Home » National Basketball Association (NBA) » Nickeil Alexander-Walker shines in Pelicans’ 127-125 victory over Chicago


METAIRIE, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 30: Nickeil Alexaner-Walker #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans poses for a photo during Media Day at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center on September 30, 2019 in Metairie, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Playing in his first preseason after being drafted out of Virginia Tech in June, Nickeil Alexander-Walker led a New Orleans Pelicans comeback in against the Chicago Bulls.

Last night looked like it might have bleak results for the New Orleans Pelicans through the first three quarters until Nickeil Alexander-Walker turned on the jets.

With the team trailing by as many as 23-points on the road against the Chicago Bulls, the 21-year-old rookie played fantastic basketball in a fourth quarter that ended up being completely dominated by the Pelicans.

Finishing tied with Jahlil Okafor for the second-most points from a Pelicans player last night, Alexander-Walker finished with 13 points, including a pair of free throws with 57.6 seconds left to give the Pelicans their 126th and 127th points of the night.

Eventually, it was the free throws that would ice the score into a 127-125 road victory for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Maybe it was his epic belting of “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton at Saturday’s open practice that propelled the rookie into such an outstanding night on the floor against the Chicago Bulls; every single one of our readers has probably had an epic life moment to that song.

In a battle of the number zeros, Chicago’s own rookie point guard couldn’t handle Nickeil Alexander-Walker. While Coby White finished with 13 points to his credit, he couldn’t hold the Bulls in a game that they’d controlled most of the night.

Alexander-Walker got it done in more ways than one, even though he was held to just 19 minutes.

Setting up his teammates in crucial looks down the stretch, Nickeil found his teammates for 7 assists, linking them up for makeable looks in a game where Chicago played tough defense until the last ten minutes.

Down the stretch, the team just leaned on Alexander-Walker, even if he was imperfect from the floor. He went 4-of-12 from the field, shooting 3-of-8 from three-point range, finishing 2-of-4 from the free throw stripe, even though he drilled the two biggest looks of the night.

The former Virginia Tech Hokie looked incredibly poised down the stretch, which was kind of crazy to see from such a young player.

He didn’t back down from a big moment, he got the Pelicans their preseason victory in an epic comeback on ESPN, to steal the national audience’s attention away from Zion Williamson.

Alvin Gentry and David Griffin have to be feeling pretty good about the player they picked 17th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. After he shined in Summer League, he’s impressed in both of the New Orleans Pelicans preseason games thus far, finishing with 12 points against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

Through two preseason games, the early returns are showing Alexander-Walker as one of the steals of the draft, someone who can make a big impact on this Pelicans bunch as early as this season.

For Nickeil Alexander-Walker, tonight was a big endorsement for his minutes headed into the 2019-2020 NBA season. With three preseason games left on the schedule, it’ll be interesting to see if the rookie can earn key minutes when the team travels to Alexander-Walker’s home country of Canada in the first game of the regular season.