In something of a nod to modern-day basketball, New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry says he doesn’t plan on regularly pairing superstar power forward Anthony Davis alongside center Omer Asik this season.
Asik started 64 of his 68 games at the five last season, posting one of the worst campaigns of his six-year career. Gentry added that Davis will see more minutes at center depending on the lineup.
”We’re going to start who we think at that particular time is going to be the best for us,” Gentry said, according to Nola.com’s John Reid.
A front line of the elite Davis and the slow-footed Asik doesn’t offer much spacing in today’s NBA, and the pair ranked 15th on the entire Pelicans team in two-man combinations last season, according to Basketball-Reference.
Asik himself doesn’t deny he struggled in 2015-16, when he averaged four points and 6.1 rebounds in 17.3 minutes.
“Last season really left a bad taste, so we are really working hard to change that,” the 30-year-old Turkish native said. ”My whole focus this summer was to get better physically and get stronger.”
Asik signed a five-year, $58-million contract with New Orleans in 2015.
While losing stretch-four Ryan Anderson, the Pelicans added other frontcourt pieces in Terrence Jones and Solomon Hill. While remaining healthy has been an issue for the power forward Jones, he could fit nicely at the four when Davis is at center.