New Orleans- After signing a deal with the Pelicans to become their head coach, Stan Van Gundy is optimistic about the team.
Last season, the Pelicans had a lot of expectations that did not come true this year. New Orleans drafted number one pick Zion Williamson and got a bunch of former Los Angeles players that was dealt in the Anthony Davis trade. The Pelicans had all the right pieces in place to make a playoff run, but it was cut short when Williamson injured himself in preseason. Williamson had to make his debut in January in which he set the NBA on fire with his 22 points.
The Pelicans was winning games and closing in on the eighth seed in the second half of the season, but the season was postpone due to the pandemic. After a few months off, the NBA decided to restart the season in a "Bubble" format. The Pelicans won two games out of eight and was out of the playoff race in a matter of two weeks. After a disappointing season, New Orleans decided to let go Alvin Gentry and bring in Stan Van Gundy.
Gundy is excited to be coaching the Pelicans and feels like he could take the team to the next level. "If we want to win at a high level in a very, very talented Western Conference, then we are going to have to be a very good defensive team," said Gundy.
“I’ve spoken to all of them, starting to meet with them in person,” Van Gundy added. “Spending time studying film. I can’t wait to get back on the court, and to try to build a tough, disciplined team that truly won’t bow down.”
It will be interesting to see how the players react to the new system that Gundy will put in this upcoming season.