New Orleans could play Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic together
The New Orleans Pelicans could start Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic this year. The Pelicans just acquired Randle from the Los Angeles Lakers and lost DeMarcus Cousins to the Golden State Warriors this past offseason.
While they did lose an All-Star, their new personnel will presents opportunities for competitive new lineups. Pelicans assistant coach Darren Erman believes this trio can be dangerous this year.
When asked if he thought they could all play together, Erman had an optimistic response.
“I’d say we can. Niko guarded Kevin Durant and did a good job, so it’s definitely feasible. Niko is really smart and slides his feet well. He did a great job defensively last year. He switches a lot as well, so he’s guarding quicker guys sometimes. But it’s hard for those guys, not so much on the perimeter, but when it’s smaller guys running around screens,” Erman told The New Orleans Advocate.
Ideally, Anthony Davis would move to center, Julius Randle would play power forward and Nikola Mirotic would play small forward in this lineup. Davis can play both power forward and center, while Randle could remain at his natural position. At 6-foot-10, Mirotic is a deadly scoring threat on the offensive end as a small forward. However, his speed isn’t a good fit for all wing matchups.
“I don’t want to put them on JJ Redick or Kyle Korver, but other guys they can guard who aren’t running off screens. Niko has done it and Julius can do it, but he’s never really been put in that position so far,” said Erman.
The addition of defensive point guard Elfrid Payton will only add to number of unique sets the Pelicans will be able to run this year. Be on the lookout for a new super sized group of starters for them this year.