There have been some changes to teams that lacked success in the NBA bubble. The highest-profile move so far happened today with the Pelicans choosing to relieve Alvin Gentry from his duties. Here is what that means for the Pelicans this summer.
New Orleans Pelicans Moving On From Alvin Gentry
It appears as though the New Orleans Pelicans will begin their search for a new head coach this offseason, after letting Alvin Gentry go earlier today. Adrian Wojnarowski reported via Twitter that the team had dismissed Gentry. In five seasons at the helm, Gentry led the Pelicans to the playoffs only once in the 2017-18 season, losing in the second round to the Golden State Warriors.
Gentry took over the Pelicans head coaching job at the start of the 2015-16 season and had a record of 175-225 during his tenure. During Gentry’s time with the Pelicans, they were always thought of as a team that should have been better than they were. With players like Jrue Holiday and up until recently, Anthony Davis, one playoff appearance in five seasons is underwhelming.
The Pelicans this season were an exciting team to watch, full of youth, and a fast-paced offense. Brandon Ingram emerged as an All-Star, averaging 24 points, six rebounds, and four assists. J.J. Redick was lethal from beyond the arc, shooting 45 percent from three-point range. And Zion Williamson showed flashes of being a top-ten player in the league in limited minutes.
Their offense wasn’t the problem, as mentioned above. For the season they ranked 5th in the NBA in points per game (PPG), but only 12th in defensive rating, allowing an average of 117 points per game to the opposition, which ranked 17th in the league.
Where the New Orleans Pelicans Go From Here
The Pelicans have already begun the process of finding Gentry’s replacement. As Woj and Andrew Lopez of ESPN reported via Twitter, “two names expected to be in the search are Ty Lue and Jason Kidd. Another name to watch – if the Nets don’t retain him – is Brooklyn’s, Jacque Vaughn.”
It will be interesting to see who the Pelicans decide to hire as Gentry’s contemporary. Whoever it is will need to bring more consistency to New Orleans’ play in order to be successful.