New Orleans Pelicans: Antonio Daniels ready to “die on this hill”

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Other than the play of Jonas Valanciunas, the New Orleans Pelicans have not had much to be optimistic about this season.

They are off to a 1-10 start, worst in the NBA. Zion Williamson is still on the bench and no one really knows when he’ll return.

Same for Brandon Ingram, whose hip contusion is lingering longer than a bruised hip should and is starting to draw concern from fans.

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Second round pick Herb Jones, who has been a bright spot, hasn’t played a game since going down with injury just after making the Kia Rookie Ladder.

But New Orleans Pelicans’ announcer Antonio Daniels has not let it damper his belief in the Pels’ future.

Daniels made some bold proclamations before last night’s loss and he is going to stand by them.

Antonio Daniels believes the New Orleans Pelicans will be special

It’s hard to get too upset about the Pelicans’ start, as no team in the NBA can lose its two best players and stay afloat for long. When the Pelicans finally do get Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram back, Antonio Daniels thinks they’ll be just fine, in fact, he thinks they’ll be special.

"“I am rocking with these New Orleans Pelicans. I will die on this hill. I will die on this hill right here. When you get Zion back. When you get B.I. back. When you get Herb Jones back. And you put those pieces along with Jonas Valanciunas and some of these other guys, this team will be special. Bookmark that.”"

Here is the full video of Daniels’ statement:

As bad as this start has been, I agree with Daniels here. You can’t evaluate a team, especially one this young, when their two best players are not in the lineup, and there have been some promising signs.

Herb Jones is a legit lockdown defender already and will fit perfectly with Zion and BI as a guy who does not need the ball to make an impact.

Jonas Valanciunas has looked like a top-5 center so far and will be even better when he is cleaning up offensive boards when his man goes to double team Zion.

Josh Hart has played well and looks like a guy who might play his way into the starting lineup full time, as he is hitting shots to go along with his defense and rebounding.

When the New Orleans Pelicans are back to full strength, their atrocious bench play will improve, as guys will return to their familiar roles and not be asked to do as much.

It’s been admittedly grim so far, but things will turn around and you can bet that Antonio Daniels will be there with a big fat “I told you so” when they do.

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