Tag: New Orleans Pelicans

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five

PBT Extra: Who is better positioned as a new coach, Hoiberg or Gentry?


Fred Hoiberg landed in a pretty good spot in the NBA — he’s got Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and more, a quality roster that won 50 games this past season.

But even in the short term, I think Alvin Gentry may be in a better spot.

It’s not just Anthony Davis, although that certainly helps. It’s that Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson missed large chunks of time due to injury but should be healthy next season. Plus just playing faster and focusing on defense — something the Pelicans clearly will try to do — will make them better very quickly. Even in the deep West.

Plus, way better gumbo where Gentry is going.

Report: Pelicans add defensive specialist Darren Erman to Gentry’s staff

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors Summer League Championship Game

UPDATE 9:04 a.m. ET: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that an agreement has been reached.

8:00 a.m. ET: Just hired coach Alvin Gentry is going to improve the New Orleans Pelicans offense — they will play faster and more on Anthony Davis.

But the Pelicans already had the eighth best offense in the NBA (going by offensive rating, meaning points per possession). The problem was their defense was 22nd.

That’s not Gentry’s strong end of the court, so the Pelicans are working to land him a very good, defensive minded lead assistant (one currently working in Boston), reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The New Orleans Pelicans are in advanced negotiations to hire Darren Erman away from the Boston Celtics to serve as a defensive guru under new head coach Alvin Gentry, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Erman, who was quickly snapped up by the Celtics after his controversial ouster in Golden State late in the 2013-14 season, has been targeted by the Pelicans as an ideal addition to an all-new coaching staff because of his defensive expertise to complement Gentry’s offensive creativity.

That controversial ouster was for him surreptitiously record conversations between the teams’ players and coaches. There was some real dysfunction going on in Golden State during the Jackson era.

That in no way changes the fact Erman is a good defensive coach and a bright young basketball mind who would fit well next to Gentry in New Orleans.

Pelicans will play faster, lean on Anthony Davis more under Alvin Gentry


It was one of the most perplexing things about the Pelicans the last couple seasons. When the game would get tight late, one of their guards would walk the ball up the court (allowing the defense to fully get set), then usually pound the ball into the ground with his dribble before trying to create a shot for himself in the final seconds of the clock.

The Pelicans played slow (27th in the league in pace) and went away from Anthony Davis in the fourth quarters of games.

No more.

New head coach Alvin Gentry will change that.

Gentry was the best offensive mind available on the coaching market. The past two seasons he was the lead assistant for Doc Rivers with the Clippers then for Steve Kerr with the Warriors — the two best offenses in the NBA. Gentry had a heavy hand in both.

Gentry’s philosophy is to keep attacking and keep the defense on its heels — which means playing far more up tempo. The Pelicans should have been doing that already. Davis is their best player and runs the floor like a gazelle, the young big will beat his man down the court almost every time and either score or create matchup nightmares to be exploited.

Gentry told Pelicans’ GM Dell Demps and the rest of the New Orleans front office they simply were not using Davis enough, something reported by Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com.

Gentry believes the Pelicans have underutilized Davis’ offensive skills. Not only did he express this during his initial interview with (head of basketball operations Micky) Loomis and Demps, but Gentry also came into that session equipped with charts and graphs to illustrate his point.

By underutilize, he doesn’t just mean more touches, he also means better ones. Davis was too often the safety net for the offense, with his chance coming late in the clock after the guards exhausted options for themselves. Then in the fourth quarter the Pelicans would just stop feeding him the ball at all.

Change that dynamic and combine it with a point guard like Jrue Holiday and a sharpshooter like Ryan Anderson running to the arc and there is great potential. (It should be noted here both of those guys were injured much of last season, just having them back healthy improves this roster.)

My guess is we will see a lot more of Davis as the center, with Anderson at the four, and less of Davis paired with Omer Asik (who will come off the bench). Davis and Holiday can run a devastating pick-and-roll, especially if the floor is spread with shooters. Also, expect Davis to get the ball at the elbow and the offense to run through him more.

