Lonzo Ball starts a new chapter of his young career with the New Orleans Pelicans and should be in the starting lineup for his new team.
The New Orleans Pelicans acquired Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart alongside a lot of draft capital in exchange for Anthony Davis this summer. That, mixed with the luck that was landing Zion Williamson, has led to a very promising time for the Pelicans.
The Pelicans actually have a situation that has not been present for the team before: the team has fairly good depth. There are some questions to be answered regarding who should start, who should come off the bench and how many minutes each young star should be allocated.
There are young stars, veterans and borderline all-star players. The Pelicans are legitimately talented and to maximize that talent Alvin Gentry is going to have to make the right decisions.
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One of those decisions is who is going to start in the backcourt. The Pelicans have four talented guards in Ball, Hart, Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick. Holiday is the one virtual lock, as he is the borderline all-star mentioned and is a key component to this team.
Holiday is a point guard, though, which gives the Pelicans options. The team can start the veteran in Redick, can go with a two point guard backcourt with Ball or could completely roll the dice (although very unlikely) with Josh Hart.
As good as Redick is, Ball deserves the starting nod.
Having two point guards in the backcourt is not a problem for the Pelicans. Holiday is more of a scoring guard and while he can be a good facilitator, he is not the natural facilitator that Ball is. With Ball not being a prolific scorer himself, they fit together.
The Pelicans need that natural facilitator in their starting lineup considering who else is on the team. Ball is going to be surrounded by scorers and having him be the motor that drives the pace is huge for the team.
Whether it is the extremely fun idea of pick and rolls with Zion, the reliable pick and roll machine that is Derrick Favors or hitting Ingram or Holiday for three, Ball has so many outlets to truly blossom into an elite passing guard.
Plus, with Ball’s size and defense, the Pelicans could have one of the best defensive backcourts in the league, something that would not happen with Redick.
This actually helps Redick as well as it gives him the chance to come off the bench and be one fo the best sixth men in the league. We all know how good he is as a shooter and having that sharpshooter veteran off the bench is a recipe for success.
As he gets in the latter stages in his career it is important to knock some minutes off his workload to keep him fresh and efficient.
And that is where Hart is so crucial. He may not be a starter, but his versatility as a combo guard makes him a perfect fit alongside Redick off the bench as the second unit’s point guard.
People may be sleeping on Lonzo Ball but he is going to end up being extremely efficient as a starter for the New Orleans Pelicans this season.