I guess it was inevitable that during a year where one team is trying to win 73 games and another still has single-digit losses into March that there would be some disappointing teams. After all, if two teams are beating everyone badly then those losses have to go somewhere. Or plenty of places, actually.
Despite what ESPN and various media outlets would have you believe, the Rockets are not the only disappointing team this season. Houston is just the only team that had title aspirations. But there are plenty of clubs that are pissed at their lot in the 2015-16 season. The Bulls, Bucks, and Wizards are all outside the playoff picture in the East. There were quite a few teams that didn't make the playoffs last season that expected to make a serious push this season. Almost all of them will be disappointed.
And that brings us to the Rockets and Pelicans. For years, the 8 seed in the West has been a gateway to contention. The Thunder had to scrape to be the 8 seed before moving up to the 1 seed and making the Finals. The Rockets went from 8 to 4 to 2 (and a Western Conference Finals berth). But the Pelicans, barring some dramatics, will be left out of the playoffs entirely after grabbing the 8 seed last year. New coaches don't always solve the problem (as Rockets fans well know), but Alvin Gentry was brought in to take the Pels to the next level. Anthony Davis was supposed to submit his MVP season. I'm not enjoying others' struggles, but it is nice to see that other teams have been dumpster fires as well. Of course, none are on the level of the Rockets, but still.
After tonight, Houston will only have two games left against the Southwest Division (home against Memphis and at Dallas).
Tip-off is at 7pm CST.
Pelicans vs Rockets coverage