Pelicans Fall To Bulls, Lottery Odds Locked In
New Orleans Pelican fans watched their final home game of the season Tuesday, cheering on a group of players they didn't expect to see in a Pelican uniform at the beginning of the season.
With only 8 healthy players, and half of them not on the team for the season opener, the Pelicans fought hard before falling to the Chicago Bulls 121-116.
New faces like James Ennis and Tim Frazier put up good stat lines for New Orleans, maximizing their minutes in hopes of landing an NBA contract this summer.
"We've got a group of guys who compete hard for 48 minutes and give you everything they've got," said Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry. "We just ran out of gas. That's about it."
Ennis scored a career-high 29, going 5 of 8 from beyond the arc, pulled down 5 boards, dished out 4 assists, adding a steal and block for good measure.
"He was playing against one of the best players in the NBA tonight (Jimmy Butler)...He's done a great job since we got him here," noted Gentry. "He hasn't had one single practice with us. Not one. Everything he's doing he's kind of doing on the fly and we're filling him in."
Ennis was signed out of the D-League two weeks ago. He wasn' the first D-League signing for the injured Pelicans this season. Prior to Ennis, Frazier came from the D-League as well.
The Penn State alum has done a nice job of distributing the ball since joining New Orleans. Monday night, he dished out 11 assists to go with 20 points. He also added 6 rebounds, coming 4 short of a triple-double.
With the loss, the Pelicans are guaranteed to have the 6th worst record in the NBA, giving them the 6th best odds of winning the NBA Draft Lottery, with a 21.5% chance of landing a top 3 pick.
New Orleans (30-51) wrap up their season Wednesday night in Minnesota against the Timberwolves (28-53). Tip-off is set for 7:00.