Jeff Van Gundy took interest in the Pelicans' head-coaching job for more reasons than Anthony Davis, and he expects Alvin Gentry to thrive for those same reasons.

“Alvin Gentry is a really, really good hire because what you need to succeed in the NBA today goes beyond having a really good coach,” Van Gundy said Monday in an ESPN/ABC teleconference previewing the NBA Finals, which he will broadcast.

MORE: Mark Jackson 'proud' of Warriors | Van Gundy explains his coaching wait

"It has to be a really good coach that ownership and management believe in and support. And not support only when you’re winning, but when you go through some difficult times. So I think the belief by ownership and management, it’s sincere and it’s squarely behind the vision that Alvin has for his team going forward.”

To see Gentry’s vision, look no further than his star All-NBA first-team power forward. Davis averaged 24.0 points a game this regular season and topped that off with averaging 31.5 in a tough postseason series against the Western Conference No. 1 seed and eventual champion Warriors.

Davis is only three years into the league, but already strongly predicted to be a Hall of Famer. Gentry is an offensive-minded coach who thinks he can use Davis better. That's an intimidating concept for opponents, similar to when Van Gundy took over the Knicks in 1996.

“I got Patrick Ewing in his prime," he said. "I made 100 mistakes that he covered up because his greatness so superseded most guys we played that it covered up my mistakes.

“You don’t hire a guy to bring out the best in a HOF player. Anthony Davis could be coached by someone off the street, and that dude’s going to average 25 and 11. I think when you hire, you’re trying to help build the best fit around him to get the right players.

“Because, this guy could be Tim Duncan. I don’t mean Tim Duncan greatness, I mean Tim Duncan: Stay and play for a long time with one coach. Alvin and he could ride this for a decade if they get the right pieces around them.”

Mark Jackson, who will join Van Gundy in broadcast the Finals a year after being fired by the Warriors, relates to the other side of Pelicans’ coaching search: the firing of Monty Williams. Jackson feels a lack of credit was given under the circumstances Williams found himself in, such as valuable players missing chunks of the season due to injury.

Williams took the Pelicans to the playoffs despite those injuries.

“(You) can’t take away what Monty Williams has been able to do to that New Orleans team,” Jackson said. “Sometimes, you try to make changes too fast, and it can hurt you in the long run. You don’t appreciate what a masterful job he did during the course of a year.”

Van Gundy concurred, noting that the way Williams set up the team was the reason it was an appealing job for him.

Jackson: 'I'm an emotional guy'

When the Warriors won the Western Conference Finals, the Bay Area was crying tears of joy. So was Mark Jackson, who called the game for ESPN/ABC, after a fan thanked him afterwards. Beforehand, his announcing presence seemed unusual to some because of his connection to the team. Golden State fired Jackson just last season after a three-year tenure.

“I’m an emotional guy; that was all it was,” said Jackson. “If you came to my church, you would say, 'Oh, he cries every week.”

As far as the criticism saying his bias is inevitable, either for or against Golden State, Jackson denies any such discomfort in calling the games.

“To me, it’s an assignment and my job is to tell the story. It’s easy and it’s what I’m paid to do and what I’ve dreamt about doing from Day One,” said Jackson. “The story dictates itself to me, and I relay the message to

the viewers as (well) as I possibly can.”

The threat of the three in the playoffs: How to win

The Finals start Thursday, and Van Gundy and Jackson will be calling them alongside Mike Breen and Doris Burke. The former coaches firmly believe perimeter defense is all-important. Shooting threats populate Golden State, between the nonstop 3-point firing of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to the defensive distraction Draymond Green draws.

Jackson believes Green is the key. “Probably the best offensive weapon would be Draymond Green, and that’s because of his ability to stretch the floor at the 3 point line.”

Yet, even Green has to face LeBron James as well as Tristan Thompson.

“One luxury that both teams have is a power forward in Thompson and Green that has the ability to switch on smaller offensive guys and also defend the pick and roll,” Jackson.

The Cavaliers have spread the court through their midseason additions, specifically J.R. Smith.

“You can never have too much shooting,” Van Gundy said. “As far as an offensive player to compliment LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, he is an absolute bargain. At his salary and with his skill set, a great, great fit.”

The series will favor whichever team can balance its heavy outside game with legitimate inside threats.

“If you’re Cleveland, you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to make Curry drive it to the rim versus shoot it from beyond the line,” Van Gundy said. “Likewise, I think for Golden State, they’ve got to make J.R. Smith put the ball in the ground. You can’t have this guy, you know, lining up with ten good looks at the 3 point line. “