Coach Alvin Gentry hinted earlier in training camp that Asik could be in line to see his role decreased in his third season with the Pelicans, as the team may opt to go with an up-tempo system and could experiment with some smaller lineups. Asik still appears to be battling Alexis Ajinca for rights to the starting center role, so Tuesday's start is another good sign for Asik's chances of opening the season there. With just two more preseason games on the schedule, an announcement of the final regular season starting lineup likely isn't far off.
Asik started at center and recorded 14 points (4-9 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 6-8 FT) to go with a game-high 14 rebounds, five blocks and one assist in 28 minutes during Sunday's 123-117 loss to the Rockets in an exhibition played in Shanghai, China.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry had subtly hinted earlier in training camp that Asik could be in line for a role reduction this season, so the big man certainly needed this sort of excellent outing to stake his claim to the top spot on the depth chart at center. Asik benefited from Alex Ajinca (back), his main competition for the starting role, sitting out Sunday, and the two will likely continue to duke it out through the rest of the preseason. Neither are expected to provide consistent fantasy production when in the lineup, making the battle for the starting role something only those in deep leagues need to monitor.
Asik may see a drop in the number of games he starts during the upcoming season, John Reid of NOLA.com reports.
Asik started 64 of the 68 games he played this past season, but it appears he could see a drop in those numbers. Coach Alvin Gentry indicated that he could move over Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, or use backup Alexis Ajinca at different points in the year. It sounds as if the team's starter could change on a matchup basis, depending on whether the Pelicans want to use a quicker, small-ball lineup or go with a traditional center look with a guy like Asik. Asik was a big disappointment last season despite starting the majority of the games he played and averaged just 17.3 minutes per game, to go along with 4.0 points and 6.1 rebounds. While he'll be looking for a bounce-back campaign, from the sounds of coach Alvin Gentry's plans for the upcoming season, Asik may have a tough time doing that with additional competition at the five spot.
Omer Asik had two points (0-2 FG, 2-2 FT) and four rebounds in 14 minutes during the New Orleans Pelicans ' 104-97 loss to the Celtics on Wednesday.
After being a healthy scratch on Tuesday, Asik received the start on Wednesday. Still, he struggled badly, committing three turnovers and three fouls. Asik has mostly been a huge disappointment this season, and there's little reason to trust him in fantasy over the final four games.
Omer Asik will start in Wednesday's game against the Celtics, Jennifer Hale of Fox Sports reports.
Asik has been in and out of the starting lineup as head coach Alvin Gentry has sought to salvage what he can from the injury ravaged roster. Whether or not Asik remains in the lineup is likely up to how the team perform on Wednesday. He should be expected to see a minutes increase while he's in the starting lineup.
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