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Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado's clever way of getting steals goes viral

Joshua Rogers March 25, 2022
Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado's clever way of getting steals goes viral
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Jose Alvarado’s steals have become a hot topic in the NBA, with fans praising both his audacity and ingenuity. The Pelicans guard had several more against the Bulls recently which went viral.

The somewhat short-handed New Orleans Pelicans took on the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night, coming away with an impressive 126-109 win.

One of the more underrated players on the Pelicans roster in recent weeks has been Jose Alvarado. The undrafted rookie, who played his college ball at Georgia Tech, has been stepping up in a big way. Not only that, Jose Alvarado’s clever way of getting steals is gaining more and more attention.

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Jose Alvarado’s steals vs the Bulls go viral

The 23-year-old guard has established himself as a more than competent defender. Alvardo’s penchant for steals has not gone unnoticed among Pelicans fans, with various montages of him stripping a defender or plucking the ball out of passing lanes circulating on social media.

However, over the past few games his very specific way of stealing the ball is getting wider recognition. As pointed out by Rob Perez, Alvarado has a habit of hiding around a corner before completely surprising the player who caught an inbound pass and forcing a steal.

Check it out:

Andy Demetra, a commentator for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, replied saying that they nicknamed Jose ‘Grand Theft Alvarado’ in college because of it.

Jose Alvarado on his steals

Alvarado did the same thing to Trae Young recently in a game against the Hawks. In fact, he had three steals against the Hawks and all of them game in a similar fashion.

“It’s not as easy as it looks,” Alvarado said after the game (per “If you miss it, you’re going to have coach probably going in on you. If I do mess up, I know I have to run full speed back on defense.”

“Just keeping the opponent on their toes. Like, ‘Where’s Jose? Where’s Jose?’ That’s the main thing about it. If it happens, it happens. If it don’t, it don’t.”

“I’ve never seen anything like that it in my life,” teammate CJ McCollum added. “It’s crazy. He’s so fast. He takes himself out of the play. He’s getting everybody. He’s getting All-Stars. It’s a credit to him being creative.”

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Pelicans head coach Willie Green is full of praise for Jose

Alvarado has been a real bright spark for the Pels in March, scoring in double digits twice in the last week. Against the Hawks recently, he scored 15 points, and had four rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes of action.

The 6ft 10in guard, who won ACC Defensive Player of the Year at Georgia Tech, has become a key part of the Pelicans’ bench, and head coach Willie Green has been full of praise for him.

“It’s a credit to his perseverance, his resiliency,” Green said after the Hawks win. “He’s a guy that, like Herb (Jones), comes in the gym every day and works at it. He was the defensive player of the year in his conference. So he’s more than capable. He’s a four year guy that comes in, knows how to play, execute. He plays hard every time he goes out and touches the floor.”

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.