"I'm really glad that coach asked me to come back when he did. I've been here for a few weeks now, just being around the guys and being back in the gym. Just having some sort of a routine back, it helps a little bit," said Anderson, who added he leaned on his religious faith and that he is helping to create a charitable foundation in Allemand's name.
"I know that there is a huge plan here. I know that a lot of people are going to be helped through this."
The Pelicans added depth with the signings of guard Anthony Morrow and center Greg Stiemsma. Brian Roberts returns and will spell Holiday, while Rivers, the 10th overall pick of the 2012 draft, should benefit coming off the bench. Williams had to thrust the 21-year-old into a larger role last year due to Gordon's injury and Rivers struggled with consistency and turnovers, but eventually seemed more comfortable coming off the bench.
COACHING: Williams is considered one of the brighter young coaches in the game and has gotten a free pass the last few years as the Pelicans transition into a new era.
Williams expects solid defense out of his team, something the Pelicans struggled at last year. The coach said his club needs to get more stops this year as it struggled contesting shots and had to play out of the net as opposed to pushing up the floor after misses.
That will be a test for Williams as he tries to blend some new players into his system.
"We're going to make sure we start from a base and build off that and not assume," said Williams. "In so many ways it feels like year one because we have so many new guys. Even though they know certain things about defense, they have to understand the way we do it and I've got to have a feel for what they do well on defense."
OUTLOOK: By no means are the Pelicans ready to challenge for an NBA title, but this team certainly has the talent and depth to make the playoffs. The group is young and excited to play together, bolstered by new ownership and improved facilities.
Gordon is certainly the X-factor as the Pelicans are a better team at both ends if he his healthy. Though Evans offers insurance as a starter if injuries again bother Gordon, it would impact the depth.
Regardless, the Pelicans should be disappointed if they don't find themselves in the playoff picture.
"That's how you always have to look at it, not just for us but for any team," noted Gordon. "With the type of talent we have, you almost have to look at it like that. But we're still building. We have a lot of new guys and we're all still young. We've still got to build towards that."