Alvin Gentry has a wide smile and a nice-guy rep, and most of the time he comes across as the easygoing sort.
But the New Orleans Pelicans have seen the other side of their first-year coach.
When he has to — and after Friday’s 104-88 loss to the Phoenix Suns, he had to — Gentry can play the bad cop.
“I think that Phoenix game was a pretty good example of that,” Gentry said Tuesday. “I was just disappointed because we had talked about the importance of games like that, games against Phoenix, a team that we’re trying to chase (for a playoff spot), and I just didn’t think we responded at all.”
Whatever buttons Gentry’s post-Suns rant pushed, they seemed to work. The “most positive thing” about his fury, he said, was the way the Pelicans responded to beat Denver 130-125 on Sunday.
“I know he was upset,” guard Tyreke Evans said. “I (heard) him on the sideline, just going off every time. He hates to lose. I think it’s the same way with us, too. We’re trying to play hard; we just come up short. We’re still trying to figure it out. But when we compete and play like we did in Denver, nobody can really stop us.”
Gentry said his team “showed a lot of character” in beating the Nuggets, particularly on the last day of a nine-day road trip.
That doesn’t mean he’s taking it easy on the Pelicans. Gentry continues to harp on his team’s lack of consistency, and the message is getting through.
“Coach just talked about us being a team where we just got to pick it up, not take a couple steps forward and a couple steps back,” Evans said. “He keeps preaching that to us. We’re tired of hearing that (stuff), so we got to come off with a winning streak and get it going.”
He’s over it
The stomach bug that sent Anthony Davis to the locker room for two quarters Sunday didn’t keep him out for the fourth, and there appeared to be no lingering effects.
Davis, who scored 19 points in the first quarter in Denver, spent the second and third in the locker room throwing up and taking IV fluids. He returned for the fourth, when he scored eight points and blocked four shots.
“It was just one of those things where you have a little stomach flu or something and it takes 24 or 48 hours to get over,” Gentry said Tuesday. “He practiced today, and he was fine.”
Although they’ve reportedly been active in trade discussions, the Pelicans have yet to make any major moves. At least one analyst predicted that will change.
ESPN’s Jalen Rose said in a conference call Tuesday that forward Ryan Anderson will be key in New Orleans altering its roster.
“The major change that’s going to take place is going to take place with Ryan Anderson,” Rose said. “He’s one of the better stretch forwards in the league. However, Anthony Davis also prefers to play power forward, so for a lot of lineups, they truly play the same spot. So if and when a move does happen, I think it’s going to take place, and he’ll be involved.”