Grand Theft Alvarado: The League’s Most Entertaining Backup Guard (3/30/22)

You might recognize the name Jose Alvarado from this video:

If you haven’t seen that, there’s a chance you wouldn’t know who he is. I didn’t either prior to this season. I first learned the name Jose Alvarado during a game in November where his enthusiasm on the bench stood out to me.

At the time he was riding the pine, but he entered the rotation in early January and on January 20th he had his breakout game in his hometown at Madison Square Garden.

Since then, Jose has been a consistent contributor for the Pelicans, especially on defense. He’s a pest on that end with a knack for picking pockets. His 4.2 steal percentage is higher than guys like Matisse Thybulle, Dejounte Murray, and Herb Jones.

They call him Grand Theft Alvarado for a reason.

On offense, he pushes the pace and attacks the paint. He has a nice floater to finish over big guys, or he can take it all the way.

He’s also a good passer when driving- he makes solid reads in the pick-and-roll.

My favorite thing about Jose is the swagger and energy he plays with. Nobody else in the league is pulling off something like this in a game. Dude’s just out there having fun and it’s a blast watching him play.

Jose’s play off the bench has been very valuable for the Pelicans, especially throughout their post-break play-in push. That’s why he recently inked a four-year standard contract making him eligible to play in the upcoming playoffs.

I was very happy to see him sign that deal. He leaves it all on the floor every night, and he’s legitimately been one of the best backup point guards in the association this season.

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