Pregame report: Pelicans at Nets
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
• In eight of the past nine games, the Pelicans have used the starting lineup of Brian Roberts, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Anthony Davis and Alexis Ajinca (the only exception was Jan. 29 at Minnesota, due to a Davis finger injury). New Orleans has gone 6-2 in those games, finally gaining some much-needed stability after the rotation had constantly changed due to overlapping injuries.
• Monty Williams on the recent success of New Orleans (22-27, 7-3 in last 10 games): “Our transition defense has gotten a lot better. Guys are getting used to playing with each other. They know the time they’re going to have on the floor. That helps with confidence. We know we have to take care of the ball, defend and compete every night. If we don’t, we don’t have a shot.”
• Williams on Luke Babbitt’s Pelicans debut Friday: “He was not afraid. He made some plays that don’t show up on the stat sheet.”
• The Pelicans have not lost a road game with Davis in uniform since Jan. 11 at Dallas, a three-point loss that had a controversial ending when Austin Rivers was contacted just before the buzzer by Monta Ellis on a three-point attempt.
• Asked if he is concerned about the way his team matches up against younger opponents such as Detroit, Toronto and New Orleans, Nets Coach Jason Kidd deadpanned, “I think pretty much all the teams are younger than us.”
• Kidd on the Pelicans: “They’re on their way up and playing good basketball right now. They’re extremely long and have guys who can knock down open shots. We’ve got to make them do something different. They capitalize on misses and can turn second and third opportunities into basket.”