Pelicans Scoop: Monty, Creepy Mascots, a Blockbuster Trade, and Predictions

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Published: November 19, 2013

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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