Herb Jones shows he is far more than just defense

New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Herb Jones has played elite defense for the New Orleans Pelicans, which has gotten him some national recognition as one of the top rookies in the league.

But last night showed what some of us have been saying for awhile, which is that Herb Jones is far more than just a defense/energy guy.

I compared him to Draymond Green early in the season, mostly due to his ability to defend 1-5 effectively and disrupt the game with his D.

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But Herb also has a bag on the other end, which the Cleveland Cavaliers found out last night in the Pelicans’ shorthanded, and frankly, inspiring win at home.

Herb Jones is more than just defense for the New Orleans Pelicans

People always talk about Draymond Green’s defense, and how his ability to defend centers allowed the Warriors to unlock their “Lineup of Death.”

But Draymond does a whole lot more than that, as does Herb Jones.

Last night Herb was often tasked with initiating the offense as a point forward, something he did very effectively. Jones has a quick first step, can put the ball on the floor and is very good at using his length to finish at the rim.

He is also a very good passer and seems to make the right decision most of the time. A lot of rookies try to do too much when they are rolling, as Jones was last night, but he continued to play within himself and didn’t force shots down the stretch, instead finding open teammates several times for buckets.

Possibly his most effective use on offense is off the ball, where teams tend to leave him alone. Instead of just standing in the corner and bombing 3-point shots, Herb Jones makes hard cuts to the hoop, and his teammates are finding him. Again and again you see teams double off Herb only to leave him open for cuts.

Even though Herb Jones will never likely be a lights out 3-point shooter, he is hitting enough of them to keep teams honest, which will open up his game even more in the future.

I thought the New Orleans Pelicans were getting one of the steals of the draft in Herb Jones but he is proving to be more than a steal, as he is on his way to making the All-Rookie team and will undoubtedly make a few All-Defensive teams before it is over.

His ability to make plays both on and off the ball makes him an ideal type of player to put around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram and I can’t wait to see this team at full strength.

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