NEW ORLEANS – Lebron James is really good at basketball. No, like really f*cking good. I believe he treated this In-Season Tournament (IST) like college basketball’s March Madness tournament. A tournament in which James didn’t play in because he famously skipped college for the NBA. Seems like that decision worked out well.
What I am most astonished about is the longevity of consistency he has played with. James, who turns 39 on December 30th – a day prior to their rematch with the Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on New Year’s Eve, is the apex of consistency, who reportedly spends $1 million per year on training. Doing so, I believe, has extended his prime.
James led the Lakers to a 133 – 89 mollywhopping in front of 2.2 million viewers during the semifinals of the IST over the Pels. He looked like the most spry player on the court while being the oldest. Prior to the season, Zion Williamson said on Gilbert Arenas’ podcast, Gil’s Arena, “Bron got the blueprint. I’m doing my best to follow it.”
Williamson received a ton of backlash and by his own remarks, deservingly so. Now, Zion wasn’t the only one that didn’t look ready to play against the Lakers. I, too, have fell victim to the Vegas flu before, if you know – you know.
Now that I’ve got that part out the way.
What’s your favorite fast-food joint? My pick is Wendy’s. The choice would be Popeyes’ but it doesn’t taste the same everywhere. I think Louisiana stores use more herbs and spices. I chose Wendy’s because of this reason; no matter if I’m at the Wendy’s on St. Charles ordering a Four-for-Four, Double Stack with only cheese – ketchup – and pickles, it will taste exactly the same in Las Vegas.
Consistency, as described by Webster’s Dictionary, is marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity: free from variation or contradiction. Consistency is a very fleeting concept for the Pelicans. With a 12 – 11 record, the only consistent ideal about this team is being inconsistent.
Over the past month, the Skelicans have been cosplaying their own rendition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde beating teams like the Nuggets, Mavericks and the Kings three times, but losing to the Rockets, the Jazz twice, and a team that’s septic tanking in Chicago.
Head Coach Willie Green, after the mini home series against the Kings, said the team was experiencing “good problems” with having everyone return so they can experiment with lineups. With the return of CJ McCollum after missing 3 weeks with a collapsed lung and Trey Murphy returning for his first games of the season after tearing his meniscus, the team has yet to find their foundation.
With Murphy and McCollum returning, Dyson Daniels and Jordan Hawkins’ minutes have plummeted and Daniel’s confidence along with it. Hawkins has recorded back-to-back DNPs during the In-Season Tournament games. Jose Alvarado and Naji Marshall have been leading the second units. Without them, the Pelicans DO NOT win the Kings game. This coaching staff has some interesting decisions to make regarding minutes.
Minutes aside, this team isn’t disciplined enough. At this point, they do not have an identity or understand who they should be. It feels like a broken process. I understand that Zion Williamson has to be in shape. I believe he knows it and the team knows it. But having a healthy Zion isn’t an excuse to lose to the Bulls, Rockets, and the Jazz twice.
When fans purchase tickets, they are not guaranteed wins or losses. What should be guaranteed is a level of consistency and effort that should be noticeable from multi-colored seats in the 300 section of the Blender or from the comforts of someone’s home trying to listen to Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels on Broke Boy Bally’s inept streaming operation. In essence, be like Wendy’s. No matter where this team plays, be ready to perform.