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Transcript: Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry media availability – August 2, 2020

Alvin Gentry Media Availability – August 2, 2020

On today’s practice and what the team was emphasizing on:
“Like I’ve said to you guys, we have to manage our turnovers. We’ve given up almost sixty points in two games off of our turnovers. That’s telling me that most of them are live turnovers, and we’ve just got to do a better job in that department right there. If we could just eliminate that problem, that would solve a lot of the things that we’re going through right now. Now obviously if a team had 25 threes against you, you’re going to have a very difficult time beating them. I will give them credit, because we just went back and looked and most of those threes that were made were challenged threes; they just happened to shoot the ball exceptionally well last night. We’ve just got to do a better job on our turnovers. That’s the thing that I would say is the most bothersome right now.”

On the Pelicans’ overall mood after starting the seeding games 0-2:
“The one thing is, is that we can’t do anything about the game last night. Obviously we were very disappointed in the Utah loss, but we controlled that game a lot of the time. I think what you have to do is – today one of the things that we did is that we showed a lot of positive things that we did over the course of the last 40 games that we played before the hiatus came. We saw ball-movement. We saw good defense. We saw good team defense. We showed a lot of that today because I think it’s important. Obviously we have some big games coming up, as you said, and we’ve just got to play good basketball.”

On what he wants the team to carry over that they did well in their first two meetings with Memphis this season:
“I thought defensively we were really good in those games; we did a good job. I thought we did a good job offensively of playing in space, being able to create shots by our dribble-penetration. So that’s the way we’ll have to play them again. They do a lot of switching, and we’ve just got to make sure that we’re taking advantage of the switches…not to the point of trying to post the ball or force it in, but playing in space and having a good flow to our offense.”

On if he senses Zion Williamson getting discouraged at all with his limited playing time and if he has noticed that Zion is moving differently than he did prior to coming back to Orlando:
“Yeah, I think he’s frustrated…I mean, of course he does. He wants to be playing and he thinks he can help us win. Obviously we feel that he can help us win also. So yeah, there’s a little frustration there I think if you talk to him. I don’t know about the movement part. He just hadn’t had an opportunity. When you play him (in) three-minute bursts, there’s not a whole lot that you can tell from that right away. I don’t know if we can judge him until he’s able to play minutes where he can get a flow and see what’s going on there.”

On if there is a plan right now to increase Zion Williamson’s bursts going into tomorrow’s game and if the score had not been what it was last night, would he have played in the fourth quarter:
“Yes, we would have. We definitely would have seen him in that situation, but obviously in a 30-point game I’m not going to stick him back in those situations…although some people think it gives him an opportunity to be on the floor and play. I just didn’t feel like that made sense in (that) situation. I think as far as the next game, I won’t know that until I talk to our medical people. They’re the ones that can tell me the amount of minutes or the amount of bursts he can play, so it’s hard for me to say either way until I talk to them.”

On what he tells Zion Williamson about balancing wanting to win right now versus looking ahead one or two years down the road:
“We talked to him about that. I mean, you’ve just got to be smart in those situations. Obviously everybody wants to play, and they want to play right now…so we try to spend time, as coaches and medical people, to try to let him understand that this is going to be (for) the best short-term and long-term.”

On if he has ever experienced a player being handled as cautiously as Zion Williamson:
“No. I think the way the league is right now, there’s a ton more information out there, there’s a ton more specialists out there. I think what they’re trying to do is to make sure something where you get short-term gratification doesn’t end up in something long-term that could probably happen. As I said, I’m not really an expert at any of this right here; you would have to talk to medical people…because what I basically do, is that – and as a staff what we do – is that the medical people say he can play in these amount of bursts, and that’s what we do.”

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