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Why Mike D'antoni could be the Perfect Coach for the Pelicans


As you all know there are a bunch of coaching opportunities open in the NBA right now. As of yesterday, the Clippers signed Ty Lue to become their coach, and a couple of weeks ago Steve Nash signed for the Nets jobs, Billy Donovan with the bulls and Doc Rivers to the Sixers. There are still many coaching jobs for grabs including the Rockets, Pacers, Thunder, and Pelicans. Mike D'antoni is the biggest coach still left on the market and with his gifted skills on offense a team like the Pacers and Pelicans would love to have him. Mike D'antoni came off a successful tenure with the Houston Rockets making the playoffs every year and being one game away in 2018 from making the finals. Something that I would like to see and I've been wishing for since he's been on the market was D'antoni to the Pelicans.



Impact on Lonzo Ball


One of the main reasons I want D'antoni to coach the Pelicans is to get the most out of Lonzo Ball. In past head coaching jobs D'antoni maxed out the potential of his guard play ad most notably Steve Nash and James Harden who ended up having revolutionary offensive seasons and both with their respective MVP awards. What Lonzo Ball needs the most is an improvement of his offensive game and help with his scoring which D'antoni is a master at. D'antoni is not the best defensive coach, however, what Lonzo Ball already masters is defense as he is an all-defensive level perimeter defender and can guard 1-3. Of course, he's not going to average 20 and have an MVP season like Nash and Harden, but if he can get his offense to a point where he could be the third scorer behind Williamson and Ingram that would help the team drastically.





Can get Zion in High Paced Action


The problem Zion Williamson had his rookie year was health and his inability to play long portions of games. When the NBA returned in the bubble many stars took that 3-4 break to get in shape and get ready to hit the courts. However, it looked like Zion was out of shape and he wasn't able to lead the team to the playoffs or even the play-in game. Mike D'antoni is a master of fast-paced quick offense. He maximized Amare Stoudemire the max and had him playing MVP level basketball and I can see him doing the same for Zion. The best way to get into basketball shape is playing the game and Zion failed to do that his rookie year. D'antoni likes running tight rotations with 8 usually being the max. This can get Zion in action and make him ready to play end game minutes.




Solidify Brandon Ingram as an MVP Caliber player


Brandon Ingram had his coming out year and proved that he was more than a decent scorer. He blossomed into an All-Star and won the Most Improved Player award. He had amazing averages of 23.8PPG, 4.2APG and 6.1RPG which were all career highs. Brandon Ingram showed that he could be a number 1 option for a playoff team as he led the Pelicans to a late playoff push before cancelation. During the bubble the team struggled and he only played 6 games and was the teams leading scorer. For this team to succeed he needs to be the number 1 option not Zion. Mike D'antoni loves to get his scorers going and he has had multiple times where he has had 25+ ppg players like Kobe, Carmelo, Harden and Stoudemire. Ingram in a D'antoni system would shoot more threes and this season he shot the three the best he ever has. His mid range game would still have to be in his game even if if D'antoni may not be the biggest fan of that. In a D'antoni coached system I could see Ingram averaging near 27-29 PPG and lead that team to a bottom playoff spot/




Revolutionary Offense Potential


This may be a bit premeditated, however the offensive possibilites this team has is phenomenal. The problem the Houston Rockets faced in their small ball play was that on defense they couldn't protect the paint and the old age of most of their players really showed. Another problem was the offensive incostiencies and only having 3-4 night to night scorers. With a young core of the Pelicans plus Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick and that 13th pick, the team has a lot of scoring potential. What could be revolutionary with this offense is the fact that they could play Zion at center. P.J Tucker is a great player, but it was obvious that he couldn't hang with the big dogs. We have seen Zion play some center so far and it has been amazing and their offense flowed. Alvin Gentry was not a bad coach, but Mike D'antoni would make that offense fun and fast paced.




Let me know what you guys think about this and where do you think D'antoni is going to go?

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Matthew Theodros