HomeBasketball TodayDejounte Murray Exposes Herb Jones' All-Defense Hopes

Dejounte Murray Exposes Herb Jones’ All-Defense Hopes

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During the New Orleans Pelicans‘ 116-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, the spotlight shone brightly on Trey Murphy III and Zion Williamson, who both had high-scoring games. As both were bestowed with plenty of postgame attention, Hawks star Dejounte Murray took notice of another, lesser-mentioned name in the Pelicans roster: Herb Jones.

Jones finished the outing with seven points, but everyone who follows this New Orleans team knows that the forward’s impact goes beyond box score statistics. After all, it’s worth noting that Jones is the Pelicans’ top defensive player. And on Sunday, Dejounte Murray experienced what it was like to be hounded by the forward.

“Herb Jones is a first-team All-Defensive guy,” Murray said, per Hawks writer Kevin Chouinard. “I love the way that he competes”

Murray may have tallied 23 points and 11 assists for the Hawks, but the former All-Star shot 7-of-20 (35%) from the field and committed four turnovers. This was mainly attributed to Jones, who also concluded his night with three blocks and two steals.

Herb Jones’ impact on the Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) gets the ball away from Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) during the second half at State Farm Arena
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This season, Herb Jones is averaging 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He’s spearheaded the Pelicans to a 111.7 defensive rating — sixth overall in the entire league. Among all Pelicans players, Jones ranks second in both steals and blocks per game.

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In fact, this is the second year in a row that the Pelicans hold the sixth-best defense in the NBA, which is why plenty of Jones’ teammates voiced displeasure when the forward himself was snubbed from the All-Defensive Team selections last season.

Besides Murray, other NBA stars have acknowledged the 25-year-old’s defensive capabilities. Dallas Mavericks scorer Luka Doncic was one of them, giving Jones his flowers back in November.

“He’s just a great defender,” Doncic said, per ClutchPoints’ Chris Dodson. “You could see his impact today when he wasn’t there for the first game. I really admire that guy.”

Regardless of another bid at an All-Defensive spot this year, Jones isn’t worried about individual accolades. The former Alabama stalwart has a team-first mindset, and he made this known in a recent interview.

“I’m just going to try and do my job the best I can for my teammates. The awards? I really don’t get caught up in those,” Jones said.

Will Herb Jones finally be included in the 10 names selected this year? It won’t be long before everyone finds out. Although, looking at what the workhorse has been doing on the court, he arguably deserves a spot.

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About the Author

Brian Buyawe is a sports aficionado with a passion for basketball, football and Formula One. His hobbies include running, reading and playing in recreational leagues. Back when he was a kid, Brian stumbled upon an old Larry Bird documentary among his family’s collection of movies, which made him a lifelong Celtics fan.


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