Phoenix Looking To Start Strong
The Phoenix Suns are set to begin their Western Conference Title defense when they begin their playoff campaign at home against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans were able to overcome a double-digit second-half deficit in LA against the Clippers Friday to punch their ticket to the playoffs, but a first-round meeting with arguably the best team in the league will test their resolve on such a short turnaround.
Suns Scary Prospect
The Suns have everything you could possibly want in a championship contender; veteran leadership, high-level coaching, rock steady defense and sheer determination.
It was obvious from the opening month that this team was playing with a chip on their shoulder. They had a point to prove after falling short at the final hurdle and having to endure an offseason where the talk was seemingly about everyone else.
No matter their opponent or the situation this team continued to show up night after night and now they enter the part of the season they’ve been waiting for since that Game 6 loss in Milwaukee.
Phoenix has been a top-5 offense and defense for almost the entirety of the season, which is made more impressive considering the time Chris Paul spent on the sidelines after the All-Star break.
They have no glaring weakness for teams to exploit and they own an offense that is operated by arguably the shrewdest man in the league. Paul thrives in half court basketball and will pick apart any defensive weaknesses you have; unfortunately for New Orleans, there are more than just a couple.
Pelicans Looking To Build Momentum
The Pelicans pulled off an impressive run to the playoffs, which was ultimately sparked by the team’s decision to bring in CJ McCollum to help run the team’s offense.
McCollum’s impact in both play-in games highlighted his worth to this team and reinforced the franchise’s decision to do what was necessary to bring him to New Orleans.
That said, how this team operates in a playoff environment against a team that was literally built for the playoffs and has all their pieces available is going to be an entirely different task.
The rumors surrounding the potential return of Zion Williamson are arguably more of a distraction than a welcome inclusion so I wouldn’t put much weight into his status having much of an impact on the sportsbook lines.
Instead, the team will hope that confidence and momentum can help them put on a Game 1 show but the reality is that their backs are well and truly against the wall when facing a team that is able to execute to the level the Suns can at both ends of the floor.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns Head-to-Head
The Suns won the season-series 3-1, including a 131-115 win in their most recent outing.
The Pelicans did win in their last visit to this arena though, escaping with a 117-102 win in a game where McCollum and Brandon Ingram combined for 60 points.
The winning team managed to cover the spread in all four matchups this season.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns Game Information
- Game: New Orleans Pelicans (36-46) v Phoenix Suns (64-18)
- Location: Footprint Center
- Day/Time: Sunday, 9 p.m. ET
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns Betting Lines
New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns Prediction
The Suns are primed and ready to roll through the playoffs and it’s tough to see a world where New Orleans is able to keep this competitive for the full 48 minutes.
We saw the Pelicans go on long scoring droughts in both play-in matchups before being able to ultimately close out both games down the stretch.
They won’t be afforded that same luxury on the road in Phoenix and those scoring droughts are likely to be a lot more prominent in a matchup like this where the Suns have the bodies and schemes to slow down both McCollum and Ingram.
If you’re looking to bet online for this game, laying the double-digit spread with the home team is the best option on the board.