Pelicans Beat Nuggets As Luke Babbitt Goes For 22 & 10
With only 9 healthy players, including 3 who have signed with the club in the last 2 weeks, the New Orleans Pelicans rolled past the Denver Nuggets Thursday night 101-95.
Even more impressive, the team was playing the second game of a road/home back to back after last night's 8 point loss at San Antonio.
"We're playing hard," said forward Luke Babbitt to Fox Sports New Orleans reporter Jen Hale after the win. "That's one thing about this group, what we're going to do for the last 7 games of the season is play hard."
Babbitt earned a double-double, going for 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Toney Douglas chipped in a double-double as well (20 points, 10 assists), his first since 2011.
A trio of players New Orleans has signed recently out of the D-League due to the vast number of injuries were a large part of Thursday's win.
Tim Frazier scored 17 and dished out 8 assists, while Jordan Hamilton went for 14 points and 7 boards. James Ennis, who signed with the club a little over 24 hours ago, put up a stat line of 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
"Tim (Frazier) and Toney (Douglas) at the start of the game were doing a great job of getting in the paint and finding guys," added Babbitt. "We're still a new group togeter (with) a lot of new guys."
Ironically, Thursday's win displayed what the New Orleans offense can look like in terms of ball movement under Alvin Gentry, something fans haven't seen much this season.
With willing passers and players running the floor, shooters find plenty of open looks. The bench players and trio of D-League signees ran the system with fluidity and success.
"When the ball moves and we can find open shooters, it's good basketball," noted Babbitt.
Fresh off his first double-double in 5 years, Douglas agrees.
"I played in Mike D’Antoni’s system," Douglas said. "People think, 'You don’t have the players,’ but if you do the system right,it will still work."
New Orleans now embarks on a three game road trip, beginning with a Sunday matchup at Brooklyn. Tip-off versus the Nets is set for noon.