The Pelicans entered today's semi-final as the only undefeated team remaining in the Las Vegas Summer League, but that changed by night's end. The Suns boasted two legitimate regular season rotation players in T.J. Warren and Archie Goodwin as well as the 13th pick in the 2015 NBA draft, Devin Booker. This, combined with the fact that perhaps the Pelicans running up and down the floor at a frenetic pace for the 3rd time in the last 4 days might have proved too cumbersome.
In the 1st and 3rd quarters, New Orleans pushed the ball well as evidenced by paces of 108.8 and 106.3 respectively. However, the coaching staffs mandate to run waned in the other two quarters. In the 2nd, the pace dropped to 100.1, and in the final frame, it fell to a Monty-esqe 88.9.
Bryce Dejean-Jones hot perimeter shooting in the 3rd quarter gave the Pelicans a 1-point edge headed into the 4th quarter, but the well ran dry and no other Pelican picked up the slack. Although Seth Curry finished with 21 points, he had only 9 after halftime. However, it was his defense on Devin Booker that troubled me more. In the third quarter, the Suns rookie got rolling against Sdot and for the rest of the game, all other Pelicans had troubling slowing down Booker's sweet jumper.
I'll be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if Dell Demps decides to not sign anyone to a guaranteed contract. Sure, there will likely be an invite or two to training camp, but I wasn't awed by any player in particular. Granted, tonight's game was the first one I've watched live and in it's entirety, but if Norris Cole is signed as expected, Demps will have the freedom to go the unguaranteed route ala Patric Young and Darius Miller. The reason I bring this up is because I fully expect Seth Curry is interested in only guaranteed deals and there is a decent chance some other team in the NBA may meet his demand.
Shortly after the game, it was announced that both Curry and Larry Drew II were honored for the play in Las Vegas.
San Antonio's Kyle Anderson was just named MVP of summer league. Seth Curry was named to all-league first team. Larry Drew on second team— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) July 20, 2015
Following the game, Alvin Gentry made an appearance on the Starters. He touched on several topics including Anthony Davis, Curry and his plans immediately following Las Vegas.
- Gentry joked the Pelicans will play big small-ball with Anthony Davis. His range should be for real as his former high school abilities as a guard will help him extend out to the three-point line.
- Gentry doesn't think a single comparison for AD exists; he's different from everyone due to his guard skills. His midrange shot is unbelievable, but Gentry wants him to improve the post-up game. Davis needs to learn to take his time against smaller defenders.
- In re Seth Curry: Gentry sees potential and likes the improvement in taking the ball to the hoop. Curry needs to be on a roster somewhere this season -- but Gentry sounded completely non-committal on whether that team would be the Pelicans.
- When asked about his famous dunk in a Golden State Warrior practice, Gentry claimed he went immediately to bed (feigned excessive exertion).
- Following this Summer League, Gentry plans on driving to California with his whole family to look at several colleges.
Oh, I almost forgot to include this tweet made by Eric Gordon during tonight's game.
Thumbs up or down for the attire?