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March 13, 2015 Updates

“He’s a sticker. He can shoot,” said point guard Norris Cole, who made his Pelicans debut in that game, facing his ex-team. “Everyone in the league knows the scouting report: Close out on him. And even if you close out on him, he can still make it. He’s a prolific shooter. Obviously he works on it a lot.” That too has been critical to Gordon’s improvement. Though he suffered more bad luck Nov. 22 when a right shoulder injury at Utah caused him to miss 21 games, his lower body has been fine all season, providing the basis for a career shooting year. “What helps is he’s getting the reps up, because he’s healthy now,” Vinson said. “He’s more apt to be in the gym getting up extra shots, as opposed to being in the training room, trying to protect his body and prepare himself to be able to play. Now that he’s healthy, he can get out on the court early before shootaround, or get extra shots in after practice. He’s able to say, ‘OK, I feel good, I can get those extra shots up.’ His health has been huge.” NBA.com

March 11, 2015 Updates

Anthony Davis left the Team USA experience poised for a breakout campaign and hasn’t disappointed. He has posted the second-highest player efficiency rating in NBA history. He is also a dark horse MVP candidate with the New Orleans Pelicans sitting a half-game out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference. “It definitely built my confidence. Playing the way I played, playing a part in helping that win,” said Davis, the leading all-star vote getter among West big men. I feel like I got better, I learned from all of them elite players, great coaches. I built my knowledge of the game of basketball. All the stuff we learned, I took all of that knowledge and tried to do the same thing to lead this team to have a better season.” Washington Post

March 10, 2015 Updates
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March 3, 2015 Updates

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived center Justin Hamilton, who was acquired on February 19 along with guard Norris Cole and forward Shawne Williams as part of a three-team trade with Phoenix. NBA.com

Some early names circulating on the front-office grapevine include Michael Malone, who was fired earlier this season in Sacramento. Malone was the lead assistant under Monty Williams in New Orleans when Connelly was there. Bryan Gates, a highly regarded assistant in New Orleans, would be an interesting candidate in the Dave Joerger mold -- having won a D-League championship and four coach-of-the-year awards in the minors before paying his dues as an NBA assistant. CBSSports.com

But given Denver's history over underpaying coaches and front-office executives, the search may veer in the direction of the up-and-coming as opposed to established names. That would favor a candidate like Bryan Gates, or Boston assistant Jay Larranaga, coach of the Irish national team, league sources say. CBSSports.com

February 28, 2015 Updates
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February 24, 2015 Updates

A recent story published in ESPN the Magazine listed the Pelicans as one of five teams in the NBA skeptical over the usage of analytics data to help determine personnel moves and other player-performance decisions. When Pelicans general manager Dell Demps was asked on Tuesday if those assertions were true, he disagreed. ''It is completely inaccurate to suggest that the Pelicans are skeptics and do not value analytic data,'' Demps said. ''We study and analyze the data using advanced metrics before we make any decisions. ''Just because we do not publicly broadcast how we use analytics, I do feel it is important to let the Pelicans fans know that the use of analytics is an important part of our decision-making process.'' New Orleans Times-Picayune

Brose Baskets Bamberg announced the signing of Darius Miller. Miller has played 5 games with the Pelicans this season averaging 0.4 points. Sportando

Relative to most teams in the "skeptics" tier, the Pelicans have invested heavily in analytics. Director of basketball operations Shane Kupperman manages the department, which added former Houston Rockets intern Somak Sarkar last season and also has made use of outside consultants. Still, it's challenging to find examples of how analytics have penetrated New Orleans' decision-making, and sources confirm that GM Dell Demps and coach Monty Williams are not engaged in incorporating advanced stats. ESPN.com

 

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