On Second Glance: Looking Forward to Next Year by Looking Back

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Published: June 12, 2013
Anthony Davis

You wanna hear something sad? I’ve been rewatching a lot of Hornets games lately. Yeah, I know.

But what I have come to find is that there is a lot of treasure amongst the trash. There is some real potential if the New Orleans Pelicans can focus in on what worked and add  some pieces to compliment what they already do well. With the sixth pick in the draft and nearly $13 million in cap room, we are all focused on the possibilities a rookie or a free agent can bring, but real growth next season will come from within. Here are some things I have noticed on second glance:

– Greivis Vasquez needs to play off the ball more next season if he returns. He was fantastic as a spot up shooter and coming off of screens on the weakside. Once he got momentum, he was able to accelerate to the hole. He is too slow to get by his guy on a regular basis at the top of the key, whether it is in isolation or in the pick and roll, but when he came of of screens and got the ball while he was already in motion, he was hard to keep up with. If a true point guard is not added this summer, I fully expect Eric Gordon to be the primary ball handler next year, not Greivis Vasquez.

– Al-Farouq Aminu is a small ball power forward. That is it and that’s all. We can play the ‘if’ game with Aminu. He can’t play the three in this league, but he was fantastic as a small ball four when Monty used him in those situations. Here’s the problem: We don’t have any minutes to offer at the four.

– Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis rarely played together, but when they did, it was beautiful on the offensive end. The video below is my favorite play of the entire year. I will hold off on the explanation, just watch

 

This play is unguardable when you have a quick, good shooting point guard receiving that handoff. If the defenders go under, it is an easy 17-footer. If the defense plays it like they did here, that’s a dunk. The Hornets actually ran this same play in the following quarter and the big sunk with Davis, leaving Ryno wide open for a three. The only way to guard this play would be to have the defender in the corner crash down on Davis. This is why it is imperative that we add a small forward who can hit the corner three (Chase Budinger, Martell Webster, etc.). I thought the double pick and roll that CP3 ran with West popping, Chandler rim running, and Peja spotting up was the most beautiful set I had ever seen. This has the potential to be even more deadly.

Draft, free agency, trades – all very exciting. But let’s not forget that we have some foundation pieces here, and growth from within is likely the best formula for sustained success.

10 comments
yaboytonez
yaboytonez

Vasquez could be a Ginoboli type player. I like the idea of him playing off the ball. I don't like the idea of Gordon STILL being on the team.

MasonGinsberg
MasonGinsberg moderator

Totally agree re: Aminu being a small ball PF. That's basically the conclusion I came to when I wrote about his value a 2 1/2 months ago:

http://www.bourbonstreetshots.com/2013/03/28/gauging-al-farouq-aminus-value/

If Lopez gets moved and he isn't replaced via the draft/free agency, I could see Davis and Smith as the Pelicans' centers and then Anderson/Aminu as the PFs. It's possible. I'd actually be pretty excited for that.

soulbreaker
soulbreaker

i remember that play, was almost a Utah´s flex offense, and the best play i saw in the entire season for the "horlicans", absolutely agree with Aminu until he can shoot from mid range/3s he is a PF. The problem here is Gordon,the first month or so he play better and better, but after that he was AWFUL, i mean, in numbers he was worst than vasquez with a  PER worst than average, and in defense was nonexistence; can be for his knees, his ankle, frustation i don´t know, but that can´t happen again if we can win some games the next year or trade for somebody who can play with us

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@shantadiva He can. He can play 1, 2, and 3. Just obvious that he has his most success off the ball, as opposed to pounding it for 20+ seconds every position.

mtuman16
mtuman16

@MasonGinsberg  

Agree that Aminu is too valuable as a rebounding-fool PF in a small-ball line-up, and moving Lopez out & Smith into the starting C is the way to go. We still need a 3rd center, but there should be 20 minutes a night for Aminu as a small 4, even (if he adds weight) an even smaller C.

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