Game On: Phoenix @ Pelicans

Published: April 9, 2014

Five games left.  Suns, Rockets, Thunder, Rockets, Thunder.  Yikes.

Tonight they get, by record, the easiest of those three opponents, but I’m not sure that’s really an accurate statement.  Those other two teams are pretty much locked into the top 4.  Phoenix is battling with Memphis for that final spot in the West.  If the Suns falter at all, the Grizzlies will take advantage.

So expect the Suns to come out playing hard tonight.  The Pelicans are one of the teams they need to feast on, and despite every projection in the world, they’ve been a really good team this year.  So what are they good at?  What can the Pelicans do to play spoiler?

Keys to the Game

  • Attack.  The Suns draw a ton of fouls, but they also foul like crazy too.  Like the Pelicans, they give opponents a foul shot every three field goal attempts.  If the Pelicans can swing this in their favor, that edge may prove decisive.
  • Switch everything.  The Suns have no power players other than Goran Dragic – who is going to be initially on the smallest guy anyways.  When the Suns run a pick and roll, switch, because the pick-man is more likely to be flaring for a three-pointer than towards the rim.
  • Limit Roberts and Rivers on Dragic.  Dragic’s game is more power than speed, and they can’t really handle it.  Try to keep long defenders like Aminu on him – or ones that can match his power like Evans.   Of course, if the Pelicans are having trouble cross-matching defenders tonight, that might be ugly, but Dragic is the engine of the Suns, and the Pelicans should at least try to slow him.

Enjoy the game!

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