2019-20 Game 44: Pelicans at Grizzlies Postgame Quotes 1-20-20

On being in control during tonight’s game:
"We were but the thing about this team is they never quit. I watched games where they have been down big but they came back and won the game. I thought for the most part we did a really good job. I think we got off to a good start especially in the second quarter. I thought our defense was really good and we did as good of a job as you can do on Ja [Morant] in those situations. We tried to keep him out of the paint as much as we possibly could. They are a very good young team. They’ve got some really good pieces but I thought we did a great job. I thought Jrue [Holiday] coming back and playing the way he did was obviously great for us. I thought B.I. [Brandon Ingram] did a great job at the end just closing. They made a great run back and I think they got it to five if I’m not mistaken but we came up with some big baskets. I think any time you can win on the road against a quality team like that, it’s great obviously. We would have liked to finish it a little bit differently but a win is a win and we will take it."

On Jonas Valanciunas not challenging Nicolo Melli on the three-point line:
"It did and I thought [Nicolo] Melli did a great job, we have to get him convinced that he has to continue shooting it even if he misses a couple. I thought tonight he did a really good job of just catching it and if he was open, shooting the basketball. Actually that in the second quarter is what got us the separation."

On Jrue Holiday’s return:
"Terrific, I thought he got us off to a great start. More so than anything his defense on Ja [Morant] was great. Ja is having a hell of a year, so for Jrue to come back and play against him and lock in on him like that… The kid is relentless, I’ll tell you he just keeps coming at you. He is going to be a terrific player in this league for a long time. I thought Jrue did an outstanding job on him."

On the Pelicans playing their best basketball during their win streak:
"I think we are playing well and we are playing the way we need to play to put ourselves in a position to win. I think the pace of the game is great and Lonzo [Ball] has done a great job with that. I think we are finding the right people at the right time and I think our defense has been really solid. You take the Clippers game and, me personally, I thought we did a good job on Kawhi Leonard and that is hard to say when the guy has 36 points. I thought we did a good job, he took the shots that we kind of wanted him to take but obviously he was very capable of making them. The Utah game, that could have been a disaster but we shook everything off in that game and found a way to win it in overtime. Then we came here today and beat a really good basketball team, they are a very good basketball team. I thought we did everything that we had to from a game plan standpoint and it put us in a position to win here. Like I said, we didn’t finish the way we wanted to but it is just a good win for us."

On integrating Zion Williamson back into the mix:
"One, it is going to be a circus and everyone knows that. What we have to do is focus on the task at hand and that is playing a really good San Antonio team. I will give you a little story, in 2010 we swept them and everyone said they were over and two years later they were standing on the podium with another championship. So I wouldn’t count them out of anything. It is going to be good to get him out there. I think the big thing for us is we just need to get him out there so all of this goes away and then we can just start to figure out rotations and how we are going to play and things we are going to do. We have gone back already and looked at a bunch of stuff from preseason and so we will just try to integrate him right into what we are doing."

On the pace of the game and how the ball was moving around:
"I think we’re going in the right direction. We’re trying to get the pace up as much as we can, especially against a big team like we had to play against tonight so it worked out for us. We’ve got to keep doing that in the fourth I feel like."

On how hard it is to stop them when the ball is falling right:
"I mean we have three to four guys on the court at all times that can push the pace up there. With Jrue (Holiday) coming back, you saw what he did tonight. He was a big help for us. You’ve got B.I. (Brandon Ingram), myself, JJ (Redick) spotting up Josh (Hart), (Nicolo Melli) when he comes in so it’s a lot different offensively."

On the franchise record for three-pointers:
"I think they were good shots, honestly. I don’t think we took too many tough ones. We built tonight’s lead and came out with the win tonight."

On if the Pelicans are playing their best basketball:
"For sure. It’s a lot better than the 13 (game) skid we had. Moving in the right direction."

On how Zion Williamson fits into the team:
"I think he’ll just come in and play his game. Don’t put too much pressure on himself. He’s still a rookie. He’s still 19 years old. He’s got a lot to learn but we’re happy to have him back."

On Jrue Holiday sitting out two weeks and then having a great first game back:
"He’s an All-Star. Been an All-Star before. He knows what he needs to do. He’s not a young guy. He came in, he knew he was going to play today and gave us a lot tonight."

On having Martin Luther King Jr. on his tattoo and the meaning of today’s game:
"It’s really a dream come true, honestly. Without him, I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Thank him and the rest of the leaders for setting the path for us."

On having a good performance after being injured:
"Honestly, it felt good to be back out there. You see how well the team has been doing, and how they have been fighting and beating good teams and playing very well. I just wanted to get back out there with them. The performance I had was just juice and I guess I just had the hot hand."

On how it felt to have time off to get his body right:
"I’m well rested. It’s just hard for me to sit out. It’s something I fight with all the time, just fighting through pain. Everyone in this league is banged up at some point. The fact that I had this injury is kind of blessing. I had some things going on before (the injury), but its feeling pretty good now."

On how they played defensively:
"Staying disciplined is the biggest part. Defensively, I feel like we have grown. We have been doing very well. The only thing we can do is continue to progress and become top five in defense in this league. That’s the only way we can be good. With a team that can get to the paint and that scores a lot in the paint with Ja Morant and (Jaren) Jackson and other guys that can drive. Being able to stay down and stay disciplined to the game plan was big for us."