Last February, the New Orleans Pelicans traded Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, and 2017 first- and second-round draft picks to Sacramento Kings for big man DeMarcus Cousins. They were hoping to turn things around with the NBA’s latest twin tower. However, their plan failed.

This coming season, the Pelicans headed by Coach Alvin Gentry, is hoping to come back from the abyss they have fallen last season by bringing in one of the best passers in the league, Rajon Rondo. And if Gentry’s plan works, the team can easily cruise to the NBA Playoffs.

The Gentry plan

In an interview with FoxSports1280 back in July, Gentry spoke of his plan to start Rondo alongside Jrue Holiday, who recently signed a five-year, $126 million contract with the Pelicans. “I like Jrue off the ball to start the game as a scorer. I like Rondo being on the floor as a leader,” Gentry said.

Individually, the Pelicans’ starting lineup looks very promising with Holiday, Cousins and Rondo joining Anthony Davis. The 2017 NBA All-Star MVP posted monster numbers last season on his way to being named to the All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive Second Team, the second time for both awards.

Bench concerns

Yet the biggest problem of Coach Gentry is not his star players; it’s when they sit down on the bench for the much-needed breather. Outside these four names, these are the only players who can contribute to Coach Gentry’s cause: Solomon Hill, E'Twaun Moore, Ian Clark and Jordan Crawford.

The former Golden State Warriors shooting guard once scored 36 points against the San Antonio Spurs in the battle of top Western Conference teams which played minus their star players.

Crawford is another bright prospect for the Pelicans. Among the players on their current roster, the 28-year old shooting guard has the highest Catch-and-Shoot percentage.

Moore initially was part of the Pelicans’ its starting lineup last season before being relegated to coming off the bench. Hill, on the other hand, is more on defense rather than offense. And that’s just all of it.

Make or break

Cousins was a big factor in getting the service of Rondo; their connection during their Sacramento days was great except that they did not reach the playoffs. Coach Gentry is banking on the chemistry the two former Kings’ players have built. And with Davis coming off his most productive season, Coach Gentry is also banking on his leadership to help bring the franchise back to the NBA Playoffs.

Speaking on barging back into the NBA Playoffs, many basketball analysts and experts believe that Cousins’ desire to finally step onto the playoffs is higher than ever considering he’s going to be a free agent in 2018.

Another non-playoff appearance won’t look good on his resume.

But is the New Orleans Pelicans’ firepower enough to skip what many believe would be another short season? Coach Gentry has two of the best big men in the league today, Davis and Cousins. Now, Rondo must prove that Gentry’s decision making him court general and moving Holiday at the No. 2 spot is the right choice.

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