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Transcript: Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry media availability – August 5, 2020

Alvin Gentry Media Availability – August 5, 2020

On the unique nature of playing back-to-back games with the first game being a day game and how beneficial is that for the team:
“It’s beneficial, I think. Obviously, it’s not like you’re playing a seven o’clock game and then turning around and playing a seven o’clock game [the next day], so we should be back at the hotel by 4:00 or 4:30 (tomorrow). From that standpoint, I think you get adequate – whereas the regular shootarounds, we don’t have to worry about or anything like that.”

On the Pelicans’ offense in transition during their last game against Memphis:
“I think the one thing is (that) we managed our turnovers and then when we’re coming up with stops, obviously you’re going to have more opportunities to run. The more opportunities that we have to run, then the better chance that we’ve got to convert some of them. It was just a matter of our defense being really solid, us not turning the ball over, and giving ourselves more opportunities to do that.”

On how the Pelicans can improve their offense moving forward:
“I think the one thing we have to do is that we have to get more initial ball movement. I think sometimes we’re trying to attack too early, and I think the thing that our offense has been really good at – and especially after Christmas – was our ball movement and our assists. When our assists are up, and usually when we get 30 assists, we win the majority of those games. I think we’ve just got to get the ball moving initially and not try to attack right away unless we have numbers. I think when we do that, then we create better shots for ourselves.”

On continuing to play good defense and what the Pelicans can do to keep that defensive momentum going:
“I thought we were a little bit more aggressive (against Memphis). I thought we were into the ball a little bit more. We did a good job. If you guard pick-and-rolls well in this league, then you have an opportunity to have a good defensive night. I thought we did a good job on the pick-and-rolls, especially with (Ja) Morant. He’s a young player, but a really, really good player and a very athletic player. I thought we did a good job of controlling him and keeping him out of the paint, and I think when you do that, you’ll have an opportunity to have a good defensive night against them.”

On if any Pelicans will be on a minute restriction during the back-to-back:
“No. First of all, we’ll see after the game what’s going to happen. But from the restriction of minutes standpoint, we’re just going to keep building up and we’re just going to keep playing, and we’ll figure that out along the way.”

On his thoughts about the recent incident in Aurora, Colorado:
“To me, other than the George Floyd thing, it is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in my life. To take kids out of a car and handcuff them and put them on the pavement, or whatever the heck they decided to do, if that’s your protocol, then you need to change it, because I don’t understand how, number one, a minivan can be confused as a motorcycle, [and number two], how a Montana license plate can be confused as a Colorado license plate. This is something that should have absolutely never happened. I mean, this thing should have been worked out before [the police officer] ever walked to the car. If that’s what you’re supposed to do – you take a mom, a niece, and two kids out of a car and you handcuff them, then that’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard of. It’s very disturbing even to just watch it on tape, and I don’t know what could possibly be going through your mind to think that would
be okay to do to little kids. That is just something that should never, ever, happen. I don’t give a damn what their protocol is there or how you’re supposed to do it, but to do that to kids, they’re going to be traumatized for the rest of their lives, and have every right to be, really. I just don’t understand how these things can continue to happen, and happen, and happen. If that’s the way we’re training our police officers, then we need to change everything about it, because if you think that [those kids], if they’re threats, [and] that we have to put handcuffs on them, then I have no idea of where we’re headed as a country, or as a police force, or anything else. It was very disgusting, it really was. That’s the only words you can use.”

On Jaren Jackson Jr. tearing his meniscus and how does losing him change Memphis’ team:
“To be honest with you, I did not see him get hurt. I don’t know when it happened in the game, but obviously, with a meniscus, it’s a pretty serious injury. I did not see him get hurt, but what does it mean playing without him? He was hurt before we came to the bubble, and he missed some games with them, but what you lose [is] a big man that has the ability to step out and shoot the basketball. He’s a good passer, just gives them more size on the floor, [and] a rebounder, so they lose a really good player. They’ll play small, and they’ll spread the floor, and they’re used to playing without him. They played so many games without him that they’re accustomed to playing without him, but obviously, you take a very good player off the floor for them.”

On the race for the 8th and 9th seeds in the Western Conference and how close it is:
“I think what it is, it just shows the kind of depth that there is in the West. I mean there’s a lot of very capable teams. Phoenix is here, probably playing the best basketball of anyone here, probably other than Toronto. They’ve done a great job and had great wins. Obviously, the win against the Clippers is a huge win for them. I think Portland is playing really good basketball. There’s a lot that’s jam-packed. You look at Sacramento, and they’ve had games that they could have easily won that just didn’t’ quite go their way. I think there’s a lot of depth. I think the games have been fairly close. You even look at [the] Portland and Houston [game] last night. All of these games are close, and you just have to make plays down the stretch. That just shows the depth of the Western Conference and the teams that are in it.”

On the Pelicans decision making in late-game situations:
“Well, I think our guys made good decisions. We had the ball in the hands of the people that we really wanted to have it in the hands of. I think if you watch the Phoenix game, I’m not sure if that was the play that was designed, but they had it in the hands of Devin Booker, and I think at the end of the game, that’s what you’re going to have. With us, at the end of the game, it’s going to be in BI’s (Brandon Ingram) hands, it’s going to be in Zion’s (Williamson) hands, [and] it could be a shot from JJ (Redick), but we’ve manufactured what we wanted to. Even in the Utah game, at the end, we got the shot that we wanted. BI on a, what we considered, a very makeable shot, and we had JJ coming off a screen, so from the standpoint of getting the shots or manufacturing the shots that we wanted, I thought we did that. We’d just not like to be in a situation where the last shot of the game is going to be the deciding factor.”

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