New Orleans Pelicans: What is Stan Van Gundy doing with Lonzo Ball?

Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Lonzo Ball didn’t do much for the New Orleans Pelicans against the Utah Jazz but fans should be used to this by now.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Lonzo Ball walks the ball up the floor. He crosses half court and immediately passes to Steven Adams, who hands off to Zion Williamson as Lonzo stands at the 3-point line, waiting for a kick out.

Sound familiar?

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This is exactly how Stan Van Gundy used Lonzo Ball against the Utah Jazz. If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought he was JJ Redick out there, a lights-out shooter whose job is to stand around and watch everyone play.

The offense was completely stagnant, with no movement, no cutters, no anything. Just four guys standing around watching the other guy dribble.

If you’re old enough to have seen “Teen Wolf” then you are familiar with this offense. I half expected Lonzo Ball to be eating an apple in the corner as he watched Brandon Ingram and Zion dribble the ball.

Is this the best Stan Van Gundy can come up with?

New Orleans Pelicans: What is Lonzo Ball’s role?

Look, Lonzo Ball has to take some of the blame for this. He is playing flat, uninspired basketball and looks miserable doing it.

He has to be more aggressive looking for shots inside of the 3-point line, as he did in the 3rd quarter against the Jazz on a nice take to the rim.

The problem was that was his only take, and the rest of the game it looked like the 3-point line was a force field that he could not penetrate.

Stan Van Gundy has to get more motion in the offense when Lonzo has the ball so that he can take advantage of his passing.

Right now, Lonzo Ball is just standing around the perimeter waiting for kick-outs when he should be penetrating, looking for cutters and running the pick-and-roll. Lonzo shot five 3-pointers against the Jazz before he even attempted a two and he missed them all.

By my count, he ran the PnR with Zion Williamson exactly once in the second half, which led to an easy bucket.

The Pelicans’ offense has been terrible of late, mostly because they are playing too much isolation ball with Ingram and not utilizing any of their guards.

If Lonzo Ball is going to be nothing more than a stand around shooter, then he needs to go, as he is not helping this team and they have a guy in JJ Redick who can do it better.

Part of this is on Lonzo, who needs to start playing with some confidence, but part of this is on Stan Van Gundy’s offense, which has no movement, cutters or chance for Lonzo to contribute.

The New Orleans Pelicans’ offense is struggling, partly because Lonzo Ball is struggling. It’s time for SVG to adjust his role and get some motion in his offense to take advantage of his passing.

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