Reasons To Be Excited About Training Camp: No. 11 Veteran role players
No. 11: Veteran role players
Over a two-week span this summer, the New Orleans Pelicans acquired an NBA All-Star point guard (Jrue Holiday) and the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year award winner (Tyreke Evans). Although fellow summer additions Greg Stiemsma and Anthony Morrow don’t boast bullet points like those on their basketball resumes, they’re the kind of veteran players that cohesive teams need to win games.
Perhaps it was fitting that Stiemsma and Morrow were officially introduced to the New Orleans media at a joint press conference this month. The players share many similarities, starting with being born exactly one day apart in 1985 (Stiemsma will celebrate his 28th birthday on Sept. 26; Morrow’s is Sept. 27). They’re both among the NBA’s elite at a specific skill (Stiemsma is a feared shot-blocker, while Morrow ranks No. 5 in the NBA in career three-point percentage).
Stiemsma and Morrow also missed the 2013 playoffs as reserves for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks, respectively. If the Pelicans are successful next spring in their bid to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011, they’ll likely have to surpass one or both of those ex-teams in the Western Conference standings.