Archive for the ‘New Orleans Pelicans’ Category

monta-ellis-sad-bench

With the dust mostly settled on this offseason’s player movement — and there was a whole lot of it this year — it’s time to take stock of all the fascinating new faces in new places, as well as the more compelling stories of players who will face new challenges while sticking around. Over the course of the next few weeks, Andrew Unterberger will do a team-by-team look at the most interesting players going into next season — one new to the team, and one returning — as we all try to pass the dog days of NBA-less summer, dreaming of hoops-filled months to come. The series continues today with the teams in the Southwest Division: the Mavericks, Rockets, Grizzlies, Pelicans and Spurs.

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Most Interesting New Player: Monta Ellis

All of Dallas’ big free agent pickups were the same basic level of Interesting But Not Really. Seeing decent players like Jose Calderon, DeJuan Blair and Devin Harris in new roles in new jerseys will have some limited novelty, but these are players we’ve seen for long enough now that we basically know who they are and what they do — any legitimate surprise they provide in Dallas will be, well, surprising. Of these players, Monta seems the closest to an unknown quantity, since while we know his strengths and weaknesses a player pretty well, there’s still some debate about how much he can help a solid, veteran team actually win ball games, which is ostensibly what he’ll be called on to do as Dirk Nowitzki’s teammate in Big D. The answer very well might be “little” or “none,” but he’s never played on a team like Dallas, for a coach like Rick Carlisle, or with a teammate like Dirk before, so at least there’s some chance for personal growth there. It’ll be moderately interesting to see.

I would have liked to pick any of Dallas’ rookies in the backcourt for this — Gal Mekel and Ricky Ledo both intrigued in Vegas, and some people seme to think Shane Larkin has sleeper potential — but after the Mavs’ offseason splurging on mid-tier guards, they’re all likely to enter this season buried so deep on the depth chart that they’ll be lucky to even get consistent minutes in garbage time. Wayne Ellington eats first, you know how it is.

Most Interesting Returning Player: Brandan Wright

Brandan Wright is either the league’s most underrated big man, or the best piece of evidence remaining to show how flawed Player Efficiency Rating is as an all-encompassing stat of player evaluation. Wright has had a PER of 21 or better each of the last two seasons, and his 21.0 last year would have ranked sixth amongst all big men in the league. Of course, this is fairly small sample size stuff, as Brandan played only 64 games and just 18 minutes a game. But in those minutes, he shot nearly 60 percent, rebounded decently (about eight per 36) and essentially never turned the ball over, making him a big man of the Tyson Chandler-type, know-your-role offensive efficiency.

It’s surprising to me that Wright didn’t garner more interest in free agency. True, he’s never done it in big minutes, partly because he’s too much of a defensive liability against more physical post players to earn those defensive minutes, but offensive numbers that good, attached to a player only 25 years of age (and still with a lottery pedigree), generally tend to draw some interest around the league, more so than the two years and $10 mil he re-upped for with the Mavs. If he ends up taking big minutes from Samuel Dalembert — and considering Sammy couldn’t hold down starting gigs the last three seasons with the Kings, Rockets or Bucks, I’m guessing he won’t lock this one up either — he could end up being as important to Dallas as any of their bigger-name new pieces. Hope so for Dirk’s sake.

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all-pelicans-jerseys

The New Orleans Pelicans unveiled their uniforms today, and because they’re not the Brooklyn Nets and Jay-Z didn’t “design” their jerseys, they didn’t leak prior to the unveiling, which is truly amazing in this day and age. So just a few minutes ago, we had our actual first look at the league’s newest team. The results are somewhat better than fine.

My thoughts, in bullets:

  • Now that the Pelicans are rocking navy blue road unis, that makes 18 of 30 NBA teams who wear some shade of blue fairly regularly. This is because blue — whether it be navy, royal or baby — looks good on uniforms. It’s kind of a bummer that we have yet another blue-clad team, but that’s a hard color to mess up, so you can understand why that’d be the choice. But still, these are basically just those old Cavs alternates from the LeBron era.
  • Super bummer that “Pelicans” isn’t across the chest of either of these. If you have a weird team name, embrace it.
  • That “New Orleans” on the chest is hilariously small. Maybe up-size that font to a 72-point next time around.
  • The embellished font used on the numbers obviously has to do with old timey New Orleans writing, but when you look at Jrue Holiday’s No. 11, it kind of looks like flamingo legs. Which, of course, wrong bird.
  • I don’t know that much about New Orleans, but whatever the Hornets were wearing the past few seasons feels way more festive than these new looks.

