Melli finished with 14 points (4-10 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 5-5 FT), six rebounds, four assists and three steals in 27 minutes during Tuesday's 115-104 win over the Trail Blazers.
Melli was extremely impressive while earning six more minutes than fellow rookie center Jaxson Hayes, who drew the start in place of Derrick Favors (back spasms). Melli amassed career highs in rebounding and assists while matching his best steal total, and he has also earned at least 27 minutes in three straight games. If Favors remains sidelined for Thursday's matchup versus the Suns, Melli could be in line to see lots of minutes once again.
Melli played a season-high 28 minutes off the bench Saturday in the Pelicans' 109-94 win over the Heat, finishing with 10 points (3-9 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 1-2 FT), five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Melli had fallen out of the Pelicans' rotation earlier this month, but with New Orleans down to just 10 players to begin Saturday's game and losing two more (Frank Jackson and Derrick Favors) in the first half, the rookie big man took on an expanded role off the bench. As usual, the 28-year-old did most of his damage on offense from beyond the arc, but the three steals were a pleasant surprise. With none of the team's nine injured players a lock to be available Sunday against the Warriors, Melli could be looking at another 20-plus-minute role.
Melli will come off the bench Saturday against the Hornets, Daniel Sallerson of the Pelicans Radio Network reports.
After three straight appearances drawing a start, Melli will come off the bench, as coach Alvin Gentry has decided to give Kenrich Williams the nod at power forward. Across four games coming off the bench, Melli has averaged 7.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 14.3 minutes.
Melli totaled just two points and one block in 10 minutes during Friday's 122-104 loss to the Raptors.
Melli started for the Pelicans but produced basically nothing during his limited time on the floor. This was simply a matchup move by the coaching staff and he will likely shift back to the bench for the Pelicans next game against the Hornets. Melli has the ability to get hot from the perimeter but a serious lack of consistency renders him a non-factor in the majority of leagues.
Melli will start Friday's matchup against the Raptors, Andrew Lopez of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Melli was taken out of the starting five for Monday's game against the Nets and ended up not seeing any time on the court. In the six games he has played, Melli is averaging 6.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 14.3 minutes.