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Media Day News and Quotes

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2014 Pelicans took pictures and answers some questions. Jimmer wins most photogenic award.

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Early on in the media day Dell Demps summed up everything we need to know as Pelican fans.

The Western Conference is incredibly deep. All eight playoff teams expect to return. Phoenix, Denver, and New Orleans all have the playoffs on their mind coming into the season. Laker fans do too, but that's just cute of them at this point. 10 or 11 of the best 16 teams in the NBA will reside in the Western Conference once again this season, but only eight will see the post season. Who ultimately makes the playoffs is going to be a matter of new teammates gelling (not just in New Orleans but Houston, Dallas, Memphis, Denver, and Phoenix) and health. Speaking of health...

More Bad News

We already heard about Tyreke Evans injuring his hamstring on Saturday. Unfortunately that was not the end of the bad news on the team health front.

While there is reason for the Pelicans to continue to be cautious while increasing Holiday's workload to hear from his own mouth that he is only 75% seven full months after surgery to correct the stress fracture to his tibia is less than ideal. This is the media day, when players typically deliver hyperbole about being "in the best shape of their life" or putting on "20 pounds of solid muscle". Is Jrue simply a more honest kind of player? Possibly. But to hear that three of the six most important players are not 100% (Holiday along with Evans and Anderson) before a game that counts is even played is not positive news.

On the health front, the Pelicans now employ a new athletic trainer in Duane Brooks. I honestly cannot think of why the Pistons would hire Jon Ishop away from New Orleans considering the health history of this franchise.

Tyreke's Health and Position

While Tyreke's per game performance dramatically increased dramatically once he was inserted in the starting lineup his per minute performance was just as good when Ryan Anderson was healthy. It would be a bit of a surprise to see Evans start opening night consider he will likely miss the entire preseason, but playing off the bench is in line with the initial diagnosis of missing 3-5 weeks.

Positionless Basketball or the 1980's?

This will be fun to revisit. Let's do that immediately.

Monty leaning hard on defining positions while Jrue talks about positionless basketball. Putting this rigid philosophy of basketball against the current NBA climate (and John Salmons's incredibly poignant statement) really shows the secondary challenge the Pelicans will have this season. Health will be the number one factor, especially with half of the rotation already less than 100%.

Second will be Monty Williams. Will he put the players in a position to succeed, or will he remain rigid in his schemes? Foremost among my concerns will be the defensive schemes and how he manages the rotation with Anthony Davis, Omer Asik, and Ryan Anderson. As I wrote earlier this summer, it will be difficult for Monty to create a new Unholy Trio. Anthony Davis (or any big man) hedging well beyond the three point line will be another flashpoint for discussion as the season goes on.

Playoffs is the Goal

Jim Eichenhofer for Pelicans.com has an article stuffed full of quotes from Monty Williams and Dell Demps on the goals of the franchise this season. Yes, the playoffs are the goal. No, missing the playoffs (without qualification) does not necessitate a failure.

It is important to note that the Pelicans have just two players over age 26 in John Salmons and Omer Asik. It is no surprise, then, that the Pelicans ranked first according to ESPN in under-25 talent. For a team that "mortgaged its future" they sure do have a lot of young talent.

With that, let's hear your opinion. Is it playoffs or bust (and fire everyone) for you? Explain your position in the comments!