New Orleans Pelicans v Phoenix Suns: Open Thread

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Published: December 30, 2014

Tonight the New Orleans Pelicans (15-15) host the Phoenix Suns (18-14). The Suns are the 8th seed in the Western conference currently, so this game had added importance. The game broadcast starts at 7 pm (UTC -6) and can be seen on Fox Sports New Orleans, heard on the Pelicans radio network.

The Suns have no injuries to report. The Pelicans will be without Eric Gordon again, and John Salmons will miss the game for personal reasons.

Each team plays on the road tomorrow. The Pelicans travel to San Antonio while the Suns travel to Oklahoma City.

The Suns play at higher pace than the Pelicans. In a random encounter grabbing lunch today, a knowledgeable person was expecting a “track meet.”

Turnovers are going to be particularly sensitive tonight, as the Suns rely somewhat on generating turnovers while the Pelicans rely on not turning the ball over.

In terms of shooting efficiency, the Suns are dangerous from the line (1st in the NBA at 80%), but they get to the line at a below average rate. Conversely, the Suns also put their opponent on the line, so the Pelicans may enjoy a little boost there if they hit at a 75% clip or more.

Lastly, the Suns just love the three. The Pelicans have to limit their attempts. They don’t make them at an extraordinary rate, but keeping them from their hearts’ desire and that efficiency bump would be a good thing.

Links

Suns Statistics
Pelicans Statistics

Pelicans Record Analysis
Pelicans Scoop

Questions

  • How will the Pelicans react in this test of their perimeter defense?
  • Can the Pelicans use their front court strength to force the Suns to adjust their rotations?
  • Who will get more minutes due to Salmons’ absence? Jimmer? Cunningham? Babbitt? Ryno?
  • How many more family members need to be on the Suns before a great Brady-Bunch-based parody song comes out?

New Orleans Watch

Not much going on New Orleans related on this team, but Eric Gordon is under the contract terms Phoenix offered him during his stint in restricted free agency, which the Pelicans matched. Also, Eric Bledsoe was a possible alternative to Eric Gordon in the Chris Paul trade that brought Gordon to New Orleans. The Suns also recently had Anthony Tolliver who had a brief stint on the Hornets before finding regular

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