Herbert Jones had a special rookie season for the New Orleans Pelicans.
After being picked in the second round, Jones quickly worked his way into the starting lineup with his elite defense and surprisingly good offense.
He’s been a mainstay on the rookie ladder and has a great chance of making the All-Rookie team this season and even an outside chance of landing on All-Defense.
“Not on Herb” has been the Pelicans’ defense rallying cry this season, and Jones has been instrumental in their turnaround to that end, as the Pels fought their way into the top half of the league in points awarded after being near the bottom of that category the past two seasons.
Jones has been central to the team’s new defensive identity, leads all rookies in flight and recently joined former Pelican Chris Paul in the New Orleans record books.
Herbert Jones and Chris Paul alone in the New Orleans Pelicans record book
Herbert Jones recorded his 101st steal for the New Orleans Pelicans in their loss to Phoenix, making him the second rookie in Pelicans team history to achieve such a feat in his rookie season. .
The other was future Hall of Famer Chris Paul, who is one of the smartest defensemen to ever play the game, a guy who averaged 2.2 interceptions in his rookie season and has led the league in this category six times during his illustrious career.
Paul finished his rookie season with 175 steals, so his all-time record is likely safe, as Jones is averaging 1.5 steals per game this season.
But Paul was playing point guard and had a lot more chances to steal than a guy who often defends everyone from point guard to power forwards on the other team.
Few players have ever matched Paul’s ability to land a hit, so the fact that Herb is even close is a testament to his defensive quality as a rookie.