New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy didn't hold back after his team lost to the New York Knicks, saying they deserved to lose after messing two plays at the end of regulation. The Pelicans were up by three with 7.8 seconds left to go in regulation and the instructions from the bench were to follow whoever receives the ball from the Knicks.
That didn't happen and Knicks guard Reggie Bullock knocked down a three to send the game into an overtime, which the Knicks won 122-112. "We screwed up that entire play. It wasn't just [Ball]," Van Gundy said, per ESPN.
"There were two mistakes on that play. They know what they are. We deserved to lose. When you do that, you deserve to lose. It's not like somebody threw in a tough one. We deserved to lose."
A 'frustrating' loss for the Pelicans
"Today was really frustrating because I thought our guys played really, really hard," Van Gundy said.
"I really did. I thought we fought hard. We were right there. And all you gotta do is execute for 7.8 seconds. You're just supposed to come out of the timeout, do what we're supposed to, put the game away, and we don't do it."
He added: "Our lack of concentration coming out of timeouts both offensively and defensively to do and execute what we're supposed to do is not good enough. We're good enough to compete with people but we don't do the things that it takes at the end of games to win.
Part of that's the 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.
No excuse whatsoever." Zion Williamson, who scored a game-high 34 points, hopes his team will learn from this defeat. "The message was received but it's one of those things where you gotta be focused," Williamson said.
"Even when you leave the timeout, you gotta be focused to know that once the person puts the ball on the floor to get the quick foul. ... We fought back, we were down a lot, we fought back into the game. "I think it was one of those things where everybody was playing hard.
Nobody wasn't playing hard. Everybody was playing hard. You just gotta concentrate and be focused on the exact thing to do."