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The Pelicans have some decent pieces, but they’re no match for the Phoenix Suns with their star players injured. Chris Paul will need to get going on the offensive end, even though his distribution remains exemplary.
Phoenix Suns def. New Orleans Pelicans (-630)
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|New Orleans Pelicans||Head-to-Head||Phoenix Suns|
|Willie Green||Head Coach||Monty Williams|
|1-6 (15th in West)||Standing||2-3 (10th in West)|
|104.6 (19th of 30)||Off Rtg||104.4 (20th of 30)|
|111.4 (26th of 30)||Def Rtg||109.3 (23rd of 30)|
|99.7 (17th of 30)||Pace||100.8 (10th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|B. Ingram (25.0)||PPG||D. Booker (22.6)|
|J. Valanciunas (14.6)||RPG||D. Ayton (11.4)|
|D. Graham (5.1)||APG||C. Paul (10.6)|
|D. Graham (1.4)||SPG||C. Paul (2.2)|
|J. Valanciunas (1.1)||BPG||M. Bridges (0.8)|
|J. Hart (.688)/B. Ingram (10.3)||FG%/FGM||J. McGee (.760)/D. Booker (8.4)|
|T. Satoransky (.500)/D. Graham (3.3)||3P%/3PM||M. Bridges (.429)/M. Bridges (1.8)|
New Orleans is in a tough spot. After an offseason where they didn’t significantly improve their roster, they now open the season with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram unavailable due to injury.
No Pelicans player will be able to make up for the individual scoring prowess of Brandon Ingram, but they can certainly do it as a unit. Six different Pelicans scored in double-digits in their last game, a loss to the New York Knicks, but they’ll need a similar focus on the defensive side of the ball.
New Orleans almost matched the Knicks in the fourth quarter of their last game with a 35-34 shift. If they can rotate and recover on Phoenix’s excellent ball movement, the effort of their offence should keep them competitive.
Jonas Valančiūnas over the last 4️⃣ games:
17.0 RPG pic.twitter.com/oEFWAIQLEq
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 30, 2021
The Pelicans have been without their two star forwards as of late, but veteran center Jonas Valanciunas has shown how brilliant he can be in a pinch.
The Lithuanian international was fantastic in his last game against the Knicks, showing off a rarely seen all-around game. Valanciunas posted 27 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists on 10 of 15 shooting – even hitting a three-pointer!
Valanciunas plays a simple game, but it is effective. He’ll have his hands full playing against Ayton and McGee, but the veteran Valanciunas has shown he can give even the best centers a hard time.
Phoenix Suns head coach usually found comfort in the fact that he could stagger the minutes of Chris Paul and Devin Booker through 48 minutes. Through the opening of their season the Suns haven’t staggered their minutes as much, which puts the microscope on the Suns’ bench unit.
In their last game against the Cavaliers, the bench contributed 25 points, but on just 9 of 26 shooting. All eyes are on hired gun Landry Shamet, who was 1 of 7 from the field.
The Suns are an excellent unit, but they can’t depend on their All-Stars on every play. If the reserves step up their game, they can take down the Pelicans.
People need to start recognizing Devin Booker for his playmaking ability.
One of his 9 assists tonight: pic.twitter.com/1RRK9SSo51
— Suns Are Better (@SunsAreBetter) October 31, 2021
The Phoenix Suns All-Star is in fine form to open the season. While the Suns are yet to find their footing, Devin Booker has done his utmost to keep them competitive.
In a 101-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last game, Devin Booker starred. He posted 27 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds on 9 of 20 shooting from the field. Most impressive was his ability to get to the free throw line, where he was 9 of 10.
The Pelicans have looked like one of the weaker sides in the NBA to open the season, but Booker will still have to contest with some energetic wings on the New Orleans side. If he can find his offence early, it’ll be a good night for Phoenix.
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|New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns Information|
|Teams||New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns|
|Location||Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona|
|Time||10:00 PM EST, November 2nd, 2021|
|How to Watch||TNT|
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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