While the New Orleans Pelicans have a bright future due to the sheer talent that an Anthony Davis-DeMarcus Cousins combination brings to the table, they still have plenty of work cut out for them. Even since acquiring Cousins via a blockbuster trade with the Sacramento Kings, the Pelicans haven’t looked as sharp as expected.
Even after the trade, many thought they had a legit shot at that eighth seed and sneaking into the postseason but instead, they currently sit five whole games out of that spot. It’s unfair to say that the Cousins-Davis combo has been a flop as they don’t even have an offseason working together yet and when two great talents such as them join forces, they typically find a way to mesh once they get comfortable with each other. That being said, a lot of the blame has been placed on head coach Alvin Gentry.
Throughout his coaching tenure, Alvin Gentry has always been a solid coach but hasn’t been able to push a team to the next level. Now with New Orleans, we see that he’s struggling to turn his squad into a playoff contender, something that is a fair goal considering the amount of talent the Pels currently roster. With only 15 games remaining, Gentry has a small window to prove that he’s the man for the job moving forward in New Orleans. In fact, the remainder of the season is going to be used to determine whether Gentry has a future as the Pelicans head coach or if they decide to go in a different direction. Following from Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
In the larger sense, though, this might be a crucial week for Gentry’s tenure in New Orleans. A league source told Sporting News that though no definite decision has been made on the future of the tandem of Gentry and general manager Dell Demps with the Pelicans, failure to secure that playoff spot (which has been all but lost) or at least to show “significant progress with this roster as it stands” likely will move the Pelicans to oust Gentry. Demps is more likely to stay, but that’s not a certainty, either.
“There’s some feeling in the front office the record being what it is, the writing is on the wall,” the source said. “Might as well make a change in April and start searching. But is that really fair? Can’t you give Dell an offseason to get some shooters, give Alvin some time to remake the offense? They’ve at least got to give this playoff spot a run and that might buy more time. That’s sort of where it stands.”
Though the Pelicans may think moving forward without Alvin Gentry at the helm would be beneficial to their team’s success, he hasn’t had an opportunity to coach a fully healthy squad. Trying to incorporate a talent like Boogie mid-season is also a daunting task on its own, one Gentry is still getting a grasp on.
If New Orleans were able to surround the two bigs with shooters, this team could make some serious noise next season. However, with the status of Jrue Holiday’s future still cloudy with him scheduled to hit free agency this summer, the team’s leadership could look very different next season if Holiday and Gentry both depart this offseason.
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