‘Til Failure

NEW ORLEANS – I’ve been working out for the last couple of years. I’ve been doing a lot of research on what’s the most effective way to grow muscle and drop body fat. After hundreds of hours of working out and watching Instagram and Youtube videos while reading statistics about heart rate zones, tempo, proper technique, etc. The one consistent verbiage used is “until failure”.

Tonight, the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers run it back for the 5th time this season. The Lakers have a 3-1 lead in this season’s series, and this meeting has different circumstances and repercussions. If the 7th seeded Pelicans beat the 8th seeded Lakers, the Pelicans will solidify their 7th position in the Western Conference playoffs to face the 2nd seeded defending NBA champion, Denver Nuggets.

But, if the Pelicans were to lose to the Lakers, they will have to face the winner of the Warriors -Kings matchup for the 8th position to go on to face the number 1 seed, Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Pelicans faced a crushing 124-108 defeat to the Lakers on Sunday at home. If the Pelicans would have won Sunday, they would be the 6th seed facing the 3rd seeded Minnesota Timberwolves. The team let a prime opportunity slip away. Although, this isn’t the first time this team has been put itself in position to respond.

Earlier in the season, the bayou birds were at an impasse, a fork in the road. They suffered, ironically, an embarrassing loss to Lebron James and the Lakers during the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament. The loss led to national backlash against the organization, the players, and the city’s inability to produce a consistent basketball product. Zion Williamson took the brunt of the criticism from national pundits speaking about his weight and conditioning or lack thereof. This was also followed by a players only meeting to redirect to trajectory of the team.

In the ensuing months, the team responded and so did Zion. As a couple of months ago, the team ranked as high as 4th in the Western Conference, winning 49 games this season, and the media coverage around Zion started to change.

Periodically, this team needed to fail to get better. Throughout this season, they have embraced tough losses to teams, and the next time the Pelicans have played them, they responded with a win. On December 23, the Pelicans endured an embarrassing loss to the Houston Rockets. The next two times they played, the Pelicans poetically waxed the Rockets by an average of 16 points. The Jazz doubled up on the Pelicans back in November, and the Pelicans responded with multiple wins against the Jazz with one game recording a season high total in points (153).

We can add numerous other teams that follow this same pattern like the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, and Phoenix Suns. The Pelicans have shown their ability to respond.

Pelicans’ commentator – Antonio Daniels consistently speaks about the resiliency of this team and their ability to respond to adversity. Here’s another opportunity for the Pelicans to respond to adversity. Here’s another opportunity to prove your resiliency. In the past, this team has already gone ’til failure. Here’s another opportunity to prove you’re stronger because of it.

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