It appears as though Willie Green will soon be announced as the next head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Willie Green looks like the right choice for a number of reasons, namely that he is young, known for building relationships with players and has a strong history of winning as a coach.
Green was not only a former player in New Orleans, but has also worked as an assistant coach for former Pels’ head coach Monty Williams, who has the Suns as the surprise team in the Finals.
But Green has other positives in his history that should position him to have success with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Pelicans: Willie Green coaches defense
One of the most intriguing parts of Willie Green as a head coach is his ability to teach defense. He is the assistant in charge of defense for the Phoenix Suns, who had the 6th-best defensive rating in the NBA, compared to the Pelicans who were 23rd in the league.
The Suns were just 17th in defense before Green took over, and the Pelicans are hoping he can do the same in New Orleans, where defense has been a major issue over the last two seasons.
Of course, everyone said the same of Stan Van Gundy, who was able to wring some improvement out of his young team, but not enough to get them over the hump and into the playoffs.
Hopefully Green can be the guy to finally get this team to buy in on the defensive end.
Pelicans: Willie Green and point guards
Willie Green is only 39-years-old, so it wasn’t that long ago that he was playing in the NBA himself, something that should help him communicate with his young guys.
I am particularly excited about his work with point guards, as Green has played with and coached some of the best in the game.
He was a teammate of Chris Paul and is now coaching him, and Green gets Paul’s full endorsement:
Green also won two titles as an assistant coach for Golden State, where he coached Stephen Curry, another all-time great at point guard.
Being around these smart and dedicated players surely gave Green some insight into what it takes to succeed at the position, something he can hopefully impart on Lonzo Ball, or whoever ends up running the point for the Pelicans.
Just being around Chris Paul is like getting a master’s degree in being a point guard, so Green should have plenty to bring to the table at the guard position.
Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans should be excited about Willie Green when he is finally officially hired, as he has the background in defense and point guards that should be just what the Pelicans need.