New Orleans Pelicans week in review: Hayes and Ingram stand out

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Jaxson Hayes
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans: Highlight of the week

No surprise here as Jaxson Hayes takes home my inaugural award. The highlight comes from Sunday’s game against the Clippers. It’s a dunk that will be remembered for quite a while.

https://twitter.com/PelicansNBA/status/1371636239846150145

The power, the grace, the fact that Hayes put it on Reggie Jackson’s head, and got a technical for taunting… this dunk had it all. I like to think Hayes was offended by the bank shot Jackson made on the possession before this and decided to take out his anger on the Clippers guard and the basket.

New Orleans Pelicans: Lowlight of the week

This isn’t one specific play but rather a performance allowed to an opponent. No, it’s not the game Dame had Tuesday night. That wasn’t good by any stretch of the imagination but Lillard is an All-NBA player for a reason. As much as I’d like for New Orleans to lock him down as they did years ago, Lillard is different now than he was then and Jrue Holiday isn’t with the Pels anymore.

The lowlight was the Pels allowing Jaylen Nowell to rack up 28 points, five rebounds, and six assists. This season, Nowell is averaging ten points, two rebounds, and one assist—including his outburst last Thursday. No one saw this night coming, as Nowell played 28 minutes and finished with a team-high +25.

If Nowell didn’t have this monster outing, there’s no doubt in my mind New Orleans would have started the second half on the right foot. The killer was just how efficient Nowell was, missing just two of his eleven shots and going 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. The three-ball strikes again versus the Pels.

It seems that New Orleans almost dares one player on opposing teams to put up a career-high against them. The bad news is that it feels like that opponent is up to the challenge more often than not.