METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Pelicans coach Willie Green sees New Orleans as a team on the cusp of contending. Green explained his conclusion by referencing his past two years with the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix narrowly missed the 2020 playoffs in Green’s first season as an assistant to Monty Williams. But they advanced to the NBA finals in 2021. Green says that with stars like Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans are a “sleeping giant.” Green says his coaching style will emphasize connecting with players more than Xs and Os.