Clippers knock off Pelicans in final minute

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NEW ORLEANS – There are several amenities inside the Smoothie King Center, each designed to help fans have a more enjoyable experience on game night.

After watching the New Orleans Pelicans lose 129-126 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, I would humbly ask that management offer just one more – a grief counselor.

Losing a basketball game doesn’t equate to any real loss in life, but one can’t help but think that fans may find themselves going through the same five stages of grief over and over again with this team.

It starts with denial. As E’Twaun Moore’s final shot fell into the waiting arms of the Clippers and the clock expired, it was hard believe that it had happened again.

The Pelicans didn’t allow L.A. to score 77 first half points. They didn’t let the Clippers shoot nearly 60 percent from the floor. They didn’t give up 62 points in the paint. They didn’t lose for the sixth time in their last eight games.

But they did.

After denial comes anger. The anger towards a team with two of the top six defenders in the league being unable to consistently get stops. The anger that comes from either the underachievement of the Pelicans or from the overestimation of just how good this team could be.

New Orleanians are already pretty good at bargaining. The Saints have given fans more than 50 years of practice in that department. So have hurricanes, elected officials, and Jazz Fest weather reports. There are probably more than a few folks who have some unpaid debts based on what they’ve promised to do, or not do, for a win reading this right now.

So let’s move on to depression. You know the feeling. Depending on your point of view, the amount of games in the NBA can be a blessing or a curse. When the home team is struggling, as the Pelicans are now, each game is an opportunity to right the ship or to continue steering towards an iceberg.

The Pelicans have lost to good teams, bad teams, and every flavor in between. The optimism of the fan base from just two months ago has been replaced with a deepening cynicism. Losing and being bad was one thing, but losing when the squad is supposed to be good has been worse.

Finally, comes acceptance. We’re more than a quarter through the season. Unless and until there is a major shakeup of the roster, there isn’t a reason to expect more from the Pelicans.

Last season it took a season-ending injury to Boogie Cousins and a trade for Niko Mirotic to propel the Pels into the postseason. Even with the talent they have at the top of the roster, does anyone truly believe that they can make it back to the second round of the playoffs without a move?

In the meantime, let’s all take a breath. Inhale. Exhale.

So find your zen, align your chakras, whatever it is that you need to do; because we still have 57 more games to go.

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David Grubb

David Grubb

Featured Columnist

David Grubb has more than a decade of experience in the sports industry. He began his career with KLAX-TV in Alexandria, La. and followed that up with a stint as an reporter and anchor with WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass. After spending a few years away from the industry, David worked as sports information director for Southern University at New Orleans…

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