All that being said, these are still not bad. They’re just plain, and it’s unfortunate they’re so barely Pelicans-y. When in doubt, bird it out.

Couple more shots after the jump. Let’s hear what you think in the comments.

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I know I literally just posted a Tyreke Evans highlight reel from Jamal Crawford’s pro-am game in Seattle, but that’s only because I didn’t see this full video of Tyreke and actual Mayor of Seattle Michael McGinn squaring off. If I had seen this before, not much would have actually changed, but I probably wouldn’t have typed dribbles so many times.

Dribbles.

(via SportsGrid)

Hey man, do you like dribbling? Like really like dribbling? Fast dribbles, slow dribbles, low dribbles, high dribbles, spin dribbles, accident dribbles, kibble dribbles, squibble dribbles — all that stuff? If so, you’ll love to watch Tyreke Evans and Jamal Crawford doing some dribbling in a recent pro-am game. Just two of the dribblingest dribblers to ever dribble, dribbling right at each other’s dribbles. It’s a real smorgasbord of dribbling. A dribbgasbord, really.

Dribbles.

(via Ball is Life)

jrue-holiday-pelicans

I know there have been explanations of how pelicans are fierce birds that get very angry, and I have even seen a pelican eat a pigeon, but I think we can all agree that it’s still going to be funny having a team named the Pelicans in the NBA next season. Sorry, but it just is.

Don’t believe me? Ask Jrue Holiday, one of the newest Pelicans. From Point Forward’s Ben Golliver:

“I mean, it’s funny, I’m not going to lie,” new point guard Jrue Holiday admitted Wednesday. “It’s funny saying it. ‘We’re the Pelicans.’ But I’ve said it about half a million times now, so I’m used to it.”

Jrue Holiday is both an NBA All-Star and a guy who is used to having a name people are confused by, so I think we can trust what he’s saying: Pelicans is funny. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a fearsome name eventually — we’ve all seen the part in “D2: The Mighty Ducks,” where the team starts saying where they’re from in the locker room and then beats Iceland to win the Junior Goodwill Games, in one of America’s greatest athletic triumphs of the past century — but it’s going to be pretty strange for a good part of their first season. I mean, there is probably a reason most teams are not named after non-birds-of-prey birds, right?

Just like when Stephen Curry officially ruled that the Warriors’ sleeved jerseys were “ugly” and we were all forced to agree, trusting Jrue Holiday is the right move here. Having come to the Pelicans from a team with a historical name like the Philadelphia 76ers, he’s so close to the situation that he’d have to know the difference between a classic name and one that is funny. So don’t feel bad laughing about the New Orleans Pelicans the first 500,000 times you say it. Jrue Holiday did just that and he’s one of the beaks of the franchise.

(via PBT)

Remember the good old days when the New Orleans Hornets were the Charlotte Hornets and the New Orleans Hornets weren’t in existence? Well, those days just got even older as the New Orleans Hornets just unveiled their new name — the Pelicans, as everyone has known for months — new colors and new logo, which you see up there. I’m not sure how this will play on a Starter jacket your sister wears, but it’s good.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a top 10 logo in the NBA. But it isn’t bottom 10 either, which means it hits somewhere in the middle and that’s OK by me. I mean, there’s a bird with a basketball for its body, so how can you really complain? The colors look good — though a bit generic, since blue and red is the most popular color scheme in existence — especially since it seems like the gold part will be pretty minor and just used for accents, as gold should be. Trinidad James might be fine with all gold everything, but the rest of us should use it in moderation.

My one complaint is this — for a standard team logo, this looks a lot like an All-Star Game logo. Maybe it’s because the New Orleans part of it is so big and ornate, or maybe it’s larger horizontally than it is vertically, but it kind of reads as a logo made for a city rather than a team. Without the wordmarks however, like on this hat, it looks pretty cool. Not to mention, as Eric Freeman points out, this franchise has tremendous upside potential when it comes to giant, stuffed mascots running around the court.

So yeah, that’s the new logo (and there are some secondary logos after the jump) and we’ll still have a wait a bit to see what’s up with the uniforms, even though you can currently buy Pelicans merchandise on the Hornets’ website, which makes for a strange sort of thing. Let’s just hope the New Orleans braintrust doesn’t pull a Prokhorov and let the local rap superstar design the jerseys. I don’t think anyone wants to see Lil Wayne’s idea of basketball clothes.

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