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New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green last week commended rookie Trey Murphy III for the way he has shot during training camp. On Monday, Murphy seemingly carried that momentum into the first game of the preseason.
Murphy registered 21 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes of action during a 117-114 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He converted on 6-of-10 shot attempts from 3-point range, and hit four alone in the fourth quarter as the Pelicans attempted to come back from a 17-point deficit.
The effort by Murphy earned some praise from Green afterward.
“He looked good,” Green said. “He was a little uncomfortable in the first half but he got it going in the second half and knocked down shots. His teammates were looking for him and that’s what we need him to do. He is a floor spacer. He knows how to play. He was in the right spots the majority of the time in the second half and I liked what I saw from him.”
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 5, 2021
With Zion Williamson recovering from offseason foot surgery, the Pelicans will be looking at their options when replacing him in the starting lineup. The team is considering Murphy in that spot, and his performance on Monday certainly helped his chances.
Murphy gives the Pelicans a great floor-spacing option, something that was on full display in his debut game. Whether it’s in the starting lineup or off the bench, Murphy could be in store for a strong rookie campaign as a 3-and-D option.