stretch. The break-out star of the game for New Orleans was Kenrich Williams, who had his first career game scoring in double digits. But Williams' 21 points off the bench on a 5 of 9 night from beyond the arc, and 22 points from Jrue Holiday was still not enough for the undermanned Pelicans to overcome the second best team in the Western Conference. They have now lost 4 of their last 5 games and have a few days to regroup before Saturday's road contest at San Antonio.
"I was proud of the way our guys played," said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. "I thought they competed like crazy. That's all we can do right now. Obviously we're a little short-handed but I'm happy with the way we played. Obviously we wish we could have made a few more shots because I think we would have had an opportunity to win but it just didn't work out tonight."
"I think we fought hard," Holiday said. "We just didn't have enough in the tank toward the end. But I think we played really well. We're kind of in the right direction of playing hard. There wasn't a lack of effort so that's definitely a good thing."
Anthony Davis, whose agent announced on Monday that he wanted to be traded, was sitting out again with a lingering finger injury. He was on the bench for the first three quarters of the game, but was not out there in the 4th quarter. His presence was also missed in the pregame video they play on the jumbotron, which had no clips of Davis in it all-- including the final shot of the entire team.
"I've never even seen that video," Gentry said when asked his thoughts of AD being left out of the video. "I really haven't. I'm not avoiding anything but I couldn't tell you who's on that and who's not."
In regards to Davis not being on the bench for the final quarter, Gentry added, "That's the other thing-- I don't look down the bench and see who's on the bench and who's not. I think we're making more of a big deal out of it then it is."
At the end of Gentry's post-game press conference, he was asked about Gayle Benson's pregame visit to the locker room and how that impacted the team. He began to answer the question but the mention of Mrs. Benson sparked a nearly 2 minute heated side note regarding an article he saw, which questioned ownership's commitment to the Pelicans as compared to the Saints.
"I guess there's something else I need to cover too since I'm covering all this stuff," Gentry started. "I read something or somebody told me something about how the Pelicans are second class or whatever. That's the furthest thing from the truth. And if you don't believe me, I'll take all of you guys to the practice facility and you go visit any other one in the NBA and you tell me that it's not as good as any place in the NBA. To say that is really disrespectful for Mr. and Mrs. Benson. Since they bought this team they've been nothing but supportive. She's been nothing but supportive. She flew from here to Portland to watch us play and then flew all the way to watch her horse in the Kentucky Derby and then flew back again. To me, anybody that questions her dedication to the Pelicans as opposed to the Saints-- and we all love the Saints. I support Sean [Payton]. He supports me. He got on a plane and flew out to San Francisco to watch us play Golden State. So all this stuff, to be honest with you, it really pisses me off. If you want to know the truth. If you want me to speak in layman's terms. You should ask us if we feel like second class citizens. I can tell you right now that's the farthest from the truth there is. There is nothing that we ask for or that we want or anything that they won't give us and Mrs. B won't give us to try to help us win games. Who ever wrote that, you're actually full of [expletive] if you want to know the truth. I'll put it in layman's terms."