New Orleans Pelicans’ coach Alvin Gentry is taking criticism.
The day after the New Orleans Pelicans fell to the Utah Jazz 106-104, there was a lot to say about the game.
There was the slow start to the 1st and 3rd quarters, giving up a 16 point lead, the lack of effort in the paint offensively AND defensively, and the unfortunate elephant in the room: Zion Williamson‘s odd minutes restriction.
Before the season shutdown, Zion’s restrictions made plenty of sense. He was coming off meniscus surgery and needed time to heal and also get ready to start his NBA career.
Seeing big men have knee issues isn’t new, Joel Embiid missed plenty of time for the Philadelphia 76ers due to multiple leg issues and is finally showing us what we missed.
New Orleans didn’t want to take any risk by rushing Zion back, so the early restrictions were justified. But now, four months later, Alvin Gentry and the coaching staff are still holding back Williamson in the most important eight games of this strange season.
Fox Sports One’s Colin Cowherd noticed and took exception:
New Orleans Pelicans: Cowherd criticizes Gentry’s “Parenting.”
Cowherd’s second segment was over Gentry’s ‘Bulldoze Parenting’ of Williamson and how it was a poor move to make in a game the Pelicans gave away to the Jazz:
“Zion was on a minutes restriction, this is ‘Bulldoze Parenting'” said Cowherd, continuing with “You’re not in the playoffs, you have to win these games. You had the game. Zion wasn’t even on the floor at the end. Put him in for two minutes! He’s not dealing with concussion protocol, he isn’t coming off Tommy John surgery. Put him in the game.”
Cowherd then called Alvin Gentry’s protection of Williamson disgusting, which seems pretty dramatic.
Never shying away from an issue, Cowherd’s criticism of Coach Gentry has been echoed a lot by fans and writers alike. Thirteen points in 15 minutes isn’t bad and having him on the floor could have been the deciding shift in the game.
Even if Zion was on restrictions, Gentry could have picked better spots to use him, as he only played in the beginnings of quarters and was on the bench when the game was on the line.
The Pelicans can’t afford to drop another game in the NBA Bubble if they want to jump Memphis for the 8th seed or make the play-in series if they make the nine seed.
Taking on a Clippers team trying to gel without Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell will still be a tough challenge.
The writing isn’t on the wall yet but if the team drops Saturday’s game, it’s going to be difficult for the New Orleans Pelicans to get to the playoffs.