Pelicans Coach Willie Green Delivers The Speech Of A Lifetime
The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Los Angeles Clippers in the play-in to head to the NBA Playoffs. The Pelicans won 105-101, in what was a barn-burner of a match. However, the game was in peril as the Pelicans were down 10 going into the 4th quarter. Head Coach Willie Green then gave the speech of a lifetime, the players responded, and the team got the victory!
When the Saints got Sean Payton the franchise was changed forever. I do not want to compare Coach Green to Payton because Coach Green is his own man. However, it has to be noted how Coach Green has changed this franchise and culture.
This team started the season 1-14 and now is in the playoffs. That just speaks to the culture that Coach Green has created. The players never folded and fought to make the playoffs. That was even shown in the play-in game by the way they came back when down 10 going into the 4th quarter.
When you look at the play-in game, in the 4th quarter Coach Green had 3 rookies on the court in clutch moments. That was after the brilliant Ty Lue had made adjustments in the game to remove the Pelicans' bigs from the equation. Coach Green responds with Herb Jones, Jose Alvarado, and Trey Murphy III. Murphy who hadn't received a lot of playing time previously was on fire tonight from the 3-point line. Murphy hit some big shots in the final moments of the game. That just speaks to the trust that Coach Green has in his guys and the growth as a coach to make said adjustments.
Brandon Ingram was also phenomenal as the franchise player. Ingram scored 30 points in the biggest game of his life. In Coach Green's postgame interview he discussed how Brandon Ingram is the truth. And he is 100% right. Brandon Ingram is THAT dude. But what I love is Ingram's respect and admiration for Coach Green. In his post-game interview, Ingram discussed how important Coach Green was for the team, keeping them focused and motivated during the low points. How he never quit on them and kept them fighting. That is the type of dynamic you want to see from your head coach and star player.
This team is just different. The Pelicans feel different. For the first time since maybe the Chris Paul years, the Pelicans feel like winners. From the players to head coach Willie Green all the way to the front office it just feels different. The culture that has been built is something that seems sustainable. And whether the Pelicans win in the playoffs or not, doom and gloom aren't upon us. The Pelicans will be just fine and I believe as long as Coach Green is at the helm, this team is in good hands!