« Water Cooler Talk: M & N
Pelicans Scoop: Monty, Creepy Mascots, a Blockbuster Trade, and Predictions
1. Let’s get straight to it. Should Monty be nervous about his job security given the team’s performance since he took over as the head coach?
Michael McNamara: Any coach who doesn’t have a championship should be nervous. Heck, how many times have we seen a Coach of the Year get fired within 24 months of winning the award? That said, Monty should have at least a full season with this squad before he is judged. Maybe more.
Mason Ginsberg: Yes. I don’t think he’s in the “red” just yet, but certainly in that “yellow” area. When Tom Benson bought this team, he wanted to turn it into a winner as quickly as possible, as evidenced by the moves that were made. This season is not “playoffs or bust” for Monty, but if the team isn’t somewhere around .500, he may be in trouble.
Joe Gerrity: Yes. If this team stays fairly healthy and finishes out of the top 10 in the West, it won’t surprise me to hear that Tom Benson is gauging interest from available coaches.
Jake Madison: Not at this specific moment in time. However, if the team doesn’t improve and show consistent signs of life in the second half then yes he should be somewhat nervous. I’ve said all offseason that this wasn’t a “win now” year but instead a compete now year so the team needs to look competent.
Michael Pellissier: I think there are something like 14 new coaches this year. It’s a position with high turnover, so if the results aren’t there, then any coach should be nervous. That said, I hate scapegoating and think everyone should put the pitchforks away for the time being. For all of the “we have stunk in 2nd halves for years,” no one has mentioned that we had poor teams and shouldn’t have even had leads to blow in the last 2 years. There is no rush for final judgment.
2. Do you have any belief at all that the Pelicans have a playoff run in them?
McNamara: I am at about 20% right now, but honestly, I don’t care if they make the playoffs or not. I just want to see massive improvement between now and March/April, so that I can feel confident about next year and beyond. This is a process, and while the playoffs would be great, I am focusing more on the long term.
Ginsberg: I’m slightly less optimistic than when the season began, but not drastically so. Given my 42-40 initial projection, I still don’t think this is a playoff team unless a lot of things break right, but it’s certainly possible, especially given the all-star level of play from Davis. This team’s health is another major key, as evidenced by Anderson’s return this past weekend.
Gerrity: Of course. We’re just 10 games into a season and our fans are up in arms about how awful we are. Here’s the thing– we’re two games back of the eight seed. Smart money says the best is yet to come.
Madison: I didn’t think the team was making the playoff before the start of the season and I don’t see them making it currently. The Western Conference has some very strong teams and even expected cellar dwellers, like the Suns, are capable of causing teams fits.
Pellissier: If Ryno and Anthony Davis stay healthy, I still think it’s possible. We are roughly ⅛ of the way through the season. But these 10 games have shown that there are undoubtedly flaws on this roster.
3. What kind of impact will Josh Childress have?
McNamara: He will move the needle just a hair. Get it? Oh my, these puns are just too easy. Seriously, though, I do not expect him to have any kind of impact and I would not be surprised if he is released at some point this season so that another fringe player could be signed.
Ginsberg: Almost negligible. He hasn’t been a relevant NBA player in five years. Bringing him in was, in my opinion, largely an attempt to light a fire under Aminu so that he works harder to maintain his playing time.
Gerrity: Probably not much of one. That said, it wouldn’t shock me to see him play a handful of crunch time minutes.
Madison: Basically zero. He’ll play some minutes with the second unit but overall him impact will not really matter.
Pellissier: Probably not much of one, barring a number of injuries.
4. Bill Simmons recently suggested trading Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and Jeff Withey to Detroit for Greg Monroe and the Villanueva/Stuckey expirings. Is that a deal that you would be comfortable with as a Pelicans fan?
McNamara: I would do it in a New York second. The Pelicans are giving away more talent if you look at this deal in a vacuum, but if you see the big picture, you can see all the options this deal would give them. Even if they match a max offer to Monroe this summer, they will still have nearly $15 million to spend in free agency to fill in the gaps on a roster with Holiday, Evans, and the best PF/C combo in the NBA.
Ginsberg: The answer to this question entirely depends on how you view Eric Gordon. If you view him as a negative when you take his max contract into consideration, then you do it without thinking twice. If you buy into Gordon’s play thus far and want to roll the dice on his health, then you say no. Me personally? I’d do it. I absolutely love the Anderson/Davis front court combo, but if you think Monroe and AD can start together, then you do it and look for another wing in free agency next year (as McNamara said above). Whether that player is out there and will come to New Orleans next season is another question, however.
Gerrity: Definitely, and I would give up more if I had to. You start with the best young frontcourt in the game, and let the rest of the pieces fall into place.
