Jones produced a career-high 17 points, six rebounds and one blocked shot as the Pelicans snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 112-101 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. He went 5-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
The 35th overall pick has emerged as a strong defender with the Pelicans but is still a bit of a work in progress offensively.
He has worked extensively with assistant coach Fred Vinson on improving his shot and that work looks to be bearing fruit. His three 3-pointers were more than his previous 10 games combined (2).
Pelicans head coach Willie Green wasn’t necessarily surprised by his outing.
Herb works every morning. He’s usually one of the first guys there — him and Kira (Lewis Jr.) with Fred Vinson. Every morning. No matter what. Tomorrow, he’ll be the first one there. We don’t even have practice, but he’ll be in the gym. This is what he does. He works at it. I’m not totally surprised that he can step in and hit shots like that. I know eventually, he’ll be a consistent shooter because his work ethic is just off the charts.
Jones started seven games with the Pelicans but has since been moved back to the second unit with Brandon Ingram back. He has totaled 28 points over his last two outings and looks to be in a better groove as of late on the offensive end.
Ingram even joked that he can’t work with Vinson because Jones has been with him so much.
Herb has definitely looked like a pro in these games. Even in our losses, he has been really good on the defense and offensive end. He looks confident in shooting behind the three and making good decisions. … Every time I go into the gym, he is with Fred. I can’t even work with Fred. He is doing a good job. He is focused on everything we’re doing in practice and it’s carrying over to the game.
Jones has seemingly impressed the coaching staff and his teammates with the hustle and effort he brings to the court, in addition to his defense. He has consistently produced when called upon and that should ensure he is in store for a strong rookie campaign.
New Orleans returns to action on Monday against the Washington Wizards.