David Griffin compares Pelicans to 2009-10 Suns
New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has some very high hopes for the current Pelicans squad. The high-ranking executive has even compared this team to the outstanding Phoenix Suns side of the 2009-10 season, which was led by the likes of two-time league MVP Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Grant Hill, to name a few.
That season was Griffin’s last in Phoenix. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry was also the head honcho of that memorable Suns squad, and in Griffin’s mind, these two teams definitely have more than one thing in common.
“Well, I think one of the similarities was the version of Alvin Gentry that that 2010 team had,” Griffin said, via The Athletic’s Jeff Duncan. “He knew he had a team that was going to respond to him. He was not Coach Do Not Shoot. He was Fearless Alvin. And he really challenged that team on the defensive side of the ball to be more than they thought they could be. He got more out of that team than anyone should have expected. When we entered that year people probably projected us to win 44, 46 games, and we ended up being a team that went to the (Western) Conference Finals because we had great fit. The pieces were put together in a very intelligent way. And fit achieves more than you anticipate if it enjoys playing together and it’s playing in the right system.”
Griffin then went on to explain why he seems to see the same potential in the current Pelicans team:
“I look at our fit and think it’s very good,” said Griffin. “I think we have really high-character guys who are capable of far more than has been asked of them in the past, and I look at Alvin Gentry and I think he’s exactly the right coach for the team. So in that extent it reminds me of the 2010 team. Now what it will look like in the way it will achieve or if it achieves might look totally different. But for those reasons I see a lot of similarities.”
Griffin has set the bar extremely high here, and on paper, he does seem to have a case. Then again, the Pelicans faithful will need to take a cautious wait-and-see approach as their new-look squad enters the new season with so much hope and belief.