Mark Medina: Kevin Durant on James Harden’s debut with the Nets: “You could see him try to figure out the best way to play early on. I thought we were all willing to pass and make everybody comfortable.”
March 1, 2021 | 11:44 am EST Update
And while he was brought in by Griffin to serve as a playoff-tested cultural leader, Alvin Gentry’s coaching staff even lobbied the front office to move on from him last season, sources said. There’s now a widespread sense New Orleans is hoping to move Redick to a franchise closer to his family in Brooklyn. “I think they’re just trying to do right by him,” said a league source close to the situation.
At 31, Bledsoe’s own defensive deficiencies make him a suboptimal starting option in the backcourt, and the point guard does not match a Pelicans timeline that features the younger Williamson and Ingram. Moving Bledsoe would also afford more playing time for Nickeil Walker-Alexander and Kira Lewis Jr., two young ball-handlers the front office is said to be particularly bullish on but who have been trapped behind the veteran in Stan Van Gundy’s rotation. “That’s the challenge when you bring in an old-school coach,” said a rival scout.
“If you just let Lonzo be Lonzo and Zion be Zion, they’re gonna team up for 8, 10 points a night,” said one NBA coach. For now, it appears there’s little expectation New Orleans will move Ball before the March 25 trade deadline, sources said.
From roster-building to lineup experimentation, these days in the bayou are rightfully engineered around complementing Zion Williamson and his historic ability to dominate the interior. That is why the Pelicans did not reach rookie-extension agreements with either Lonzo Ball or Josh Hart before the season, sources said. That same calculus played into Brandon Ingram’s extension discussions as well.
The Wolves have been big on talking about developing a winning culture, but it’s hard to do that when there isn’t much evidence of success. “There is some evidence it may work like what happened with Philadelphia, I guess,” Rubio said. ” ‘Trust the process’ when they went like two, three years, really bad and then they started winning. I kind of don’t believe in that kind of system. We have to build good habits from Day One and I don’t think we are in the right way to be honest.”
On a larger level, Rubio said the Wolves aren’t learning from their mistakes. “If you do the same mistake over and over again, it means you’re not learning,” Rubio said. “Learning through mistakes as a young team can happen, but then make different mistakes. I think we’re doing the same mistakes over and over.”
“You look at what Robert Williams does with the Celtics. They don’t really run plays for him,” Hill said. “He goes out there and is a defensive presence. He’s a presence on the boards and makes you change shots. If O can kind of figure out a couple of things like that, that will put him on the floor to have offensive opportunities. “We need someone like that to be an anchor in that second unit, especially with guys like Gallo, myself and Tony (Snell). If he can be that guy who comes in defensively, sets screens and rolls, he can definitely see the floor.”