New Orleans Pelicans: How Herb Jones impacts the game without scoring

Herbert Jones #5 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Herbert Jones #5 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

One of the bright spots of the season for the New Orleans Pelicans so far has been the play of 2nd round pick Herbert Jones.

Jones was moved into the starting lineup and has played well, the first 2nd-round pick in the NBA to get a start.

With Zion Williamson out, coach Willie Green is trying to find combinations that work, and so far the starting lineup with Jones has been very good, unfortunately the bench has not.

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The interesting thing about Jones is how he impacts the game without scoring. He is reminiscent of a young Draymond Green in many ways, and not just that they were both overlooked as 2nd-round picks mostly because of their age.

New Orleans Pelicans: Herb Jones defends everyone

Herb Jones is nicknamed “Not on Herb” and after the first four games you can see why, as the guy will guard anyone.

In one play against Minnesota, Jones started on Anthony Edwards on the perimeter, who he forced into giving it up to Karl-Anthony Towns. Jones then switched onto Towns, got right into his chest and forced a wild shot that didn’t even hit the rim.

He has been effective closing out on shooters and has the length to go from defending the post to getting a block on a 3-point shot. Herb Jones can truly cover the whole court defensively.

The little things

Herb Jones is one of those glue guys who does all of the little things that help teams win games. He always has his arms and hands in position to defend, which is one of the reasons he gets so many deflections.

Jones really makes it tough for offensive players to get clean looks and if they throw a soft pass he’ll get a hand on it.

I also love his hustle. Even though he made a poor play on the turnover here, he didn’t give up but got back and eventually got the block to save an easy bucket. This is the type of hustle and energy the New Orleans Pelicans have lacked for most of the last two seasons.

Jones doesn’t bring much offensively in terms of scoring, but I do like the way he always tries to keep the ball moving, runs the floor hard and always seems to make the correct read.

The New Orleans Pelicans are not a finished product with Zion Williamson out of the lineup but they have to love what they are getting from rookie Herb Jones so far.

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