New Orleans Pelicans: Best defensive lineup when the team needs a stop

Coach Willie Green of the New Orleans Pelicans has made it clear that having a top defense is a priority.

Last year in training camp, he laid down his three non-negotiable rules, which basically revolved around hustling, giving maximum effort on defense and sharing the ball.

He backed that up with action, as players like Trey Murphy III didn’t start getting real minutes in the rotation until they showed consistent effort on the defensive end.

With a roster loaded with guys competing for minutes, effort on the defensive end will be the difference between guys who get minutes and ones who don’t.

We looked at the best offensive lineup the New Orleans Pelicans can run out, but what about defense? What group will coach Green turn to when he needs a stop or wants to change the momentum of the game with defense?

New Orleans Pelicans: Best defensive lineup comes from the bench

The Pelicans have a number of very good individual defenders who also work well in a team scheme, but their best defensive group will mostly come from the bench.

This is a bench mob that coach Green will deploy when he needs a stop in the half court or wants to speed up the pace of the game with defense:

  • Jose Alvarado
  • Dyson Daniels
  • Trey Murphy III
  • Herbert Jones
  • Larry Nance Jr.

There isn’t a ton of offense in this group, but what they lack in shooting they will make up for with steals, deflections and points in transition.

Any best defensive group has to include both Jose Alvarado and Herbert Jones, as they are the Pels’ best two defenders, and guys you know are going to lock down their opponent.

Herb Jones is really the key to any defensive lineup, as his ability to guard any position on the floor gives the Pelicans a lot of options around him.

This lineup gives the Pelicans a ball pest in Alvarado and four guys who can switch all over the perimeter in the post. Having long defenders like Jones, Murphy III and rookie Dyson Daniels on the floor at the same time gives the Pels maximum switch-ability.

This won’t be a lineup coach Green can stay with for a long time, as they just don’t have the offensive firepower, but the idea of Herb, Jose, TMIII and Daniels terrorizing opponents on defense is pretty appealing.

This is a group coach Green will go to when he needs to throw the other team off, stop a run or just wants to give a completely different look that most teams will not be ready for.

Coach Green is going to have a lot of options at his disposal, including going with this mostly bench group that will need a nickname at some point next season.