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Game 58: Pelicans-Heat Postgame Quotes 2-23-18
Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry
On the overtime win:
"Boring game...Nothing exciting about it. No. I thought both teams played extremely hard and [the Miami HEAT] a hard team to play, especially coming out of the break because they probably play as hard as any team in the league. They've got a big guy (Hassan Whiteside) that does a great job of protecting the basket. Then they have guards, especially Goran (Dragić) who, I think he proved tonight that there's a reason that he made the All-Star team. I just thought we hung in and hung in. I didn't think we ever got a rhythm going like I think we're capable of, but I thought this was probably our best game as far as grinding it out and just hanging in and finding a way to win."
On Emeka Okafor's performance thus far on the Pelicans and if his success is surprising:
"I can't even start to tell you how surprised I am. You know, that's really tough to do. He's basically sat out of the league for five years, almost. To come back and play at the level that he's playing at, to be honest with you, I'm in complete shock. I didn't know if it could be done, really, and to do it at the level that he's done has been great. It couldn't happen to a nicer person though. It really couldn't."
On if Emeka Okafor covering Hassan Whiteside was done to free up Anthony Davis:
"Yes, and that's why we ended up starting him. He played the first seven minutes of the game, I thought Emeka more than held his own and that's seven minutes that AD doesn't have to grind and bang with a guy that size. Eventually, Emeka gave us great minutes, I don't know how many...he ended up playing seventeen minutes, five blocked shots, seven rebounds. If we can get that from him every night, we'll take it."
Pelicans Forward Anthony Davis
On if he's playing with different confidence during the winning streak:
"I'm just trying to do my part, that's it. Like I said, when (DeMarcus) Cousins first went out, I was overthinking. I was doing stuff I normally wouldn't do. Now I'm just playing basketball and with a lot of instinct and a lot of confidence. I'm just trying to make the right play, whether it's for me or my teammates. Everybody's confidence is up right now. We're just playing together and we're getting wins off of that."
On the importance of his teammates playing well:
"It's huge. We don't win that game without Ian (Clark) playing the way he played. We don't win that game without Jrue (Holiday) playing the way he played. Everybody just has to step up in DeMarcus' absence and that's what those guys are doing. We're playing with a lot of confidence in the last four games now. We're playing with a lot more pace. We've been the No. 1 team in pace over the last 10 games. We're just playing differently. We're playing up-tempo and just trying to get easy looks. Guys are playing in a rhythm and with a lot of confidence: That's what we have to do."
On playing with emotion:
"It just happened. I see the bench over there, they hyped. The crowd getting into it and I get hyped. I don't know. It just happens. Then I dunk on D-Wade (Dwayne Wade) and do nothing. I just go to the line. I just got to be in the moment. Nine times out of 10, I'm not really doing nothing. It was just one of those games where we wanted to win. The crowd was into it all night and I just wanted to make sure they weren't asleep."
Pelicans Guard Ian Clark
On hanging in and winning the game:
"I think it says that we're figuring it out. I think we needed a game like this – trailing the whole game, like you said – and being able to grind it out and get a win, especially off the break. We haven't played in a week, so being able to have a game like this, especially at home for us is good and hopefully we can continue off this momentum."
On the importance of role players contributing:
"That's what we're going to need. That's what we're slowly figuring out: Obviously those guys are going to get their shots and obviously guys are going to make an impact on the game like they always do, but having that second unit, the cast of the guys stepping up and making plays – whether it be defensively or offensively – we're going to need that these last 24 games."