Despite the slow start from Buddy Hield in the Pelicans’ season opener, head coach Alvin Gentry insists that he expects his highly touted lottery pick to have better performances.
“He’s a rookie, he’s going to be fine. He’s going to come out here some nights and you will ask me about how great he is, so I’m not worried about that part of it. He’s a great kid, he’s going to work his but off but he’s going to have ups and downs like everybody has that comes into this league not named Lebron James,” Gentry said, “He’s going to be in a position where he’s going to have good nights and bad nights, as long as he has the confidence he has he’s going to be fine.”
Hield finished with four points and three assists in the Pelicans’ 107-102 Loss to the Denver Nuggets at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Hield came off the bench and in just under 17 minutes, shot 2-8 from the field and 0-3 from three point range.
“I don’t read anything into this game at all for the long term. Anthony [Davis] is not going to average 50 and 16, I can pretty much guarantee you that. Buddy’s not going to go 1-7 every game. It was one game and he’ll be fine, I’m not worried about Buddy,” Gentry said.
The Pelicans focus now shifts to Friday night when they face the defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors at home in the Smoothie King Center.
Hield said in preparation to improve it’s back to the film room and maintaining his confidence moving forward.
“It’s very disappointing,” Hield said, “Sucks to lose, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. But it’s the NBA, they tell me you have to forget about it and move on to the next one but I’m a sore loser so I have to worry about this one too. All I can do is watch film, get used to the game. Whenever coach calls my number I get the opportunity I just have to make the most of it.”
Hield was productive during the preseason where he averaged 12.5 points per game on 43.2% percent shooting from the field and 29 percent shooting from three.
He also added 3.5 rebounds, two assists and 1.3 three-pointers made in a team high 27.3 minutes per game.