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2019-20 NBA Restart Seeding Game: Pelicans at Kings Postgame Quotes 8-11-20

HEAD COACH ALVIN GENTRY

On the performance of the Pelicans’ young players in tonight’s game:
“I thought that they played with great effort, number one. I thought we did a pretty good job in the first half of moving [the ball]. We ran into a little bit of a turnover problem in the third [quarter], but I will say this, most of the turnovers that we had in the third [were] guys trying to make the right play, so I think that was the most important thing. A lot of times they were trying to make the right play, it’s just a matter of them not being out there night in and night out, so the timing was just a little bit off. I can look [at the game], and I thought obviously Jahlil (Okafor) played great. I thought Frank (Jackson) did a good job. I thought everybody that went in there had their moments and did a good job. The big thing is, is that I thought Lonzo (Ball) played well and he was almost back to where he was before we had the hiatus, so that was really important for us, I thought.”

On Jahlil Okafor’s 21-point performance in tonight’s game after not playing in a game since February 25th, and the example he sets for the rest of the team:
“Well, I’ve said this before, I think he’s as professional as any guy that I’ve been around. It’s been tough for him, because I mean obviously everyone wants to play. He hadn’t played in those games, but he did exactly what you talked about. He’s kept himself in great shape. He’s kept himself ready, so when the opportunity ever comes, he steps up. If you can remember, he hadn’t played for a while and we stuck him in the Detroit game at Detroit and he dominated that game. He’s just a pro’s pro, I think. He’s a pleasure to have on your team and a pleasure to coach.”

GUARD FRANK JACKSON

On being able to make an impact, regardless of how many minutes he plays:
“Definitely. I think I’ve become more comfortable overall, just with the whole league. I know that when my name is called I’m going to be ready. I’ve been able to put in the work and I know my teammates trust me, so when my number is called I know I’ll be ready. I’m fine.”

On what it will take for the Pelicans to be more consistent on defense going forward:
“We’ve got to be consistent. We have to remind ourselves who we are and we have to remind ourselves [that] when we pressure the ball and are up in people, that we win ball games and it creates a lot more opportunities for us. So we just have to keep reminding ourselves to just play hard and lock in defensively before we worry about anything else.”

CENTER JAHLIL OKAFOR

On the opportunity to play tonight and show what he can do:
“I was really excited about getting the opportunity to play tonight. We knew that we were going to have a lot of guys out. The guys that were available to play, we just all wanted to come out and play hard. I was very excited to get on the court tonight.”

On staying ready when his number is called, despite getting limited minutes:
“It hasn’t been too hard. We have really good player development coaches here. They keep me ready. I’ve credited them before, in the past when I haven’t played and I didn’t get to play big minutes. They always keep me ready, so I give a lot of credit to our player development staff.”

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