Skip to content

New Pelican Jrue Holiday finds name funny; thinks team can be competitive

Jul 25, 2013, 10:16 AM EDT

Toney Douglas, Jrue Holiday AP

In New Orleans, the switch of the team name from Hornets to Pelicans largely went over well — it’s something local, not something imported and forced on them.

Outside New Orleans, there are a lot of people shaking their heads.

Until recently, Jrue Holiday was outside New Orleans. He was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers (a good local team name) to the Pelicans in a deal for Nerlens Noel. Holiday told Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated the name Pelicans still sounds a little funny to him.

“I mean, it’s funny, I’m not going to lie,” new point guard Jrue Holiday admitted Wednesday. “It’s funny saying it. ‘We’re the Pelicans.’ But I’ve said it about half a million times now, so I’m used to it.”

Whatever you think of the name, the Pelicans are going to be an interesting team to watch next season — they were maybe the NBA’s most aggressive team this off-season. They traded for Holiday and added former King Tyreke Evans, to pair with the impressive Anthony Davis (who quietly had a good rookie season) and Eric Gordon. They also have some shooting with Ryan Anderson.

We’ll see how it comes together, but that’s a fair amount of talent.

“[Ownership and management] want us to be competitors,” Holiday said. “Starting off this year being the Pelicans, starting off something new, I think we’re doing it the right way. … We want to make the playoffs, especially with the moves that we made.”

One thing to watch is how well the Pelicans defend. Coach Monty Williams wanted to make it a point of emphasis last season but with the talent on the roster they finished 28th in the NBA in points allowed per possession. Holiday is a good defender, Davis is a year older as a rim protector, and if they can just get up to the league average on defense the Pelicans will have a shot at the playoffs.

  1. jackntorres - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM


    This lineup has the potential to shutdown a lot of teams.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Leaving out the speculation on Oden…

      A. Davis/Steimsma
      Anderson/J. Smith

      That’s how I think their rotation will be… with Evans playing a lot of minutes off the bench… Rivers getting 15-20 minutes at the guard spots…

      Regardless, they have a lot of talent. If Monty Williams can make it fit, they might have a pretty dangerous squad. They are young… this rotation that I posted is even leaving out some quality players that could make the rotation like Roger Mason and Anthony Morrow…

      • jackntorres - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        AD is 20 so his growth plates may not have fused yet. That being said, I think he would have to grow to 6’11” to comfortably start at the center position.

        There are reports of Anderson playing the 3 at USA camp now, but that may be because of international play. And I see you have him ahead of Evans there. Bottom line, one of either Evans or Anderson will start.

      • jackntorres - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        I do agree with much of what you said. But Mason is long gone. Morrow and Stiemsma are the oldest guys on the team at 27.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        I didn’t realize Mason wasn’t on the team. Was going off the roster on Agreed on AD but I wasn’t sure who else could be the starting center, with the other options being Stiesma, Withey and Jason Smith.

    • ryanrockzzz - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      I’m not so sure about a lot of teams. Defensively, I can see how year two Davis will be an impact player, but whoever you have playing the center position isn’t scaring me any. Evans is OK on the defensive side, Holiday is a good defender who has worked to improve.

      Offensively Jrue’s numbers were not good after the All-Star break. Davis still has a ways to go, so Evans will probaly have to carry the load.

      Potential is what I see in this team myself, but I almost feel like they rushed into acquiring a bunch of talent a year too early.

      • jackntorres - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        It’s ok Ryan, I don’t think you scare Greg, Greg, or Jeff either.

    • demasane - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      Where does Eric Gordon fit in this, I’d assume they will start their max guy

      • jackntorres - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        I never said starting lineup. But I think Evans-Aminu at SG-SF can defend better than Gordon-Evans.

    • anhdazman - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:27 PM

      If you’re relying on Oden as your starting center than you’re in big trouble.

  2. somekat - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Holiday is better than good defensively. He is a top 3 defensive PG in the league

  3. ohioteamsusuallysuck - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    This will be the second team after the cavs that I want to start a franchise with in 2k14

    • jackntorres - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      Play on PC now. Why wait?

  4. stlouis1baseball - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    His name is “Jrue.” Yet…he thinks the name “Pelicans” is funny.
    Further, he states “it’s funny saying it.” Seriously?
    Try saying “Jrue.”
    It’s not funny saying it. But it sure as hell doesn’t roll off the tongue either.

    • xxakshunxx - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      It might be spelled Jrue, but its pronounced the same as Drew, not like Jeru (the Damaja)

      • longtallsam - Jul 26, 2013 at 8:53 AM

        I never understood the logic of taking a common name, and misspelling it.

  5. psubeerman21 - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Not sure where this notion that Holiday is a good defender came from, but he really isn’t. He would routinely get abused by average point guards last year. Maybe he isn’t the worst defender on the planet, but I wouldn’t be banking on him leading a defensive surge for the Pelicans.

  6. unxpexted1 - Jul 25, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    I guess i just dont quite catch the hype on the Pelicans yet. They have 4 guards that pretty much just score (even the Holiday is more of pure and balanced of PG than the rest), but outside of that they have a pretty subpar front court and a undersized backcourt that I think would get abused routinely. Unless AD becomes a star this year (which i still think he is a couple years out), I guess I dont buy the notion that they are a playoff team yet.

    • bucklezzzman - Jul 25, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      Lol undersized backcourt? Holiday is 6’4, Gordon is 6’3, Evans 6’6, Morrow 6’5, & Rivers 6’4.. Roberts is the only guard who’s a lock to make the roster that’s under 6ft so what are you talking about? And I definitely wouldn’t say the frontcourt is ‘subpar’ with AD, Ryno,Smith, Stiemsma, Withey. That’s about as solid as it gets especially in today’s guard-dominant NBA. As far as SF’s go Aminu & Miller are pretty average as it gets, but like I said this is currently a guard-dominant league and we will run plenty of 3-guard lineups since we actually have big guards who will be fine matching up against their man defensively. Your argument lacks significant substance!

  7. bucklezzzman - Jul 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    This team is going to be super exciting to watch! There’s going to be a lot of efficient small-ball being played in NOLA this year which is absolutely fine with me considering that 3-guard lineups are rampid throughout today’s NBA.

    Also AD will not start at Center this year, thats for sure. It’s either going to be Jason Smith or Stiemsma starting getting 15-20min, and Ryno coming off the bench with Tyreke, both getting starters minutes

  8. nolimitgame - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Davis… That should be the starters in my opinion.
    A bench of Rivers, Aminu, Smith, Morrow, Roberts, Steimsma, and Withey
    would get the job done. Unless we sign Oden or trade Gordon for a SF like Gay
    or Granger.. Holiday, Evans, Aminu… That’s just not enough
    shooting and spacing on the court.. Having Gordon and Anderson being
    able to step outside will help open things up for Tyreke and Jrue
    to penetrate..

  9. ruthlessandtoothless - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    I completely see what the Sixers are gonna do but every time i read about Jrue and the Pelicans it hurts me deep inside. Side note… Jrue and the Pelicans sounds like a very great name for a R&B/funk band.

  10. dezglobal - Jul 26, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    It is a funny name.. Sounds like a HS team mascot. But hey, the city loves its cool w me.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. L. James (2142)
  2. J. Smith (2047)
  3. D. Rose (1865)
  4. K. Bryant (1787)
  5. T. Wroten (1597)
  1. T. Thompson (1582)
  2. J. Embiid (1510)
  3. R. Rubio (1460)
  4. A. Davis (1440)
  5. K. Irving (1436)