Tyreke Evans is still having difficulty adapting to the offensive system of first year coach Alvin Gentry, John Reid of The Times Picayune writes. Reid notes that Gentry’s system requires quick ball movements and at times, Evans is holding onto the ball too long instead of making quick passes. New Orleans is averaging 98.8 points per 48 minutes as a team, but with Evans in the game, the pace drops to 95.6 points per 48 minutes. Evans missed the first 17 games of the season while he was recovering from knee surgery, and the team understands it’s going to take time for him to pick up the system.
”He didn’t have the luxury of even being in training camp or playing in any preseason games,” Gentry said. ”It’s still fairly new to him. It’s not like he doesn’t want to do it. He played a style of basketball we got to try and convert to another style. That’s not easy to do on his part either. I know he wants to do it, I don’t have any doubt about that. We just got to keep working on it. I think we also have to do as coaches adjust and put him in situations also where he’s comfortable.”’
The Pelicans are 11-24 on the season, but they remain only four games back of the Jazz for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Here are some notes from a few teams above them in the playoff race:
- The Clippers could use a small forward upgrade and they should look to the trade market to find it, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders argues. The team has won eight straight, but if Los Angeles is going to compete with the upper echelon of the Western Conference, it needs to add another play-maker on the wing. The scribe names Lance Stephenson, Jamal Crawford and Josh Smith as realistic trade assets.
- The Mavericks could also use small forward help with Chandler Parsons struggling to find his mid-season form, Greene opines in the same piece. Aside from Parsons, Dallas doesn’t have a true small forward on the roster and Greene adds that it could realistically dangle Devin Harris or Raymond Felton in order to find some wing depth.
- Coach Rick Carlisle believes that Parsons, who could become a free agent this offseason if he declines his player option, is making progress on the court, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. “I liked his aggression [in New Orleans],” Carlisle said of Parsons’ 21 point performance against the Pelicans on Wednesday. “It’s another step along the way. I said it’s probably going to be late December, early January before you can start keeping stats on him with any accuracy because of the comeback and rehab and conditioning. I feel now that it’s going to be the All-Star break before he really has his legs under him. There are going to be some ups and downs, but we’re seeing a lot more ups than downs.”