The New Orleans Pelicans and the New Aminu

Jason and Gerry V discuss Aminu, his performance this season and last, and his fit on the new roster.

Jason: Gerry, just before the start of last season, Aminu’s option for this season was declined, and he started that season on a tear, especially in transition. He was up and down, but finished the season worth his contract in my opinion.

Before this season, the New Orleans Pelicans signed him for that option value, and he’s started the season . . . ok. He’s been benched once this season, just as he was last season, and in both cases, it lit a fire under him. That’s nice, but the benching is not necessary for many NBA players.

What are your thoughts? Is he ok? Worse? Is the improvement in transition of others hurting his value to the team? Is this “just Aminu?”

V: When you say transition, are you referring to his open floor game? Transition is his strength. Aminu can run like the wind and filling lanes for catches and dunks or lay-ins at the rim is where he feeds his game.

(+) He can run . . . open floor right to the rim actions suits him nicely

(+) Gives the rebounding effort as he at times displays quickness to the rim on the shot attempt . . . still needs a little work on how to shed blockouts

(+) Off-the-ball defense is improving . . . on the ball defense is decent . . . footwork slowly improving and mastering the angles could use a little pick-me-up, but he’s getting there

(*) Moving without the ball / cutting and knowing how and when to get to spots

(-) Handle needs another bounce . . . change of direction to get into his shot appears to lack the confidence, and that hampers his “attack and go game”

(-) Lacks the legit jumper off the dribble, either off one or two dribbles . . . consistency lacking . . . a player with his physical tools and position must be able to get a shot and get to the lane / rim

In closing, Aminu has shown some improvement but not at the rate I had hoped for as far as some offensive skills.

Jason: This bring me to two prongs of inquiry:

First, does the fact that the Pelicans’ guards are more are more athletic, does this reduce his value? Would an equally talented forward with different skills better fit the team, especially at $3.7m this season?

Second, is he good enough? The rotation seemed to be going away from him to close the game prior to Davis’ injury, and this has taken about 5.5 minutes a game from him, or about 20% of his share last season, dropping him from the fifth largest share to the seventh. Given that demotion, is he showing enough to still consider him an investment going forward if he can be had at a salary reflective of his production? Or, instead, is he just not good enough, or maybe right enough? What does he need to show you to not give you indigestion when you realize the game tips in 30 minutes?

V: As far as your prongs (LOL) go, I’d like to stick one in his offensive game with the hope it would elevate his game . . . I need to see a jumper off the dribble . . . at least one or two bounces. If he could be a scorer, I would at least force a grin . . . score off the break, putbacks, steals . . . MUST DEVELOP A JUMPER!

Why he isn’t more of a slasher is an unsolved mystery to me. Where is the “cut, catch, and score” game? (I’m now weeping like a child) I could live with some of the offensive game being missing if he was more of a defender . . . and passer.

$3.7m is not a bank buster . . . Lock him in a gym until he emerges with a jumper and a few bounces added to his game . . . have food delivered to him to maintain nourishment.


Jason: It sounds to me like it is put up or shut up time for Aminu. His spot up shooting is ok, but he’s not a great handler, and that may have affected, and may be continuing to affect, his development of a jumper he can actually use in various game situations.

So . . . given the rest of the team today, draw up the shooting guard we need. This can’t be a LeBron. You aren’t getting an empty net goal by me! We need low cost up to, say, the MLE… Call it $6m in first year salary.

V: I think Aminu is getting too much air time. he’s more of a backup player and length of the “can’t do” list is obvious. He has his moments, and I have explained the healthy part of his game vs the not so good. The Pelicans have enough guards. Aminu is a nice player who can contribute, but what you see is what you get. Too much time is being spent conversing about him as the “other bigs” are getting a pass, and What have they done?

I hope the Davis injury is not one to keep him out for a very long time . . . yeah, they beat the Knicks (Knicks are awful) . . . a loss to the Knicks (9 losses in a row) would have left the Pels red faced blushing . . . another big maybe?. Need another scorer at the small forward (team shoots the two for a 33% clip). Who should he be? I don’t know right now . . . a scorer and the defense better improve.

Jason: Thanks, Gerry. Next time, I harass you about the bigs instead.

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).

14 responses to “The New Orleans Pelicans and the New Aminu”

  1. Nice.  I enjoyed the back and forth banter and the analyzing of Aminu.
    Gerry V is right about Aminu being a slasher/finisher @ the rim with a need to increase his handling.  It seems as though he dribbles off his feet more than the hardwood.
    He doesn’t seem to have a defined role on this team except for defending/rebounding.  Although he is good at this, that could be had for a much cheaper salary.
    Aminu is mostly athleticism with little skill/basketball IQ.  One wonders how new he is to the game and if he has much room to increase his level of play in his deficient areas.  Monty having to bench him to “light a fire under him” in repeated seasons makes me question his desire as well.
    However we’ll probably let him go after this season.  He’ll go somewhere else and become the league’s most improved player.  So sad.

  2. Aminu, verb [Ah-me-nu] : to tease by showing glimpses of great potential, but only when someone is ready to give up on you.  
    Ex) “I was about to fire that new salesman, and then he aminued me by making one big sale, so I decided to give him another chance.  I should have fired him.”

  3. What a win! The referee try to give the game away to the bulls but the pelicans hung in there. Aminu was super defense, rebounding, and scoing, people do not realize he can do. He can shoot the three pointers. Anderson was fantastic, he should stay in the starting line-up with Davis and Amiu they all physical on defense and can rotate as forwards and center. We know Gorden, Holiday, and Evans can score, but they are starting to play good defense. Jason Smith play a great game and we can play him off the bench. I glad Monty did not give up on the Cheif Aminu! Playoff Keep it going Pels. Stay positive the shy the limit!
    Gerry V! The diffence Monty is playing him in the fouth Quarter and trusting in his ability and heart

  4. LateNite504FC  I am not trying to win the internet,  I want the Pelicans to succeed.   I need to be a coach!   I Know football too the Saints will bounce back!

  5. I see Aminu as a for any team a small ball 4 bench player who could start on many teams at 3 with an elevated offensive game.  Also, Aminu’s rebounding, running the court, and even on ball defense are good enough to earn him 22 minutes/game with a PER of about the league average of 15 going against starters.  So he has value in the league as at least a quality reserve with a well defined role.
    I think he gets resigned by the Pelicans at between $2.5M/year and his current salary for at least two years.  (The same for Jason Smith.)  Stiemsma is gone next year, we will have exemptions to use next year, and the cap should go up too, so we can sign another small (Robin Lopez salary like) piece to make us a more versatile team.  I expect it to be a 5, or a 3pt shooting 3.

  6. Too many of you keep talking about NEXT YEAR etc….. Live in the now and evaluate what you currently see….plus PER avergae of 15 isn’t good enough… PER this PER that…..

  7. Saints have no choice… They are. On “DEATH GROUND” no escape routes but straight ahead….win or be cast aside.

  8. Evaluations are a constant….. I can see signing him again… Never stop evaluating and demanding improvement from your players…..

  9. Monty has to do what he did in the three game winning streak.  In that order Anderson, Aminu, Holiday, Gorden, and Evans.  Stick with that lineup I can see growth. Smith, Morrow, and Roberts are important too.  This is a very good playoff team, when Davis get back they will be a champonship team.  Monty, needs to keep an eight man rotation it gets very thin after that.  Pelicans need to maintain lead or enchance it.  Go Pels!

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