Reasons To Be Excited About Training Camp: No. 8 Competition
No. 8: Competition
An array of New Orleans injuries last season led to 12 different players being called upon to start at least two games. Though several inexperienced roster members benefited by receiving a bigger opportunity to contribute than expected, playing time in the NBA is supposed to be earned, not given. When a player is elevated to a more significant role, it should be because he’s proven he deserves it, not because there are simply no other options.
Following an offseason filled with talent and depth upgrades, competition in Pelicans training camp will be much more fierce to claim a spot in head coach Monty Williams’ rotation. New Orleans GM Dell Demps ensured that would be the case when he acquired All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday and potent wing scorer Tyreke Evans, as well as veteran role players Greg Stiemsma and Anthony Morrow.
According to the Web site hoopstats.com, New Orleans finished 18th out of 30 NBA teams in bench effectiveness in 2012-13, a ranking that would’ve been worse had the team’s second-leading scorer, Ryan Anderson, not been a reserve 59 times.
Who will be in the Pelicans’ starting lineup in 2013-14? Who’ll be in or left out of Williams’ playing rotation? Those questions will begin to be answered during October training camp and preseason games. One thing seems clear, though: the path to playing time this season will be a much more difficult one than a year ago.