Coach: Stan Van Gundy GM: Logan Rempel
Stan Van Gundy known for his past of building top defensive teams fields the deepest team in the league, the new New Orleans Pelicans. With Damian Lillard arguably the best PG in the league running the show every night. Damian Lillard’s work speaks for itself. He is paired with whom many have forgotten as one of the best centres in the league, a HEALTHY Demarcus Cousins. His last healthy season he averaged 16, 7 and 4 on only 25 minutes per game. With 35 or so minutes a game in his healthy legs he will EASILY be back at days of averaging ~25 and 12. Dame Dolla and Boogie create a scary if not the scariest 1-2 punch in the league. As the third man to the operation lefty Julius Randle brings aboard his forceful 20 and 10 nightly output. Alongside Boogie this creates a powerful interior scoring frontcourt. Josh Richardson brings in his 3 and D talents. He will be tasked with guarding the other teams star player every night, taking a lot of the defensive pressure off Lillard. Filling out the last spot of the starters is one of the most beautiful strokes in the game and former 3 point champ: Joe Harris. His job is to do exactly that, provide spacing for the big fellas and Damian Lillard to go to work.
Off the bench comes players that would find themselves in a starting role for most teams in the league. The big Lithuanian backs up Boogie sporting his underrated and quiet 15 and 11 numbers. This gives me 2 quality centres to dominate inside with and set screens for Lillard. Running against a small ball team we then are faced with 2 options: let Boogie and JV eat the children they are faced with in the post or run Randle and Aminu to match the other teams small ball lineup. Aminu brings in his tremendous defensive ability giving me a quality backup to throw at many of the star forwards in the league. Lamb comes in with double digit averages with the ability to catch and shoot as well as create his own shot when he needs to. Alec Burks comes in as the best scorer of the bench with averages at 15ppg last season. Between the 2 they can also provide some ball handling backup to Damian Lillard. Malachi Flynn finds himself in a position to learn from Damian Lillard and get spot minutes. At 22 he may be more ready to make an impact over some of these younger kids in the draft.
The Gundy Pelicans check off all the boxes needed to be a great team; how far can they go?
PG Damian Lillard 38/ Malachi Flynn 10
SG Josh Richardson 30/ Jeremy Lamb 18
SF Joe Harris 30/ SF Alec Burks 18
PF Al-Farouq Aminu 18/ Julius Randle 30
C Demarcus Cousins 30/ Jonas Valanciunas 18