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Warriors and Pelicans an all-time duo of Christmas-schedule duds

Warriors and Pelicans will each play on Christmas

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 17: Willie Cauley-Stein #2 of the Golden State Warriors and Nickeil Alexander-Walker #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans on November 17, 2019 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Warriors lost five of their first six games.

“We sucked, and we’re still not very good,” Draymond Green said.

And that was after the win!

That victory came over the Pelicans, another stumbling team. The setback was New Orleans’ fourth straight loss to open the season.

Neither team has gotten on track. Stephen Curry got hurt, and Zion Williamson still hasn’t returned.

Yet, both the Warriors (7-24) and Pelicans (8-23) will play on Christmas – weights on an otherwise stellar slate.

The last time a team so bad got a Christmas game? The 5-24 Lakers in 2014.

This is just the fourth time in NBA history multiple teams with Christmas games had records so bad. The other three:

  • 1979: Utah Jazz (9-26), Detroit Pistons (9-26)
  • 1952: Philadelphia Warriors (5-22), Baltimore Bullets (5-18)
  • 1949: Denver Nuggets (3-24), Waterloo Hawks (6-19)

Golden State and New Orleans particularly stand out, because the other eight teams playing tomorrow all have excellent records: Bucks (27-4), Lakers (24-6), Celtics (20-7), Nuggets (21-8), Rockets (21-9), Raptors (21-9), Clippers (22-10) and 76ers (22-10).

Scheduling Golden State and New Orleans for Christmas, the NBA’s premier regular-season date, was logical in theory. This wasn’t a case of the league practically asking for a cellar dweller by scheduling the Knicks.

The Warriors essentially had to be included. They made the last five NBA Finals, returned Curry and Draymond Green and added another reigning All-Star in D’Angelo Russell.

The No. 1 pick after a highly productive and highlight-filled season at Duke, Williamson made the Pelicans an instant draw. New Orleans also added enough veterans to have a shot at competitiveness.

It just hasn’t worked out for either team.

That’s not to say the the Warriors (vs. Houston) and Pelicans (at Denver) can’t win tomorrow. It’s the NBA regular season. Effort levels vary.

But Golden State and New Orleans definitely aren’t having seasons becoming of teams that earned a Christmas game.