Stan Van Gundy was not a contented camper after the Pelicans’ loss to the Knicks on Sunday — and that is placing it mildly.
With 7.8 seconds remaining in regulation, New Orleans held a three-point lead over New York, so Van Gundy instructed his crew to foul with a purpose to shut down any alternative for the Knicks to tie the sport. Instead, the Pelicans had an entire psychological breakdown.
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Eric Bledsoe didn’t foul Derrick Rose as he drove into the paint, and Lonzo Ball helped off Reggie Bullock, a profession 38.8 % 3-point shooter. Rose hit Bullock within the nook for an excellent look, and Bullock drained the triple.
“Today, with 7.8 seconds left, high school guys would’ve done what they’re supposed to do.”
Stan Van Gundy on the Pels defensive mistake that despatched the sport to OT ? pic.twitter.com/WBDhaEjooY
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 18, 2021
Ball discovered Bledsoe on the following possession for a possible buzzer-beater, however Rose partially blocked Bledsoe’s shot, sending the sport to time beyond regulation. The Knicks then outscored the Pelicans 19-9 within the further body on their technique to a 122-112 victory.
Van Gundy could not conceal his frustration with the poor late-game execution during his postgame media availability, saying New Orleans “deserved to lose.”
“I thought we fought hard. We were right there, and all you’ve got to do is execute for 7.8 seconds,” Van Gundy stated. “You’re just supposed to come out of the timeout, do what we’re supposed to do and put the game away, and we don’t do it.”
Bledsoe admitted that he ought to have fouled Rose however did not due to a “lack of focus.” Van Gundy indicated that focus to element has been an ongoing drawback for this group.
“We’re good enough to compete with people, but we don’t do the things at the end of games it takes to win,” Van Gundy stated. “Part of that’s a learning experience, but today, no excuse whatsoever today. None. None. I don’t care if you’re a senior in high school. You can execute what we were supposed to be doing with 7.8 seconds to go. So, no excuse whatsoever.”
Van Gundy added that he wished the Pelicans to deal with the state of affairs the identical method they did earlier this season towards the Celtics. In that contest, New Orleans equally held a three-point benefit with lower than 10 seconds on the clock. Josh Hart fouled Jayson Tatum as quickly as he dribbled the ball, and Tatum went on to overlook two free throws. The Pelicans gained 120-115.
“Making plays is one thing. That’s not easy to do against good defense. It’s not,” Van Gundy stated. “So that’s one thing, and I take responsibility for a lot of that when I don’t think I find the right stuff for us to do. . . . Today, [it was] simple. High school guys could have executed down the stretch. The 7.8 seconds, high school guys could have done what they were supposed to do.”
The Pelicans dropped to 25-32 with the loss. They at the moment are three video games again of the Spurs for the ultimate spot within the Western Conference play-in event.