The Pelicans face the Dallas Mavericks this weekend as part of NBA Saturdays, the NBA’s European primetime game initiative. Pelicans guard JJ Redick talk about coming up against Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, as well as what they have to do as a team to improve this season.
Q: Is there a law of averages in these close games that if you play enough of them you will win your share of them or is it when you’re not a good team you just lose them?
A: “I don’t think it’s that we’re a bad team. I do think there’s a maturity and corporate knowledge if you will of figuring out how to close games out. That comes with both experience as a player and experience as a team. It’s no secret, I think we need to be better closing games and we have the personnel to do it. We just have to be better.”
Q: You played the Mavericks and will be playing them on Europe Primetime. Can you talk about how they’ve hit their stride thus far?
A: “They’re playing great basketball. Obviously Doncic is playing at an MVP level. I think their supporting cast has been really, really good. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been shooting flames the last few weeks. He’s been really good. A lot of their guys that come off the bench…you know Seth Curry, Delon Wright, Max Kleber are all really good NBA players. They’re a deep team. They play good basketball. Rick Carlisle’s a great coach. They’re a formidable squad for sure.”
Q: How do you stop Doncic?
A: “He’s averaging what he’s averaging and you’re not going to stop him. You hope to make it an inefficient night maybe. Hopefully the other guys don’t kill you. He’s a good enough scorer and good enough passer that he’s going to make a lot of plays for himself and for others. But you just try to make it an inefficient night for him.”
Q: Have they transitioned well from the star power of Dirk to Doncic and Porzingis?
A: “Donnie (Nelson) and Mark (Cuban) and their front office do a great job scouting. Obviously, they zeroed in on Doncic. They targeted Porzingis in a trade. They took Dirk sort of when he was an unknown. They’ve done a great job in picking those guys and trading for those guys. They’re a model organization in terms of stability from top to bottom.”
NBA Saturdays presented by NBA2K20 on Sky Sports – part of a record 48 Primetime games live on Sky Sports starting from 8.00pm every weekend. This week on 7 December the Dallas Mavericks host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sky Sports Arena from 7.00pm.