Of course a matchup between the Suns and Pelicans, two teams heavily committed to the tank at this point of the season would have an all time classic tank job of an ending. Listen we’ve known for a while that the Pelicans are in this not giving a fuck mindset since AD demanded a trade and their season effectively ended, but even I have to tip my cap to such a commitment to losing. This loss now gave them 6 straight and has them right on the heels of a tanking position as high as 6th and it looks like things are going to get even better for them as the Mavs won tonight as well. But let’s relive this beautiful display of futility a little more closely.
The Pelicans took a lead with around 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter, things go back and forth for a few minutes before Julius Randle put them ahead with about 23 seconds left
Alright not bad! All you have to do now is get a stop and you get the win you definitely didn’t want but ultimately end up with. But wait! Not when you can let Devin Booker get into the paint and tie it up!
OK fine, they’ll just lose it in OT no big deal. You gave the fans some excitement, Elfrid Payton had his 4th straight triple double, but there’s no way they go on to win this game in OT, there’s tanking to be had. That’s when things got really wonky. Anyone with a brain knows that up 3 with 12 seconds left if you were actually trying to win you take a foul there. Don’t even give PHX a chance to tie it. Day 1 stuff really. I can understand Alvin Gentry just saying screw it and seeing what happens, at this point what’s the difference. But then once PHX makes that prayer three, the Pelicans took it up a notch and pulled a Chris Webber by calling that timeout they very obviously didn’t have. Maybe that was their way of paying respect to the tournament or something. I don’t really know how you make that mistake unless you want to lose on purpose. Just laughing at Adam Silver right in his anti-tanking face.
At the end of the day it’s no big deal for everyone involved. Even with the win the Suns are still in a top 3 tank position and as I said this loss has NO in prime position for a 6th spot. They have the second longest active tanking streak behind the Knicks who are at 8 straight losses, and as someone who appreciates a good tank I have to commend their efforts tonight.
Someone make sure to get Alvin Gentry a few beers before his postgame press conference, he’s going to need em.