Catching Up With Your New Orleans Pelicans
"That was the look I wanted. It felt good. It just was a little short. I'd take that shot again," said Ingram about the buzzer-beater attempt.
Back-to-Back with the Sacramento Kings
Monday and Wednesday posed back-to-back challenges as the Pelicans hosted the Sacramento Kings, who were coming off a hot six-game winning streak.
Monday's game (November 20) not only resulted in a brilliant win but also marked the return of Jose Alvarado to the court.
"This is another step in the right direction in terms of getting fully healthy. Alvarado has been a big part of our team, our spirit, and our energy. We look forward to welcoming him back," said Coach Green.
The Pelicans' offense was strong with a 54% shooting percentage, surpassing the Kings' 37%. Impressively, the defense held superstar De'Aaron Fox to 14 points, a notable decrease from his previous average of 32 points.
"We didn't allow him to play fast in transition. That's one of his strengths. It's hard to stop him. I thought we did a good job of breaking up his timing," said Coach Green. The defensive force of Jones and Daniels is "a luxury to have," said Williamson, who contributed 26 points.
The Wednesday game against the Kings presented a greater challenge, resulting in a much closer win for the Pelicans, with a final score of 117-112. The game was a roller coaster of emotions, with the lead changing 10 times and the game being tied 10 times.
"This was a fun game to be a part of. We knew Sacramento would come back and play harder, play more together, and do everything they could do to carve out a win. It was really a gutsy performance on our guys' part. Even when they made their run, we stayed calm and executed some plays," said Coach Green about this impressive win closed out by Ingram and Williamson.
"I think they just got in our paint too much. Obviously, Zion and Ingram are two really good players, two of the best players in this league. They were able to touch our paint a lot. Those other guys, Daniels, Alvarado, and Jones just disrupted us offensively. They got steals and a lot of deflections. We felt them tonight, especially defensively," said De'Aaron Fox, paying compliments to the Pelicans despite the King's defeat.
Closing Out The Homestand 4-2
Combined with last week's two games against the Minnesota Timberwolves and a win over the Denver Nuggets, the team closed out their six-game homestand at 4-2. Not to mention, they beat two of three of the best teams in the West.
"Our improvements are starting to show during this homestand. We should've had that one over Minnesota but are in a good spot as a team," said Daniels.
The Australian point guard in his sophomore season has exhibited phenomenal improvement this week, having been starting in place of McCollum (lung) and giving the Pelicans a more defensive edge.
"I love what I'm seeing from our young guys: Dyson, Hawk, and Matt Ryan are coming in and giving us a lift. We will continue to grow," said Coach Green.
In response to the improvements during this homestand, Ingram said, "We're taking steps forward every single day. Just getting better. We're going back and watching films and seeing where we can improve. We've got to take it on the road and get some more wins."
That said, the Pelicans take their season back on the road, facing off against the Los Angeles Clippers to close up the In-Season Tournament.