Quick Hits: Random Thoughts

Published: October 14, 2016


  1. For someone who played 4 years of college basketball, it’s crazy to see the weight that some are giving to Buddy Hield’s Summer League and preseason performances.  Buddy going 3-6 from deep in a preseason game means no more to me than him throwing up bricks in Summer League.  I wrote about Hield this offseason (so did Schwan) and am sticking with what I said: I think he’s going to be a lethal off-ball option whose scoring prowess will always be predicated upon his ability to pull up from deep.  Teams are going to overplay his outside shot and that will afford him opportunities to beat poor closeouts or overplays.  He’s a good enough ball-handler to exploit these situations.  That said, Buddy Hield isn’t someone who can blow by defenders, and if his shot is not on, he offers little as a primary ball-handler.  He has a long way to go on defense as well, though I suspect his effort and conditioning will be a big help on that side of the floor.
  2. Tim Frazier is not Ish Smith.  The Pelicans have seen several backup point guards put up some gaudy assist numbers (Vasquez, Smith, Roberts) in stints of pounding the ball into oblivion, but Frazier has better vision than any of them.  I have long criticized Pelicans guards for not having high basketball IQs, but Frazier sees things before they happen, whereas most of the Pelicans guards from the last few years are reactive. I remain very skeptical of his outside shooting, but he is a smart player and fun to watch.
  3. The defense has been the problem the last few years, and there hasn’t been much in the preseason to suggest that this has been fixed.  I am optimistic that getting rid of Gordon and Anderson will help in this regard, but the Pels defense has a long way to go before it is even respectable, much less good.
  4. Yes, Anthony Davis is probably best served as a 5 in today’s NBA, but he is still thin and injury-prone.  I’d rather play Davis in a non-optimized capacity (at 4) for 68 games than have season-ending surgery after 30 games.  Gentry has stated that there will be games where Davis at 5 makes sense based on the matchup.  This seems like a sensible approach, as there are some starting 5s that won’t wear Davis down with physical play.
  5. We need Jrue, as Graham outlined about a week ago.  And no one needs Jrue more than Anthony Davis, who is a markedly different player when Jrue plays.
  6. The Pelicans had an average offense last year.  Here are their top 10 players by minutes played.bbref
    Yes, losing Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson will hurt the offense some.  But if the Pelicans can post an average offense with guys like Cunningham, Gee, Douglas, Cole, and Asik getting major minutes, I’m not too worried.  As long as Davis plays, the offense can stay afloat.


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