Eric’s Suggestions for the Pelicans’ Offense

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Published: November 26, 2014

((Below is a post from a fan that I, personally, both agree with and am thankful for. Via comments here, I asked Eric to write something for the community to read rather than simply point to a lack in our coverage. He did that. Not many people would, and for that, I am grateful. Not only are the points Eric raises good ones, but he also does well in actually articulating the issue and providing solutions to the problems. – 42))

  • Less Pick and Roll “Drive or Bust.” I’d like to see a little more probing once the Pelicans have their defenders out of position on the PnR. The passing lanes are just simply cleaner when you aren’t moving full steam toward the rim. The window for lobbing it to Anthony Davis is much bigger then. Any shooters at the corner / top of the arc are still viable options that disappear when the ball handler is at the rim. This works, however, if guys are providing better passing lanes on the perimeter. This is accomplished by making sure you are moving off the ball into empty space. As the ball and players like Davis move, it will leave natural “gaps” on the floor. The other thing that’s more of a player instinct than scheme-driven is to have the ball handler “drift” towards another defender. This provides more opportunity for the other defenders to help on the ball handler. This is especially deadly if you have guys cutting backdoor after drifting toward the baseline.
  • More “Pick and Pop” for Davis. Run him to the basket less often (ESPECIALLY with Asik in the game), and make sure to get the ball to him quickly off the PnR. It makes more sense to slash with Ryan Anderson in the game as the act of slashing opens up easy looks for Ryno if the opposing big man decides to drop down or easy looks for Davis if the other big man stays home. This should be THE staple of our offense. We need to get him the ball in space with room to work instead of posting him up as much. Davis should be averaging ~4 assists/game off these opportunities. Our single best opportunity to create havoc on offense is having the ball in Davis’ hands with room to work.
  • Dumb It Down. We need to stop trying to fit square pegs into round holes. We have a decent number of below average basketball players with very specific skill sets. I’m exaggerating for illustrative purposes, but Jimmer Fredette should not step foot inside the 3-point line unless he is running through the lane to get to another spot beyond the 3 point line. Ditto with Luke Babbitt watching film of 2010 “pump into the 17 footer” Trevor Ariza. Let them fly. Run specific plays to attempt to get those guys 3-point opportunities. It’s not as if the other team game plans for those two players. We HAVE to get production out of them off the bench. There is too much pressure on Rivers and Anderson to play 2 on 5 basketball on that end. Rivers isn’t capable of handling it (this coming from a huge fan of his). Making it a point to get Jimmer / Babbitt going from the outside will at least keep the defense honest.

((A couple additional notes. I’m sure many people agree with Eric, and I know for a fact that some of these very points have been recently raised by people who know way more about this team than me. Also, just send your piece to “articles” here, and we’ll consider it for publication as long as it is a well-constructed post. – 42))

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