Southwest Notes: Gentry, Dekker, Aldridge

While the Pelicans organization believes that former coach Monty Williams did a good job during his tenure with the team, the franchise thinks it can get more out of its current roster with new coach Alvin Gentry at the helm, Rob Mahoney of writes. “It was an organizational decision,” New Orleans GM Dell Demps said. “Monty did a lot of good things for us; I thought that Monty did a great job of establishing a blue-collar approach. I thought our guys played hard. We did feel that we had come to a point where we wanted a change in leadership and our goal is maximizing our team. We wanted to get a coach that was the best fit for our current team in the short term and the long term, and for our organization and our community. We felt Alvin was the ideal choice. His style of play will be a little different than what we’ve done in the past. Our goal is to maximize our group. The West is so tough right now that you have to maximize your team just to compete.

Here’s more out of the Southwest:

  • New Orleans decided to enter the 2015/16 campaign with the majority of its roster returning from a season ago based on the recommendations of the players, Mahoney relays in the same piece. “We felt our group played with a sense of desperation in the latter part of last season,” Demps said. “And at the end of the year, in talking to the players, we felt—and they expressed to us orally—that they enjoyed playing with each other and wanted to continue that. We listened.
  • Sam Dekker, who is a small forward by trade, will be utilized by the Rockets primarily as a stretch-four this season in an effort to get him on the court more often, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle relays. “If [Dekker] gets time this year, unless there is an injury, it’s more likely at the four than at the three,” coach Kevin McHale said. “We’ll keep him there. We’ll probably play him a little three also.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge is still adapting to life with the Spurs, a transition that he is still struggling to be comfortable with, writes Kevin Ding of “I don’t really handle change well,” Aldridge told Ding. “It’s been weird because I was in Portland for so long, and I kind of know the ways,” he continued. “Things were a little bit tailored to me in a way. Wasn’t too much to have to figure out.

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