Madison: I’d hate to give up Anderson but I’m cool if the Pelicans get Monroe back in return especially if they could get a pick back in the deal as well. But the key to the deal is having the cap room and flexibility to build around two tremendous, foundational big men.
Pellissier: yeah, even though I think Gordon has been playing well.. because he’s still an injury risk with a lot of money invested in him. I tend to overvalue passing, but I think Monroe would be a great frontcourt pairing with Davis. I always cringe at the thought of trading Ryan Anderson, but I don’t think you can pass that deal up.
5. If the King Cake Baby returns, will Pierre the Pelicans even be the creepiest mascot on his own team?
McNamara: I don’t get why Pierre creeps people out in the first place. I mean, he is scary, but a gorilla isn’t? That Phoenix mascot would terrify a four-year old infinitely more, wouldn’t it? And yes, the King Cake baby is a whole new level of creepy – one that Pierre could never reach.
Ginsberg: I am appalled by this question. Why would the King Cake Baby not return? Did he finally grow up? Did he lose his diaper? Da Baby will be back, and he will be as horrifying as usual.
Joe: Nope. I still can’t believe someone actually created that…thing. If it doesn’t return I’ll be both relieved and disappointed. KCB is sneaky like that.
Madison: The Baby…yeah, it is horrifying. The tooth is what really unnerves me.
Pellissier: I’m trying to picture which one would be more terrifying if I caught it staring through the window at me. I’ll go with King Cake Baby.
I don't feel that Monty will get fired because Benson and Loomis have show considerably faith in them and I think it's in large part because of what he and Demps inherited - crap except for Paul and West. However, with the considerable upgrades in talent, vast improvements are expected (as they should be) and the playoffs would only enhance matters. But, if this teams finishes with the same record as last year or improve by five or fewer games, he should be concerned. NOLA/Pelicans fans won't shut up about his firing and Benson will have to satisfy the majority instead of the few.
I like Greg Monroe a lot and think he would be great on our team but at what cost is my biggest concern.
I may not know much about basketball but why would you take that trade at all, much less "definitely"? Monroe's good but he isn't THAT good, is he? And didn't we just see how much better Anderson makes this team? Having a very talented frontcourt like that would be nice, as well as getting rid of Gordon's contract among other things to be able to have more cap space for potential free agent signing next summer, but how do we know we can get a big signing to come to New Orleans? And how many teams actually have a frontcourt dominant enough that we'd need Monroe and Davis together to match up? The Pacers, maybe? I would say the Grizzlies, but look what we did to them with just Davis and Smith. It'd be good to have a better starting center and have Smith coming off the bench, but I feel like it can wait, especially with Anderson able to come off the bench playing PF with Davis at C. We have really good depth at Guard and PF right now and we'd be throwing that out the window with a trade like this. I think it would be better to stick to what we have or make a trade where we'd be getting equal talent instead of taking such a high risk with something like this.
But that's just me.
@Jason Quigley I concur, it's arguable that Monroe on a max contract is better than Anderson on his current deal straight up.
love the trade for monroe....i imagine a robinson-duncan frontcourt but a younger version of a robinson....:)
I don't feel Monty should be nervous, because he has had four different teams each year he has been here. He finally has players that will be here for a couple of years. He will finally have a chance to coach instead of teach. I think this team will improve through out the season barring injury.
I wouldnt trade Ryno. 3's are very important in today's game and we have one of the best in the league from his position. Unless we could get his quality of shooting or better. And he is cheap on top of that.
Man, I really dont know about that trade just yet. I am not opposed to dealing gordon at all for a better big to pair with AD, but Ryno brings so much to this team off the bench, as we all saw on saturday night. We have alot of talent at the guard position, but from watching all of these games, you can see the wholes on our roster, and the most evident one, is the fact that AD is a hound in the paint, but the man needs some help. The pels will never be a contender without another defensive minded big that we could pair with AD, because as we all saw against that HORRIFIC loss against the lakers, he is going to have a tough time pairing up big physical bigs like we all said to begin with. I would love to put Monroe with AD, but you have to decide if dealing two solid players are worth Monroe. In my best case senairio, we would keep Ryno, but make a move for a different big, that we could aquire via trade for gordon and witney. Also by dealing Ryno, we lose a ton of bench prudction, and we go from having a very deep bench, to one that cant hang with most in the nba.
I think that Saturday this team finally realized what they can do when they execute. That game was beautiful.
I'd trade Gordon/Withey for Monroe/expirings but unless Drummond is involved, Rhyno stays.
KCB is so incredibly creepy it's amazing. Pierre is much less creepy but more goofy. Jake, you're right about the tooth. It's the cherry on the sundae OR the baby on the cake.