The ultimate Pelicans fan guide for All-Star Weekend

Trey Murphy III & Herb Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Trey Murphy III & Herb Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

With the New Orleans Pelicans not set to play meaningful basketball again until next Thursday, fans will have to lean on the NBA’s mid-winter classic to get their fix of their favorite players.

So, which Pelicans will we be seeing this weekend in Salt Lake City?

First things first, despite being selected as an All-Star Starter for the second time in his career, Zion Williamson will not be participating in the game due to the hamstring strain he suffered in early January against the Philadelphia 76ers. So while New Orleans has a representative in spirit, they won’t have any players actually participating in the main event.

The award for most All-Star event appearances will go to second-year forward Trey Murphy III, who will be on Team Deron in the 2023 Jordan Rising Stars showcase and will also be competing in everyone’s favorite event of the weekend, the AT&T Slam Dunk contest.

His nomination to perform in the dunk competition is a nod to Murphy’s versatility as a player. As someone who shoots nearly 40% from three, you would have thought that he’d be more likely to be in the Starry 3-Point Contest.

However, the marksman also has some built-in pogo sticks in his kicks. At 62 dunks on the season, Murphy sits in the 94th percentile in the statistic. Even more impressive, he trails only Lauri Markkanen, OG Anunoby, and contest adversary Kenyon Martin Jr. in total dunks on the year among players listed as small forwards by Basketball Reference.

The final Pelican participating in the festivities is Jose Alvarado, who will be playing against his teammate in the rising stars showcase as a member of Team Pau (coached by NBA and international legend Pau Gasol). The second-year guard has enjoyed a nice season as the team’s requisite jitterbug off the bench, averaging 9.1 PPG, 3.1 APG, and 1.1 SPG in just under 22 minutes of action per night.

It is worth noting that, had it not been for a toe injury sidelining him for two months of the season, Brandon Ingram would have likely received serious All-Star consideration (he was an All-Star in 2019-20). Similarly, had Dyson Daniels not been missing for the last month with an ankle injury, maybe he would’ve gotten a look for one of the rising stars’ teams. The same can be said of Herbert Jones, who has missed 16 games this year due to various injuries. Both wings participated in last year’s rising stars challenge.

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