The New Orleans Pelicans are going to look very different this season, at least offensively, with Alvin Gentry as the head coach. This means Anthony Davis maybe developing a three-point shot, but also the team’s franchise player getting some minutes at center.
Besides spacing and ball movement, the key is going to be the pace in which this offense plays. The Pelicans under Monty Williams ranked 27th in the league in pace at 93.7, while the Golden State Warriors, with Gentry as the team’s “offensive coordinator”, led the league with 100.7. Obviously, there’s more to it than just what the coach asks, and that’s the difference in player quality, but there’s no doubt the Pelicans will attempt to play a different brand of basketball than we’ve all gotten used to.
While Andrew Bogut played a key part in the Warriors having a historic regular season, his role was diminished in the playoffs, becoming almost non existent in the finals, which worked quite well. This may mean a very different season for Omer Asik, who is a fantastic rebounder, but nothing much else. He’s a good defender most of the time. In Gentry’s system, he’s going to have to run a lot more than before, and if he doesn’t fit in with the speed and pace, he’s not going to see a lot of court time.
We’ll just try different combinations of players. One of the things we’ll do is experiment a little bit with A.D. as a five-man. I think this is the time of year where you really got to find out the combination of guys you can play and the chemistry and how they fit together.
Last season, Davis played only 3% of the time (PBR) as a center. We’re not going to see that number surge like it did in the 2013-2014 season, but with a new look comes a new role for Davis, who is strong in the running to win the MVP for the first time in his career, but it’s probably going to take some adjusting from him in order to fill comfortable in the role Gentry is designing for him.