The Pelicans‘ Anthony Davis will be fully unleashed under new coach Alvin Gentry, writes Ben Golliver of SI.com. Golliver expects Gentry to bring an up-tempo attack to New Orleans, which had previously been one of the slowest teams in the league. He can foresee Davis thriving in that type of system, taking his athleticism and already impressive stats to new levels.
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Gentry was a safe pick for the Pelicans, according to Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune. Smith writes that Gentry will be agreeable with GM Dell Demps‘ unorthodox method of building a roster, which often involves dealing draft picks for young players with experience. The columnist would have preferred a strong-willed coach like Jeff Van Gundy, who was reportedly a finalist for the position, or Tom Thibodeau, whom the team didn’t pursue. Smith contends that the hiring of Gentry means Demps is more secure than ever in his general manager’s position.
- Trevor Ariza sees a bright future for the Rockets, even after a disappointing performance in the Western Conference Finals, writes Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle. Ariza was brought in as a free agent last summer to improve the team’s defense after Chandler Parsons signed with the Mavericks. Ariza inked a four-year, $32MM deal and is hopeful that Houston can take the next step while he is part of the franchise. “Not every team comes together and wins straight away,” Ariza said. “When you do have that and you do find something that works, you want to continue. You want to build on that. Hopefully for us, we’ll be one of those teams that builds on what we accomplished.”
- Parsons is trying to get former teammate Patrick Beverley to join him in Dallas, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Beverley will be a restricted free agent this summer, just as Parsons was last season, and the former teammates could reunite with the Mavericks. “I hear from Chandler every day,” Beverley said. “It’s hard, but I try not to think about it. I can’t talk about contracts. It’s going to be a fun summer.”