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2019-20 NBA Restart Seeding Game: Pelicans vs. Wizards Postgame Quotes 8-7-20

HEAD COACH ALVIN GENTRY

On the Pelicans’ defense in tonight’s game and building off of this defensive performance moving forward:
“Well, we talked about it after the first quarter, that we had to hold them under 30 [points] every quarter after that. I thought we did a really good job. We had a couple of foul situations, but for the most part, I thought we did a really good job of being solid defensively. We did a much, much better job of keeping the ball out of the paint, and then we did a much better job of challenging shots. Overall, I thought we were much, much better defensively. Obviously the other night we weren’t very good defensively, but tonight I thought we were very aggressive and good.”

On tonight’s comeback win and if the Pelicans third-quarter performance was the difference in tonight’s win:
“It is [the difference]. I thought we did a good job of locking in defensively. I thought we were giving too much space, we weren’t into the ball, and then we were going under screens and we were going under too far. I thought it was really good. Fred (Vinson) talked to them during halftime and he just said that we have to be into the ball much, much more, and I thought we did a good job of just doing that, being aggressive, playing screen-and-rolls really well, and just being who we were before we came down here. I was real proud of the guys and the effort that they gave.”

GUARD FRANK JACKSON

On the Pelicans’ defense in the third quarter:
“I just think we were aggressive. We were who we are as a team, what we try to play as. When we apply the pressure and get up into people, pick them up, it causes problems. I think we did a good job.”

On the Pelicans picking up their defensive intensity and how that translated to more success on offense:
“That’s why we won the game, obviously. Once you can handle it on the defensive end, it allows you to get out and run in transition and ultimately be more aggressive and kind of get them back on their heels as they’re trying to get back in transition on defense. Once we get those stops, we just keep pushing the ball and try to get easy baskets.”

FROWARD NICOLO MELLI

On the Pelicans’ defensive performance in the third quarter of tonight’s game:
“I think we needed just a little bit of energy. I think Frank (Jackson) and I, we brought that [energy] to the team…then, of course Josh (Hart), but Josh always brings the team energy. We just needed to pick up Washington from their baseline, and we did it, and I think we did a pretty good job. We needed this win. This was the most important thing…no matter how, no matter what, and we did it.”

On how the Pelicans can carry over tonight’s defensive performance moving forward:
“We just needed to do something because we were down two [points], I think at halftime, and we had to win this game. It was just a matter of energy, I think. [The] rookie has to bring energy, so that’s what I did. I think we just need a little bit more energy. We know how to play defense together. We just need to go back and play with a lot of energy. That’s what we did in the second half, and we saw the result.”

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