Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins was named the Western Conference's Player of the Week for Oct. 23-29, the NBA announced Monday afternoon.
Cousins averaged 36.3 points in three games from Oct. 23-29 en route to his sixth Player of the Week honor and first as a member of the Pelicans.
To coach Alvin Gentry, Cousins' honor was no surprise.
"Even Captain Obvious called that one," the coach said. "I don't see how he couldn't have been Player of the Week when he put up the numbers that he did and, obviously, we won the games. I don't think that was a big surprise to anyone."
Cousins, who led the Pelicans to a 2-1 record this past week, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only two players in the NBA averaging at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game this season.
Before Monday's game versus the Orlando Magic, Cousins was second in the NBA in scoring at 32.2 points per game, sixth in rebounds with 13.8 and third in blocks at 2.3 per game.
Elfrid Payton injured for return home to New Orleans
Magic guard Elfrid Payton, Orlando's 23-year-old point guard from Gretna, did not play Monday against the Pelicans as he continues to recover from a strained left hamstring injury.
As a New Orleans native and former University of Louisiana-Lafayette point guard, Payton's supporters will still be in the Smoothie King Center.
"It's unfortunate to be here and not get to play," Payton said before tipoff.
"It hurts to not be able to play I'm front of my family," the 6-foot-4 guard added.
Payton said he expected to divvy out 15-20 tickets for Monday — Orlando's sole game in New Orleans this season — as well as secure a couple of suites in the arena.
"It's a little less (than usual) since I'm not playing, but they still came out to support the team," Payton said.
Payton played in Orlando's first two games this season but hasn't played since he scored four points in 15 minutes against the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 20.
Magic coach Frank Vogel said there's no timetable for Payton's return.
"Elfrid came in in great shape and started strong before pulling his hamstring," Vogel said. "He was running the show with that first unit. They had a strong finish last year. Our starting-five chemistry at the end of last year was a reason we came back intact, and we were looking to build off that."
Payton is biding his time.
"I want to get out there and continue to help my team," Payton said. "They are playing well right now, and I'm doing my best to be a cheerleader from the sideline. I point out things if I see it and am just there for encouragement."
Jones, Cooke transferred
The Pelicans have transferred forward Jalen Jones and guard Charles Cooke, both on two-way contracts with New Orleans, to the Gatorade League's Greensboro Swarm, the team announced on Monday.
Still in search for their own G League developmental team, the Pelicans sent Jones and Cooke to Greensboro, which is owned by the Charlotte Hornets.
Cooke scored two points Saturday in the Pelicans' 123-101 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers during his only three minutes this season.
Jones also played three minutes against the Cavs, attempted one field goal and collected one rebound.
Players on two-way contracts are expected to spend a majority of the season in the G League but are allowed to spend a maximum of 45 days during the season with the big league club.