Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

Gentry plans to utilize players' versatility to overcome slow start

Mark Menard
November 14, 2019 - 1:05 pm

Despite a 2-8 start in the season’s first 10 games, Pelicans Coach Alvin Gentry believes a breakthrough could be on the horizon for his struggling squad. Gentry says he believes his team can take their game to another level because of his players’ versatility, particularly his centers Derrick Favors, Jaxson Hayes and Jahlil Okafor.

“I think of the athletes we have and I think the ability for us to have multiple ball-handlers,” Gentry said. “We have big guys that are good runners when you think about Fav, Jaxson, even Jahlil has become much, much more of a runner. So if you have big guys that can run… This is all new for Fav. They don’t play this way in Utah the last 10 years he was there. But I think he’s catching on and understanding, and he’s done a good job of grasping the concept of what we’re trying to do. So I just think we can do a better job at that.”

Gentry also continued to harp on the team’s propensity to give the ball away.

“You know, we eliminate two turnovers, we go from last in the league, 29th in the league to 15th in the league,” Gentry said. “We eliminate three turnovers, which could easily happen us because it’s just a matter of being focused, then we move into the top 10. We have not been a team that’s turned the ball over a whole lot. At this stage last year, we were averaging 14 turnovers a game. We’ve just got to do a better job in that area right there, and I think the big part of it is concentration.”

The Pelicans did cut down on their turnovers in their last outing, though they still came up short to the Rockets. They’ll have another chance to get things right tonight when they host the Los Angeles Clippers in the Smoothie King Center. Leading scorer Brandon Ingram will be a gametime decision as he looks to return from a knee injury. Guard Lonzo Ball though has already been ruled out.​

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