Suns vs Pelicans 2022 NBA Playoffs: Odds, How to Watch, More

NBA: Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans
Mar 15, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) in the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference: #1 Phoenix Suns vs #8 New Orleans Pelicans

Tale of the Tape:

Suns STAT Pelicans
64-18 Record 36-46
114.8 (5th) Points Per Game 109.3 (21st)
107.3 (8th) Points Allowed Per Game 110.3 (13th)
32-9 at home Home/Away Record 17-24 on the road
9th Pace of Play 21st
T-3rd Off Efficiency Rating 20th
3rd Def Efficiency Rating 20th

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Suns leaders:

Suns Heat Devin Booker
Devin Booker and the Suns. Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
  • Devin Booker, SG:  26.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 38.3% 3PT
  • Deandre Ayton, C:  17.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.4 APG, 63.4% FG
  • Chris Paul, PG:  14.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 10.8 APG, 1.9 SPG


Pelicans leaders:

Mar 26, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans guard CJ McCollum (3) dribbles against San Antonio Spurs guard Joshua Primo (11) during the second half at the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
  • CJ McCollum, SG: 24.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 39.4% 3PT
  • Brandon Ingram, SF: 22.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 5.6 APG
  • Jonas Valanciunas, C: 17.8 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 2.6 APG, 54.4% FG

Key Injuries:

  • Zion Williamson, New Orleans: Foot (Out)
  • Landry Shamet, Phoenix: Foot (Questionable)


Series Prediction:

Suns win the series 4-1

  • Phoenix won the regular-season series 3-1, and every single game of the series was won by 13 points or more. It should also be noted that Chris Paul was out for the one game in which New Orleans beat Phoenix.
  • This will be an uphill battle for New Orleans, but they’ve been playing really good basketball since C.J. McCollum came to town. However, it was Brandon Ingram who showed out in the win over the Clippers, scoring 30 points on 14-21 shooting with six rebounds and six assists. This was after scoring 27 points in the first Play-In game against San Antonio. The small forward is coming off his best season yet and will need to really rise to the occasion if his team has any hope of pulling the upset.
  • The Phoenix defense will certainly come ready as one of the best defenses in the entire league. They allow the 3rd-lowest field goal percentage in the league and the 5th-lowest three-point percentage. They also force the 6th-most turnovers while turning the ball over the 7th-least in the NBA. They’re a disciplined and well-coached team that will have the schemes ready for this showdown.
  • We’ll also see a big-time clash in the paint with Valanciunas going up against Ayton. While these two talented big men will battle for boards in the paint, the area that could factor most into deciding the series is on the defensive end. Valanciunas lacks elite athleticism, and Phoenix took advantage of that a lot in the regular season, using the pick-and-roll game to force the big man to cover either Booker or Paul on the perimeter. If New Orleans is not able to scheme against it then those guards are going to continue to hit Valanciunas alive and build big leads for the top seed.
  • For New Orleans on the defensive end, the series might hinge on how well Herbert Jones can defend Devin Booker (see our featured image). Booker has been on fire in the second half of the series and has built off of his breakout season last year to become a true star in the league. However, Jones has emerged as a real defensive threat and has done well on Booker during the regular season, or as well as one can do against Booker. If the rookie is able to pester Booker and get a few steals, it could swing the momentum of some of these games.
  • One other factor working against Phoenix is that they’ve had over a week off and their starters sat out the last game of the regular season. Could there be some rust involved? Even if there is, I simply don’t think it will linger long enough to matter. This is a deep and talented Suns team that should be a favorite to win the whole thing.

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