New Orleans Pelicans: This move by Willie Green was baffling

New Orleans Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr. (Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr. (Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans were dismantled by the Dallas Mavericks last night but for some reason I felt like watching the replay today anyway.

I’ve been happy with coach Willie Green so far and think he has this team playing with more passion and heart than the past, which is part of what he was brought to New Orleans to do.

The wins will start coming when the team is at full strength but we’ve seen some promising signs, at least before they were blown out last night.

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There wasn’t any one coaching decision or substitution that would have changed the outcome of a game where Dallas shot nearly 70 percent as a team, but there was one move that baffled me.

Why is Tomas Satoransky in the New Orleans Pelicans rotation?

Late in the first quarter, Kira Lewis Jr. entered the game and immediately hit a couple of shots, a long 3-pointer as the shot clock wound down and a nice baseline take for a reverse layup.

The New Orleans Pelicans were already getting routed but it was nice to see Kira more aggressive. However, after just four minutes, he was yanked from the game in favor of Tomas Satoransky, who has been flat-out awful this season, is 30-years-old and is not part of the long-term plans. Lewis hasn’t been much better but at least there is some upside to playing him.

Satoransky promptly turned the ball over after refusing to shoot a 3-point shot and then got trucked on defense on the very next play for a Mavs’ layup. Dallas continued to lay waste to the Pelicans’ defense and the game was pretty much over by the middle of the second quarter.

I just don’t get the Satoransky minutes at this point. He’s having his worst season in every measurable category, won’t even take a 3-point shot when he’s open and spent most of his 15 minutes last night standing in the corner unguarded, a complete non-threat in the offense.

I get that the Pels were shorthanded with Josh Hart out but pulling Lewis after he had made a few shots just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not like Satoransky is playing well enough to earn minutes either, so why not play the young guy?

Satoransky is playing more minutes than Kira Lewis Jr. this season and I just don’t get it.

The Pelicans are trying to cling onto hopes of salvaging their season, but if they don’t get minutes for their young guys they are at risk of blowing any value this season might have.

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