Can Suns Survive Motivated Pelicans?
The top-seeded Phoenix Suns took care of business pretty handily in Game 1 against the New Orleans Pelicans. Game 2 was looking like it would be a similar outcome until Devin Booker suffered an injury.
Booker scored 31 points in the first half and missed the entire second half of Game 2. Without him in the lineup, New Orleans stormed back and wound up tying the series and stealing home-court advantage with a 125-114 win.
Is Phoenix going to be able to survive without Booker on the court? Or are the Pelicans the best option for NBA picks now that the Suns are down a star? Let’s take a closer look at this NBA game betting preview.
Pressure on Top Seed
There is obviously a lot of pressure for a team that had the best record in the league for a majority of the season. However, the Phoenix Suns need to avoid falling into a mental pit ahead of Game 3.
Losing Booker to a hamstring injury is a massive blow, but Phoenix has one of the deepest rosters in the league. They have a top point guard in Chris Paul and excellent 3-point shooters all over the court.
Not to mention, the Suns have a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Mikal Bridges. The only team that can really beat Phoenix straight up is themselves. The Suns are a lot better than the Pelicans, but they just can’t get flustered.
Pelicans Have Momentum
In Tuesday’s road win. New Orleans showed a lot of grit, hustling for loose balls and coming back from deficits when it had to grind.
The scoring duo of CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram have proven to be excellent alongside fantastic defenders like Herb Jones and Larry Nance.
The Pelicans have not been nearly as successful as Phoenix, but they can use this recent win to spring themselves forward. We’ll see if they’ve found a way through and have the right strategy to beat the Suns or whether it was just a one-off.
Suns vs Pelicans Head-to-Head
The Suns won three out of the four games tagainst the Pelicans in the regular season.
Suns vs Pelicans Game Information
- Game: Phoenix Suns (64-18) vs New Orleans Pelicans (36-46)
- Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
- Day/Time: Friday, April 22nd 9:30 p.m. ET
- Suns vs PelicansLive stream: NBA Game Pass
Suns vs Pelicans Betting Lines
Suns vs Pelicans Prediction
The Suns remain the favorites in the game and series, but only by 1½ points in the sportsbook for Game 3. The spread likely would have been a lot wider had Booker not gone down with an injury that could keep him out the rest of this series.
The Pelicans do look like a tasty underdog story to follow throughout this series, though it’s hard to imagine them taking down the Suns three more times.
Phoenix has a talented roster with excellent coaching and a veteran point guard with tons of experience under his belt. This will be another close game, but the Suns aren’t out of it at all.
Pick: Phoenix Suns -1½