The offense is tantalizing, but it is the defensive end where Gentry needs to make the biggest impact. The Pelicans were bottom 10 in defensive rating last season.

He’s not known as a defensive coach, but the last two teams where he was an assistant — Golden State and the L.A. Clippers — were very good on that end. The Pelicans have the personnel to be better, but it will be interesting to see what schemes Gentry puts in place. Don’t be surprised if his lead assistant is a defensive specialist.

For the next couple weeks, Gentry can “relax” and not worry about the challenges of the Pelicans, all he needs to deal with is LeBron James. Gentry will stay with the Warriors through the NBA Finals before jumping on a plane to the land of gumbo.

Gentry was a good hire by the Pelicans, a guy who has both knows the league and is learning new things from elite franchises. Did you really want to see how Tom Thibodeau would grind down Anthony Davis after a few seasons? Gentry landed the best job that will open up this summer in the NBA — with Davis this team has incredible potential for growth.

Now he just has to get them to play faster and get the ball to Davis in the fourth quarter.


Report: Pelicans have agreed to make Alvin Gentry their new head coach

Phoenix Suns v Boston Celtics

The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to make Golden State Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry their next head coach, according to reports from ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ken Berger of CBS Sports.

Gentry had interviewed twice for the position, and was up against stiff competition in Jeff Van Gundy, and perhaps a few others. He is well-qualified, however, and could potentially do wonders offensively with  lineup centered around Anthony Davis, who is arguably (already) one of the game’s top three players.

In addition to holding Steve Kerr’s hand in his first year as an NBA head coach this season, and helping the Warriors explode to become the 67-win juggernaut that made it to the NBA Finals, Gentry was the lead assistant on Doc Rivers’ staff with the Clippers a season ago, and transformed their offense into the league’s most efficient.

Gentry’s time as head coach of the Suns peaked in 2010, when Phoenix took the Lakers to six games in the Western Conference Finals. Gentry is a players’ coach, but one who isn’t afraid to get after his guys on the practice floor in order to achieve the desired results.

This is a solid move by the Pelicans to bring in a veteran of the coaching game, but one who is well-respected around the league and has a recent track record of success.

We discussed Gentry’s fit with the Pelicans and much more on this week’s podcast.

Report: Pelicans have second interview with Alvin Gentry

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five

Tom Thibodeau is available. Jeff Van Gundy wants the job.

But Alvin Gentry is the guy that New Orleans GM Dell Demps has had his eye on. The former NBA head coach and current lead assistant of the Golden State Warriors just got his second interview with the Pelicans (this time with VP Micky Loomis in the room), reports John Reid of the Times-Picayune.

But unlike nine days ago when he was interviewed for the first time in San Francisco, Gentry’s second interview occurred in New Orleans, sources say.

Gentry is the first known candidate to be extended a second interview by the Pelicans. But sources confirm that Jeff Van Gundy is still in the mix, along with Tom Thibodeau and Vinny Del Negro.

Nothing is going to happen imminently here; Gentry is helping the Warriors gameplan for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals right now. Having more than a week off before the start of the Finals allowed Gentry time to get to New Orleans for the interview, but he’ll be busy for the next couple of weeks.

Gentry would be different in style than the recently-fired Monty Williams (and sort of the polar opposite of Thibodeau) — he’s a player’s coach whose specialty is on the offensive end of the court. Gentry is the best offensive mind available on the open coaching market, having helped Steve Kerr put the powerhouse Warriors offense together this season. The season before that he was the right hand to Doc Rivers in Los Angeles and handled that offense, where he led Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to being the most inefficient offense in the NBA. Gentry runs a modern NBA offense with ball-screens, motion, up-tempo play and plenty of three-point shooting to space the floor.

Imagine what he could do to better utilize Anthony Davis (especially with a healthy Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson). That said, the Pelicans had a top 10 offense last season, the problem was their bottom 10 defense. It would be interesting to see if Gentry would bring in a defensive specialist as his lead assistant.

Gentry has more than 700 games as an NBA head coach and a .475 win percentage in them.