Five things to know about the Pelicans on July 11, 2019
1) New Orleans rolled again to a summer league win Wednesday, quickly going up 20-plus points en route to a 99-78 victory over Cleveland.
2) Impressive Pelicans first-round picks Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes gave another postgame interview for ESPN2, after both played major roles in the outcome.
3) By all indications, the Pelicans (3-1) have locked up a berth in Saturday’s quarterfinal round of the eight-team NBA Summer League tournament, based on the current official standings entering Thursday’s final day of pool play. New Orleans is in fifth place, but will automatically move ahead of the loser of tonight’s Boston/Memphis matchup. There are four teams currently 2-1 with a chance to improve to 3-1 Thursday, but none of those squads have a realistic chance to leapfrog the Pelicans in the standings, due to a nearly insurmountable gap in point differential. For example, 10th-place Sacramento has a total margin of plus-19 through three games; with New Orleans at plus-59, the Kings would need to win vs. the 11th-place Clippers today by 40 points to make up that gap. No. 12 Utah (2-1, vs. Houston today) trails the Pelicans in point differential by 55. It’s not a sure thing, but it seems very likely the Pelicans will meet Miami in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Once the Boston-Memphis game is played, either the Celtics or Grizzlies will join Detroit and Minnesota as undefeated and in the top three, while the loser of Boston-Memphis will slide below both New Orleans and Miami, making the Pelicans and Heat the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams. The only way this does not occur is if there is an absurdly staggering blowout win by any of the teams placed 10th through 13th (ninth-place Golden State is already done with pool play at 3-1 and can only move up if Memphis or Boston loses by 30-plus points).
4) Zion Williamson earned the ESPY for Best College Athlete last night. Check out photos from the show.
5) Alvin Gentry joined ESPN2’s broadcast for an interview during Wednesday’s Pelicans-Cavaliers summer game.