Earlier today, Head coach Monty Williams joined the Black and Blue Report to talk about USA basketball, the New Orleans Pelicans, and their off-season. Williams made many interesting comments during the interview, which included talking about his teams Summer League play, and also describing Russ Smith as a “Renegade.”
“…Russ is a bit of a renegade. You know, there are times when he looks like, you know, nobody can stop him from getting to the paint. There are times when he can score the ball. He pressures the ball, like not many guys can do in the NBA. Then there are times when he makes mistakes, where you know if you just showed him the importance of the ball, the value of the ball, he might not have a couple of the turnovers he had.”
The most intriguing thing about his comments on Russ Smith was that he seemed to be very happy with the way he played defense during Summer League. Monty referred to the pressure that Russ puts on the ball as something, “…not many guys can do in the NBA.” While no one expected the Pelicans to go after Russ Smith, the pick, and Monty’s confidence in his defense seems to show their focus on an off-season task of getting better on the defensive end of the floor.
Monty Williams also talked on the issue of Omer Asik, and the value the Pelicans see in him.
“Omer is just a guy that we’ve coveted here for a while. You know, I liked him in Chicago. I didn’t even know who he was, because I didn’t check out the Europe scene. You know the oversea’s basketball like our scouts do, a lot of other people do because I’m so focused on the season, and yet the first time I saw him in Chicago, I was like, “Wow. This guy is, he’s a defensive minded big.” The first thing you notice about him is that he is BIG, I mean, he is a man. He’s put together, and I just like his attitude, and our conversation on the phone, and different things he’s said about our team, and my coaching style. I’ve liked all of it.”
It’s clearly apparent from his interview that Monty loves Omer Asik and what he brings to the table for the Pelicans. As it is with Russ Smith, Monty seemed very confident in the interview that Omer was going to help them elevate their game on the defensive end of the floor, an area the team struggled mightily in last season.
If you’re interested in checking out the rest of the interview, you can view it here.