The Pelican Blog

Postgame report: From the Pelicans locker room

Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams
On the defensive effort
“Our guys obviously played with a lot of focus. They played hard for sure. We’re talking about a team in the Lakers who can shoot as well as anyone in the NBA. If we can compete like that and hold them to six threes made, that’s just effort to me. I’d love to say it is a bunch of schemes but our guys just played hard. Not to say they (Lakers) didn’t play hard, but I think when you are able to play and get easy baskets the way we did in the first quarter it helps you to maybe you can call a timeout, maybe you can set your defense. To me, the best defenses are set defenses where your team is looking at the ball coming at them and we had a number of possessions tonight where we were able to score and watch their offense come at them.”

On the team playing with so much passion tonight and the carryover it could present from the first half to second:
“We didn’t score much, but we didn’t give up much. If you are going to score 14 points, you need an 18 point defensive quarter to keep your spirits up. We came out in the third and we didn’t have it offensively but we still played hard and I thought Jrue (Holiday) set the tone the way he was all over the ball getting steals on pocket passes. A.D. (Anthony Davis) blocking shots and Jason (Smith) and Greg (Stiemsma) were big in the paint tonight. We had guys just make plays on the defensive end in the third quarter. We’ve had those games where the third quarter has been a bit of a problem for us but we didn’t allow our offense to dictate how hard we were going to play on defense. That, to me, is tough for young guys because young guys want to score. Our guys are starting to buy into the fact that it is about the team and we all have to paddle this boat in the same direction and its fun that way. We want our guys to understand that it’s not about me or them, it’s about all of us.”

Pelicans Forward-Center Jason Smith
On Anthony Davis’ playing each game
“Anthony was doing a great job running the floor. He worked so hard during the off season to build his body up. He’s playing at a high level this season. I’m just glad he’s on my team!”

On the difference in tonight’s 4th quarter close opposed to the team’s usual difficulty to close successfully other nights
“Tonight we finally took advantage of our athleticism. A.D. (Anthony Davis) just got out there and started and was determined to bring it home from the start.”

Pelicans Guard Jrue Holiday
On how amazed everyone is at Anthony Davis’s intensity this season:
“You can see that he’s determined to be the best. It’s clear in the way he deals with and accepts pressure, how hard he works, in everything he does. The sky is the limit for him.”

On the Pelicans now being at the .500 mark
“Tonight felt good. It felt really good. We just look to improve. We help build each other up and it’s definitely helping our game. We stepped up the intensity.”