The New Orleans Pelicans have found a diamond in the rough in undrafted free agent rookie Jose Alvarado.
The guard out of Georgia Tech has quickly become one of the team’s most important rotation players thanks to his relentless defense. Alvarado appeared in the Pelicans’ final 46 games of the regular season to help propel the franchise through the Play-In Tournament and into their first playoff series since the 2018 season. And, along the way, he started to become known for quite the annoying (yet crafty) move.
As the opposing team would either inbound the ball or go for the easy rebound, Alvarado would sneak into the corner. The rookie would then wait for the opponent to have his back turned before running up and going for the steal.
You know, something like this …
If that Jose Alvarado play looked familiar… It’s because he did it to the Hawks four days ago pic.twitter.com/xLh3sXikq9
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) March 25, 2022
We also saw him do it on the Chicago Bulls’ Alex Caruso, and while he may not have poked the ball away, he did startle him enough to force the travel.
What the hell. Jose Alvarado just hid in the corner on an inbounds and darted in to force a travel on Caruso pic.twitter.com/BURfBN13mz
— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) March 25, 2022
So, of course, it comes as no surprise that it took only two playoff games for Alvarado to give his favorite move a try. The only problem was he attempted to pull it off against an NBA grandpa.
Check it out:
Not only did Chris Paul immediately know to look for the lurking Alvarado, but he motioned him to get his butt back on defense. I guess Alvarado still got the last laugh, though, as the Pelicans pulled off the shocking 125-114 victory later that quarter.