Published: August 12, 2016

I know many of you all hoped my silence had predictive value. It’s my pleasure to disappoint . . .

  • I’m happy with the offseason. There were flashier moves out there, but I don’t much care about that. The moves available to other teams were not available to the Pelicans, and that’s a fact that needs to be addressed, but this offseason can’t be penalized for not matching unrealistic fantasy.
  • The single biggest issue on this team was perimeter defense. I’ve been beating the drum on that for years (not alone). What’s less widely held is an understanding of just how bad the defense was on the perimeter and how it affected the rest of the defense. The defense there was so bad that small changes will have a greater-than-commonly-expected effect on the entire team performance. It will be superadditive. The improvement due to Erman was clear, but it wasn’t quite enough to make it come together with the players available, nearly all of whom were inherited. This season, Erman should be set up for success. Even if he is over-credited, he could deserves a little shine. Watch this carefully, praise and criticize appropriately come January.
  • Versatility is the new continuity, except it’s actually positive and appropriate. Jim Eichenhofer used the word (basically) in promoting the Terrance Jones signing, and he hit it on the nose. It would be remiss of the organization to not make this part of the marketing and promotion for the year. That’s “Versatility,” fellas. Pound it.
  • “Young Vets” still in effect. For all the supposed change in strategy or tactics, I don’t see much. I see all that as an overreaction to overreaction to noise . . . the signals remains the same (here’s your Rush Zeppelin reference for the year, plus a video).
  • Ferry is now officially involved, but what changed is a paycheck, it seems, and how some of the understaff gets their day-to-day. More than all this, it’s potentially another step toward building a real basketball culture internally that resonates externally. There are valid and invalid perceptions some media and fans perpetuate that keep the “Second Class” stink on the team. The organization is rightfully changing and growing (why perfection was expected from the jump, I don’t know), but others need to do their part, too.


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