Alvin Gentry Ready to Lead Pelicans Playoff Run


“Why can’t we be the Golden State of next year?”

Alvin Gentry was formally introduced as the new head coach of the Pelicans Monday morning, and he wasted no time getting fans excited for next season.

I did not think a man leaving one of the best teams in recent memory could be so pumped up for the next step in his journey. But Gentry’s enthusiasm made his message clear: He is not done winning.

Fresh off of a spectacular season and an NBA title, Gentry is already looking forward to finding similar success in New Orleans:

"“Why can’t this be our time?  I would like nothing more for us as Pelicans to have a parade right down Canal Street and enjoy it, too. That’s our goal here.”"

The Pelicans would not be the only ones enjoying a victory parade. I did not have a firm position on whether or not Monty Williams should have been fired at the end of this past season.

From what I have seen and heard from Gentry so far, all of my doubts have been erased. The guy had the Pels on his mind while celebrating his championship!

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Gentry seems to have already developed a great rapport with Anthony Davis, showering him with praise at any free moment. Many have started to claim that Davis is the NBA’s best player not named LeBron James, Gentry included.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry is in that conversation as well, though if Gentry has as much success constructing an offense around Davis as he did with Curry this past season, Davis will no doubt be cemented among the leagues top two players, maybe even claiming the first spot for himself.

Davis has surprised pretty much everybody with his rapid offensive development over the first three seasons of his career. His mid range jump shot quickly turned from a weakness to a weapon this past year.

This summer, Gentry wants to help AD extend his shooting range beyond the three point arc.

Apr 15, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) against the San Antonio Spurs during a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Spurs 108-103 and earned the 8th seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Gentry told Davis, “I want you to continue to work and expand your range. You should be a good corner three-point shooter.”

Even if he does not become a sharpshooter from downtown, just having that kind of range in your arsenal will be enough to strike even more fear into his already worried opponents.

Though Gentry hopes to be the one that takes this young Pelicans team all the way, he knows all of the credit will not fall into his lap. He went out of his way to compliment the competitiveness Monty Williams instilled in his players during his five years as coach:

“The one thing he did, and it’s going to make it easier for all of us as coaches, is he established a culture here of competitiveness, of competing every single night.”

The Pels have plenty of talent to work with this coming season, though most of it will be the same as last year.

Barring any big moves over the next couple months, Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson will all be returning to New Orleans.

The “Finishing Five” has now been together for two seasons, yet they still have so little to show for it.

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Injuries to Gordon, Holiday and Anderson last season greatly diminished any possible on court chemistry that could have been developed.

Though they might not necessarily be on the court all at once most of the time, having all of these weapons available will be vital to any success New Orleans has going forward.

Alvin Gentry cannot teach health, so he will just have to get lucky.

The Warriors remained miraculously intact throughout the course of an entire season plus a lengthy championship run. Gentry has definitely talked the talk during his first week in New Orleans.

In Junes to come, there would be no greater pleasure than seeing him walk the walk: right down Canal Street…..

Next: Why The Pelicans Will Get 6 More Years of Anthony Davis