Weakside Eyes: First Look

Published: November 9, 2013

Here are a few basketball thoughts and observations after six games played by the Pelicans. I’m not going to get into numbers, just pure observations and thoughts I had while watching the team. It’s the way I would observe players at basketball camps.

Jrue Holiday: Nice quicks . . . good handle but at times keeps the ball too long . . . wasted dribbles . . . misses the open man . . . court vision on the break seems to have improved over the past three games, however. Streaky shooter . . . needs to probe more in” early offense”  to create advantage situations. P&R play still shaky. Can defend decently enough. As his comfort improves so will his play . . . still in the “Do I shoot or pass?” mode, which is normal for new players on a new team . . . Would like to see more of “attack the defense” and create. Get in the gym and legitimize the jumper!

Tyreke Evans: Doesn’t look comfortable to me. Also suffering from the “Do I pass or shoot?” new player fever . . . needs to finish at the rim off the dribble consistently or get to the line. Does he relish the 6th man role? Needs to change the game off the bench . . . attack and make things happen . . . obvious his new role is holding him back . . . the 6th man needs to “cook it up.” Another player who needs shooting sessions . . . jumper not pure . . . better suited in “broken play” situations where he can just play. Moody?

Eric Gordon: Is he now realizing he can be the natural scorer he is supposed to be? Underrated off the ball, quicks allow him to get clean catches off his cuts . . . off the bounce game gets him to his spots. Gets to the rim in a crowd . . . takes the contact. Nice open floor vision . . . good enough on the ball defender. Quicks. What kind of a player does he see himself as? Vital player for this team . . . need his numbers, make sure you get him shots! Add night in and night out consistency, then he will be a fun watch.

Al-Farouq Aminu: You look at him and you say,”Natural 3-man with length and major hops” . . . open floor track speed . . . lane filler & rim runner . . . better in ‘broken play” situations. Structure limits him. Could be a “slasher” type but uncertain when, where, and how to make scoring or create-a-play cuts. A legit jumper would make him a fun watch. Lacks the “get to the rim ” small forward game as his handle is suspect . . . needs the open floor. “Off the ball” defense needs a tweak as he loses sight of the ball as it changes sides of the floor . . . defensive footwork needs improving. Gives you rebounding effort. Teases you with good moments . . . don’t know what you get from night to night.

Anthony Davis: Oozes with gallons of potential! Runs like the wind . . . gets from offense to defense and vice versa quickly . . . the ultimate rim runner. Nice hands. Can step up the lane for mid-range jumper. Sneaky weak-side offensive rebounder . . . legit shot blocker as he can “go get the block.” Footwork has improved. Getting better at “putting it on the floor.” Nice shooting touch . . . would love to see the addition of a legit “jump hook” (baby hook) . . . back to the basket game is coming along. Not a consistent off the ball defender yet . . . defense at times over reacts vs P&R’s . . . overall defensive play is where the growth needs to be. Has the makings of a “Star light, star bright” how brightly will you shine tonight? Future can be blinding so you may have to wear shades.

More comments later. Any questions? I will be glad to answer . . .

Gerry V is a 21-year NBA analyst, 17-year talk radio host, a 16-year coach, and current anchor for “Fox 8 New Orleans Morning Edition”, 5 a.m. – 9 a.m. Check out Gerry V’s Sports Editorial “I’m Just Sayin” on Fox 8 “Morning Edition” at 7:50, 8:50am Mondays & Fridays . . . also hosts “Gerry V’s “Talk Back Live on 99.5 WRNO New Orleans right after every Saints Sunday Game…. Follow Gerry V on twitter (@GVTalk).


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