Guard changes include move of Norris Cole to starting lineup, addition of Bryce Dejean-Jones

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

With Jrue Holiday playing at a high level in recent weeks, Alvin Gentry had the option of moving the one-time All-Star into New Orleans’ starting lineup now that Eric Gordon (fractured finger) has been sidelined, but the head coach decided to not try to fix what isn’t broken. Holiday will remain a reserve tonight vs. Detroit, continuing to fill the role in which he’s excelled since early December.

“I think Jrue is in a great place,” Gentry said before Thursday’s tip-off of Holiday playing well as a second-unit catalyst. “We’ll start Norris (Cole) and Jrue will continue to maintain his role. He’s been great for us in that role; he likes that role for himself. And also it helps us keep our rotations pretty clean in terms of what we’ve been doing. So we’ll try that and see what happens.”

Other notes from pregame at the Smoothie King Center:

Gentry decided recently that due to right knee tendinitis that has hampered Tyreke Evans this month, Evans’ stints on the floor will come in shorter bursts. That will remain the case, even though Gordon’s absence opens up some additional minutes. Gentry: “I still think we’ve got to try to keep him at that six-minute (stretches of playing time). He seems to be really good when we’re able to do that. That being said, we might need to push it a minute or so.” …

Gentry did not promise that the Pelicans won’t employ the Hack-a-Drummond after Detroit center Andre Drummond fired 36 foul shots at Houston last night, but indicated that he does not prefer the tactic for his teams: “We won’t do it, because I believe we want to try to establish a flow to the game. I don’t have anything against anybody that does. You have to do whatever you possibly can, to help your team try to win a game. That’s not to say we won’t do it, but I have a tendency to lean the other way and get a flow to the game going.” …

Gentry on the newly-signed Bryce Dejean-Jones, who has experience with the Pelicans from summer league and training camp: “He’s somewhat familiar with the system. We thought he played good for us in preseason and training camp, and was really close to making our team. To have someone who is somewhat familiar to us, where everything is not totally brand-new, we thought was the way to go.”