New Orleans Pelicans: It’s time to stop blaming SVG for everything

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans are playing poorly and when that happens everyone wants to blame the coach but it’s time to spread it around.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical about the Stan Van Gundy hiring, as it seemed more about the “name” than the fit.

I will also say that Stan Van Gundy has not done the best job of utilizing his talent, as he has guys playing in unfamiliar roles, particularly Lonzo Ball, who has no idea what he is on this team.

I am also certain that SVG would shoulder most of the blame for his team’s poor start and would admit that there are things he should have done differently.

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But at some point the players have to take some of the blame too. Fans tend to pile on the coach and I must have seen 10,000 versions of the “Stan Van Gundy is trash” tweet last night, but what about the players?

What about David Griffin?

It’s not all about Stan Van Gundy.

New Orleans Pelicans: The players lack effort and urgency

Stan Van Gundy’s job is to strategize how to beat the other team then come up with a game plan but it’s the players who need to execute.

Can SVG make them care?

Can he inject urgency into players that have none? Can he make them give effort?

These are not high school kids, they are professional adult basketball players who shouldn’t have to be “coached” to play hard.

Watching the Pistons out hustle and outplay the New Orleans Pelicans showed that without effort talent and coaching don’t matter.

Kira Lewis Jr. was one of the few Pelicans to show any kind of fire or hustle last night, which is pathetic considering he is a 19-year-old rookie.

SVG should get some of the blame for a poor offense but he can’t be blamed for players who don’t seem to care, that is on them.

The New Orleans Pelicans need to show some pride in the next game, as they’ve been simply outworked in the last three.

New Orleans Pelicans: David Griffin’s roster construction

It’s hard to win in the NBA when you only have 6-7 playable guys on any given night, which is exactly what Stan Van Gundy is up against.

Watching Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart hustle and defend all over the place last night really drove home how poorly David Griffin has drafted and how unbalanced this roster really is.

This isn’t a knock on Kira Lewis Jr., who looks like a player in this league, but why didn’t the Pels try to move up and grab Bey when he fell to 19? His size and shooting are exactly what the Pels are missing on the wing.

Instead the Pels have a bench full of guys who are mostly unplayable and don’t really have a role.

Josh Hart has really been the only consistent contributor off the bench (Kira is getting there) and he is often asked to defend power forwards because the Pels literally do not have a backup at either forward position.

Lonzo Ball is playing on the wing because the Pels don’t have another one other than Brandon Ingram.

Stan Van Gundy is rightfully getting some heat right now, but it’s time to put some of that on players who are not giving effort and a GM that gave his coach a garbage bench.

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