Pelicans Head Coach Tournament Round Two: Sean Miller vs. Fred Hoiberg

Published: May 25, 2015

The Case for Sean Miller

By: Beckett West

To view the previous bracket with Sean Miller, click here.

In this round, we are supposed to give you a peak at what the team might look like in the next year or two with our guy as head coach. Well, I have looked into the future with Sean Miller on the sidelines, and to quote Will Ferrell, “It looks glorious.” Sean Miller is going to fill this roster with tough guys up front next to AD and dynamic wing players. He is going to suffocate teams defensively and run once they get the boards. So, imagine a team that looked like this

Starters: Jrue, Tyreke, D. Carroll, AD, Koufos

Bench: Cole, G. Henderson, Q-Pon, Cunningham, Biyombo

Miller wants to get the ball into the post from time to time and a guy like Koufos has some skills down there. Jonas Valanciunas is a possibility as well if Dell can swing a deal for him. Either way, Miller wants a guy who can score in the post and control the boards. Those guys fit that profile. The major change comes on the wings where Gordon is out and Demarre Carroll and Gerald Henderson are in. Now, the Pelicans have 4 big wings who can defend (assuming Miller continues Tyreke’s evolution).

With Miller at the helm and these upgrades on the perimeter, the Pelicans can be a top 5-8 defense overnight. And don’t sleep on the offense. Obviously AD is going to get his 23-26, and Tyreke is going to benefit from getting out and running off of misses. In the half court, you can’t ignore Koufos like you can Asik, and Jrue, Carroll, and AD can be knock down shooters if you leave them. You also have guys who can attack the rim, which Miller loves to do, as evidenced by the fact that Arizona led the NCAA in FT attempts last year.

Yes, it will be sad to part with Ryan Anderson, but this team will all be about toughness, defense, and an offense that attacks relentlessly. Every board will be gobbled up, and the paint will be a no fly zone in the rare instances that opponents get by our first line of defense. Davis will win multiple defensive player of the year awards to go with his MVP’s, and a champion will be born in New Orleans with the arrival of Mr. Miller.

The Case for Fred Hoiberg

By: Michael McNamara

To view the previous bracket with Fred Hoiberg, click here. 

Hoiberg is going to play with pace and spread the court like few others in the NBA. He runs a lot of 5-out sets, which opens so much up for our guards and Anthony Davis. But, like Miller, Holberg would want to make some changes. He too loves dynamic wings who can shoot and get out and run. He also loves stretch 4’s, and if we can get Ryno right, he could have the best stretch 4 in the NBA from day 1. He’ll take guys who are not prototypical sizes and get them to play bigger than their measurable. With that in mind, Holberg’s roster can look something like this:

Starters: Jrue, Gordon, G. Green, AD, G. Dieng

Bench: Cole, K. Martin, Q-Pon, Ryno, Plumlee (either one)

The Pelicans swing a major trade that brings Dieng and Martin in while sending Tyreke out. They also target one of the Plumlee’s to be an athletic big off the bench. Ryan Anderson wins 6th Man of the Year easily in Holberg’s spread offense and the Pelicans get out and run up and down the court regardless of what five guys they put on the floor. Long term, they can either bring Gordon back on a discount or go and get a more dynamic wing in 2016.

On defense, they have two athletic bigs that can cover the entire floor and block shots at the rim. Jrue, Cole, and Q-Pon can all pressure the ball, and they have the speed and athleticism to cover sideline to sideline once they understand their defensive schemes. More than anything, though, this team will be one that players want to come to in the future with Hoiberg’s style, so the guys you can surround AD with will likely be dynamic in the open court. Hoiberg will get them to play 100 miles per hour and that energy and effort will just wear on opponents. Not to mention, more possessions mean more opportunities for Davis to impose his will, and when you have the best player on the court, you want to give him as many opportunities as possible.

Hoiberg would do just that.


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  1. Sportnlyfe

    May 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Can’t lose with either guy. I actually like the Miller roster, but with Hoiberg coaching. Hoiberg by a hair. If these candidates track the directions Demps seems to want to move toward, then Asik is history, but so apparently is Ajinca. The Monty firing was a referendum on dinosaur ball, then, and rightfully so, when your power forward can beat guards down the floor.

  2. dschmid4

    May 25, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I agree with those posting that they prefer the Miller roster. However, I have more faith in Hoiberg as a a coach at the NBA level. I am a wary of how well Miller may be able to translate a high intensity  defensive strategy from college to pros. I always think of Pitino in Boston.  Demanding defensive coaches grate of NBA players regardless. Thats not necessarily a bad thing, but you need to have the player respect to start of with.  Hoiberg has more experience with the NBA and has a strategy that will be an easier sell.

  3. Pelican Poster

    May 25, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    This match up could/should have been a Final Four one, at least in my opinion as it regards their fit with the Pels. I like both a lot and had to go back and read the first round sales pitches.  I’m going with the Defense/Offense stat combo that Miller has put up so far, but I’d be very happy with either. I prefer them over all but two with NBA coaching credentials that are in this battle.

  4. bucklezzzman

    May 27, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Weeping at the lack of shooting that Miller would bring us.. *votes Hoiberg* lol

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