New Orleans Pelicans: What All 5 Projected Starters MUST Work On….
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…..
PG: Jrue Holiday- Adjusting to his new team
– Holiday is no longer his team’s franchise player, but the All Star point guard is still a very important piece on his new team. He will not have to try and score as much as he did in Philly and running this team’s offense is his first priority. His points will drop next season, as this team has plenty of scorers, but he should be far more efficient not having to carry his team’s offense and his assists should rise. He should be a far more efficient scorer and distributor than last season and this team would much rather him average an efficient 15 points and 9 assists per game than the 17.7 points and 8 assists per game on 43% shooting and 3.7 turnovers per game of last season.
SG: Eric Gordon- Health
– Gordon is this team’s top offensive player, as he is easily capable of averaging 20 or more points per game, as he has in the past, but he just needs to get healthy. In almost a year and a half with the Pelicans, Gordon has only played in 51 games. But when healthy he’s proven that he is one of the league’s top scorers and an efficient one at that. This team needs a go to player and Gordon is their best option, but he must start the season healthy and end it that way. All he needs to work on this summer is getting his body healthy and work on his conditioning, so that his body stays that way. It is time he started earning that 15 million per year.
SF: Al Farouq Aminu- Shooting
– In Aminu’s first NBA season, he shot 31% from three and two years later it was down to 21%. He does not need to be an elite shooter, but if he could get back up to over 30%, it would help stretch the floor and make the 47.5% shooter from the floor, far more effective. He is a very talented rebounder and defender, but if he could become a better shooter, he would become a better scorer and offensive player and become a true capable starting small forward in the NBA.
PF: Ryan Anderson- Rebounds
– The NBA’s leader in three pointers made is an excellent offensive player and obviously an elite shooter, but now that this starting lineup will be smaller than last season, they will struggle with rebounds and they need better rebounding production from their starting power forward, than the 6.4 per game he averaged last season. He averaged 7.7 rebounds per game the previous season in Orlando, so we know he can do better and for the sake of the team, they need him to at least get to that point or better, as they could be the worst rebounding team in the entire league and ever board helps.
C: Anthony Davis- Expanded Offensive Role
– Anthony Davis is a rising star in this league and already an elite shot blocker and an excellent rebounder and can become one of the best defensive players in the NBA. He also has a rising offensive game and is very efficient, but he must take on a bigger offensive role and become their go to player down low. He is this team’s franchise player and needs to step up offensively and shoot far more than the 10.6 times he did last season. He is a talented player in the post and with his mid range game and he shot a very impressive 52% from the field last season. Davis just needs to shoot more and take on a bigger offensive role to become the star this franchise needs him to be, not just defensively, but offensively as well. Assuming he does step up even further in his sophomore NBA season, he should not only be this team’s best defensive player, but a true go-to player down low as soon as next season. He will also need to work on adjusting to playing center, which will be difficult but expanding his game and becoming a true offensive force is far more important to them this season, as he will learn the center craft in very due time.