The New Orleans Pelicans’ offseason is quickly approaching and the boys at Pelican Debrief are here to answer five crucial questions the club will face.
1) Sporting News recently reported that Alvin Gentry’s job is in jeopardy, and will need to improve the team dramatically in order to remain as the New Orleans Pelicans’ Head Coach. Do you believe Gentry’s job is in jeopardy, and if so, what will it take for him to keep it?
Brian Wilson (@Ekubum):
I do believe his job is in jeopardy IF they plan to keep Cousins. If we assume they are planning to keep Cousins then they will need to find a coach that runs a system that makes sense for the Davis and Cousins combination. It isn’t about blaming Gentry, it’s as simple as style.
Tyler Pearson (@_Kamarr_):
No, I don’t believe his job is in jeopardy. In order to acquire Boogie Cousins, the team had to trade two of its best three-point shooters (Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway) and its lead guard (Tyreke Evans) off the bench. Our perimeter depth was depleted which led to to the inevitable low-shooting percentages. And without any actual practice time and Boogie having to adjust to an entire new offense the team’s play suffered significantly. To blame Gentry for the stumbling out of the gate post-all star break is irresponsible.
Wilton Jackson (@WiltonReports):
I don’t believe his job is in jeopardy. When he took over the Pelicans’ franchise, it was understood the amount of work that would be needed to take this team to the next level. Obviously, with Gentry coming from the Golden State Warriors, this was a very different team. However, last year, injuries and health plagues the Pelicans. There was never a set time through the season where everyone was fully healthy, especially with the main key and role players last year. When you play in the Western Conference and your only star player was Anthony Davis, let’s be honest. How much different might the outcome been?
More importantly, the team started off shaky and began to come together in December. But after losing some game with the unexpected trade, which I do think will only continue to get better, will really help Gentry keep his job. The Pelicans’ franchise is young and is a long-term project beyond this season. With AD and Boogie there as the core now, Jordan Crawford playing well, Jrue Holiday playing well and other role players playing well right now, it is only helping Gentry. If the Pelicans can earn the eighth spot in the playoffs and add some additional quality players around the perimeter in the offseason, Gentry’s job security is secured all the way around.
Preston Ellis (@Prestonellis):
Unfortunately yes. As we saw two years previously with Monty Williams, a late season push may not necessarily be enough to earn job security under Dell Demps. Coupled with Demps’ own tepid situation in the front office, his bet bet for his own security may be to replace Gentry and buy himself another year in the office.
Eddie Chan (@EKChan19)
I think there needs to be a question such as this: if Gregg Popovich was coaching this team would the Pelicans be struggling the way they have been this season?
Yes, Popovich is an outstanding coach and some may say “ You can’t compare Popovich to a Gentry.” But the thing is I am not comparing a college coach to an NBA coach. I am comparing two NBA coaches.
I believe much of the Pels problems this season have been due to poor coaching. With the players this team has I honestly believe they should be within top eight.
When I watch other teams, I see the way the ball moves, the pick-and-rolls, and the defensive fortresses some of these teams are executing. I do not see a lot of success from the Pels as there have been a lot of bad shot takes and dribbling into traffic.
Sorry to say it, but it’s time for the Pelicans to move on and find a coach who can take this team back into the playoffs.
Rick Stone (@RickStoneNBA)
Alvin Gentry’s job is in jeopardy, mostly due to the Pelicans needing to win for Anthony Davis. The team has wasted so many years trying different things that the pressure is mounting on them. It also does not help that Gentry’s style of coaching is struggling to translate for the Boogie trade.
Whether he’ll keep his job or not depends on the team’s confidence in him. They have been playing much better in this stretch of ball. The management wants to see clear improvement for him to keep his job. These next few weeks will likely decide his fate.