The New Orleans Pelicans will welcome the Phoenix Suns to Smoothie King Center tomorrow with the intention of bouncing back from the 124-126 loss they endured against the Portland Trail Blazers in their last game.
The Phoenix Suns are seated at the 5th spot in the Western Conference standings thanks to a 17-10 record, while the New Orleans Pelicans are struggling in the bottom half of the table.
Fixture: Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans Pelicans | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, February 19th, 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, February 20th, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans.
Phoenix Suns Preview
After an impressive 6 game winning run, the Phoenix Suns were given a reality check on Tuesday when a Brooklyn Nets team that was missing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant inflicted defeat upon them.
But apart from this minor bump in progress, Monty Williams' men have been stellar on the defensive end. They have only let opposition teams score 108 points per game on average against them, which is the 4th best mark in the NBA.
Chris Paul has been a superb off-season addition for the Arizona-based franchise, as he has tallied 17.2 points and a whopping 8 assists per game. 2018 overall 1st pick DeAndre Ayton looks in splendid touch as well, scoring 13.9 points and grabbing 12.2 rebounds per game.
Key Player- Devin Booker
Devin Booker has been torching rivals since day 1, as the swingman is putting up 24.4 points per game on a respectable 50% shooting from the field. He is also averaging 4.4 assists despite Chris Paul doing a major chunk of the playmaking, which shows his improvement in that regard.
Booker looks set to be a strong candidate for an All-Star berth for the upcoming game in Atlanta and another impressive outing against a low-on-confidence New Orleans Pelicans outfit might help him close the gap on leaders in voting.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
Guard - Chris Paul, Guard - Devin Booker, Forward - Mikal Bridges, Forward - Jae Crowder, Center - DeAndre Ayton
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
Stan Van Gundy prides himself on being a defensively minded coach, but the New Orleans Pelicans have been one of the poorest teams on that end since his induction. They are conceding a staggering 114.5 points per game, despite having some gritty players in their unit.
Their biggest strength lies in offensive rebounding, in which they lead the league with 11.8 rebounds per game. Brandon Ingram's form has been a silver lining too, as he has managed to average 23.6 points on an impressive 40% shooting from behind the arc.
Key Player- Zion Williamson
After missing the majority of games in his debut campaign due to injuries, Zion Williamson has been a force to be reckoned with in the 2020/21 NBA season. He is shooting an unbelievable 61.8% from the field, to go with 25 points per game. He has been a menacing presence on the defensive side of the ball as well, tallying a steal and 0.7 blocks per match.
Williamson will have a tough matchup in tomorrow's game as he comes up against DeAndre Ayton in the paint, and it will be intriguing to see how the sophomore forward responds to this challenge.
New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup
Guard- Lonzo Ball, Guard- Eric Bledsoe, Forward - Brandon Ingram, Forward - Zion Williamson, Center - Steven Adams
Suns vs Pelicans Match Prediction
The Phoenix Suns have looked like a team bound for the postseason, while the New Orleans Pelicans have struggled to impress. They have a poor defense that will be vulnerable against the Suns and their offense lacks the firepower to counter Phoenix's defense. For these reasons, the Phoenix Suns will be strong favorites going into this fixture.
Where to Watch Suns vs Pelicans
Local coverage of the Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans game will be available on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports New Orleans. The game will also be streamed live on the NBA League Pass.