The Leader of the Pack?

Published: November 19, 2013

Gerry V and Jason will be discussing issues all season. Old School vs Grad School, Round 1 . . . ding ding ding!

Jason: There are many topics to pick from, but what do you feel is the biggest issue (or one of the biggest issues) keeping the team from performing well on the court? I see rebounding as pleasant surprise, and the team protects the ball nicely while getting turnovers at a good rate, but shot defense is an issue. Their shot offense is also a problem, as the shots don’t seem to fall often enough.

Pick one of these or one of your own, let me know what you think.

V: I’m wondering what player is viewed as the “voice” in the locker room? Who has the “cred” to be that guy? Stats don’t make you a leader . . . Is there a guy who has really earned NBA bones for himself? . . . Not yet. I have been concerned with the team’s ability to make jumpers . . . 2pt jumpers have been a problem going back to last year. A pure splasher other then Anderson has yet to be discovered . . . There are “on a given night” shooters, but as far as a daily trust worthy gunner???? They are getting looks (which tells you that they do get open), but at times they stay with the play too long . . . I’d like to see them break away from a play then simply attack and create.

Defense? Late game slippage is a worry. When teams do not or cannot defend late in the game it’s either a conditioning issue, a toughness / mental issue, or you simply do not have defender types on the teams. I pick “B” . . . Where is the tough mental “Get some flesh under your fingernails” defense?

Woah is me for now!

Jason: Let’s talk leadership.

Davis is the best player, but he’s young. Gordon has been hustling and really laying out on some plays. He is leading by example at times and playing well enough to get some backing I would think.

As a starter and a max contract guy, should we be looking for Gordon to emerge? Dare we hope he does? If so, can Davis overtake him while Gordon remains in New Orleans (he can stay on his contract 1 or 2 seasons after this one).

V: They need Gordon to “bust out” and play, as his game screams for point production. When they enhance their ball and player movement, the Pels should and would generate a better flow which would make them “tougher covers” . . . tougher to guard . . . Somewhere along the line they will understand “when and where to shoot the ball” and who gets the shot.

What’s the need?

  1. More ball swings . . . At times their weakside actions look sharp and crisp . . . add some consistency to this
  2. More earlier attack in their “early offense,” as they are missing out on some easy scores . . . Holiday needs to read this on the advance of the ball . . . Loosen up should be their battle cry!

Davis of course has to be a major impact guy. We will see how he handles this night in and night out. It’s early . . . Will the expectations take a toll on him? Then, eventually, the true daily dose of the “Who is the ‘one-two punch’ on this team” questions . . . Davis and Gordon?

As I stated before, Evans must relish and cherish his sixth man role and understand what a significant “bang for the buck” he can bring, but you HAVE to turn him Loose a little . . . Once the offense gets loose and begins to flow, I can see the defense pick up . . . It’s more fun defending when the offense generates those good feelings. More experienced teams understand that defense needs to be played even on those “off nights” offensively . . . young teams do not understand this requirement until more experience sets in.

Jason: Staying with Gordon . . . What more do we want from him? What more can we expect? The dude is scoring, on a per minute basis, the same as since really emerging as a real NBA player in his third year. He’s nailing the three at the highest level of his career (43.9%) while his other scoring rates are consistent with past performance. Thus, he’s become more efficient . . . He’s giving you what he’s got and leaving more possessions for his teammates to throw at the opposition. All of thisis going on while his steals and rebounds are at career highs and other key stats are at least in the neighborhood of his career average.

Are you saying we should hope for more or did they put too much Limoncello in your Limoncello cake last time?

V: Per minute blah-blah! I want Gordon to be a hunter! The Pels need a guard that smells the scoring. You lay some career high stuff on me and that’s all well and good, but his talent level makes him capable of up-ing his game even more. “Players will give what is demanded of them.” What a complement he would be for Davis . . . I want Gordon to be a night-in and night-out guy that must be game planned for. All moments in a game don’t have to be charitable . . . When a player is on a roll, you butter his possessions with touches. I believe my eyes over every other set of eyeballs on this planet . . . Gordon can give you more, and I bet he would agree with me.

Now get away from my front door or I turn the hounds loose on ya! As far as my dessert goes: It was splendid . . . And it’s your turn to pick up the tab.

Much love from Da V.

Jason: Hard to disagree. I’ve been impressed by Gordon this season. I’ve said that I see indications that he is healthier than he’s been in New Orleans up to this point. I expect goodness and high availability. Still, my expectations are tempered for several reasons. I’ve got an open mind.

If I’m paying, I’m picking the spot. The doctor will ordering shrimp and grits. And dessert.

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).

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