Herbert Jones made his NBA debut on Wednesday night by playing 3:15 in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 117-97 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The former Alabama standout jumped from there into the Pelicans’ starting lineup on Friday night, and he scored New Orleans’ first basket of the game for his first NBA points in a 128-112 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
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By opening at small forward on Friday night, Jones became the first second-round selection from the 2021 NBA Draft to start a game this season. Jones took the place of Josh Hart, who started the Pelicans’ season-opening game on Wednesday but was not available on Friday because of a quadriceps injury.
In 29:09 of court time, Jones scored six points on 3-of-4 shooting and had one rebound, three assists, one steal and one block at the United Center. Jones finished with a plus/minus figure of plus-17, meaning New Orleans outscored the Bulls by 17 points during his time on the floor. No other Pelicans player had a plus/minus stat better than plus-3 in the 16-point loss on Friday night.
Jones scored his first NBA points on a reverse layup with 11:13 left in the first quarter. He added a dunk in the third quarter and another in the fourth quarter. His miss came from similar range when he couldn’t convert an alley-oop in the third quarter.
Herb in his first start - gets the first bucket for the Pelicans! 💪 pic.twitter.com/rm1AAZFbPf— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 23, 2021
New Orleans coach Willie Green praised Jones for his “great demeanor.”
“I’m proud of Herb, and I’m proud of our guys,” Green said. “We went out and fought. That’s a tough team, and we’re still building. This is just something we have to go through as a unit. I told the guys in the locker room we’ll go through it together, and I can see improvement game by game. We’re not where we want to be, but we’ll get there.”
Before joining the Crimson Tide, Jones played at Hale County High School.
The Pelicans return to the court at 7 p.m. CDT Saturday, when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.
Source : https://www.al.com/sports/2021/10/herbert-jones-scores-his-first-points-in-his-first-nba-start.html599