The Pelicans aren’t considering a coaching change despite a 6-17 start and the worst loss in franchise history, writes William Guillory of The Athletic. However, Guillory speculates Alvin Gentry could be replaced if things don’t turn around soon.
These aren’t the results anyone expected this summer when the Pelicans rebuilt their roster by getting a generous return in the Anthony Davis trade and landed Zion Williamson in the draft after winning the lottery. However, Williamson underwent meniscus surgery in October and hasn’t played yet. It’s part of terrible injury luck throughout the team, leaving Gentry with a shifting lineup from night to night.
That’s being taken into consideration by owner Gayle Benson and executive vice president David Griffin, who has a long relationship with Gentry dating back to their days in Phoenix, Guillory adds. But they want to start seeing some progress, especially once their star rookie returns.
The Pelicans were dreadful Saturday in Dallas, dropping a 46-point decision for their eighth straight loss. They trailed by just 12 points at halftime, but poor shot selection and nine turnovers led to a nightmarish third quarter in which they were outscored 40-14.
“When they got separation, I didn’t think we competed. I think that’s the worst thing in the world to do,” Gentry said. “It was a terrible game — a poorly played game, a poorly coached game. All of us have got to take responsibility.”
Guillory notes that New Orleans faces a daunting schedule between now and Christmas, with six road games including trips to Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Denver. He states that fans calling for a coaching change could become much louder if the team’s record is in the neighborhood of 7-25 or 6-26.
“We control our own destiny. We’ve got to be the ones that compete. We’ve got to be the ones that play hard,” Gentry said. “Obviously, we’re struggling right now. And to be honest with you, Zion is not coming in as the cavalry. We’ve got to play good basketball. … It’s unacceptable the way we’re playing right now. It’s just unacceptable.”