Game On: Pelicans @ Suns

Published: March 19, 2015

In recent days, Phoenix has been counted out in the Western Conference playoff chase – with The Pelicans and OKC being the teams looked at as most likely to snag that last spot. That’s not, however, going to make this game any easier – as the Suns haven’t waved the white flag, and the Pelicans are going to be in their house.

If the Pelicans had been playing the Suns six weeks ago, I would have been much more pessimistic about this game. The Pelicans are terrible at guarding pick and rolls and, minus Jrue, guards with masterful dribbles that let them get wherever they want. This, happily is not that Suns team – which sported Goran Dragic’s ability to get anywhere on the court and Thomas’ ability to score off the dribble from anywhere.

This team probably just has Bledsoe, since Brandon Knight is questionable with an ankle injury. (As is Len) Bledsoe is athletic and a defensive freak, but I’m not terrified of him taking the team apart in a lot of ways. Pretty much just direct attacks at the rim. Scary. Not terrifying.

Keys to the Game

  • Eat Glass.  The Suns are pretty terrible on the boards.  Case in point, PJ Tucker is slightly above average as a rebounder – and has more boards than the Suns starting center and almost the same number (in fewer minutes) than their starting power forward.  Have Evans, Q-Pon or Cunningham box out Tucker and Asik and Davis are going to rebound the Suns into the ground.
  • Run back on defense.  Look – I’ve long since given up on this team fastbreaking anywhere.  They don’t have the personnel to generate steals, their guards don’t like to turn on the jets in transition (unless Evans is feeling frisky) and there isn’t a ton of speed on the wing or up front besides Davis.  But the Suns continue to attack quickly after made baskets and misses alike.  They are good at generating turnovers.  If the Pelicans are lazy in getting back in transition for stretches of this game – which they do every so often – they are done.
  • Don’t expect many free throws.  Generally, the Suns are good at not fouling opponents for free throws.  The Pelicans have to stick what shots they get, because they aren’t very likely to get bailed out.

Enjoy the Game!

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.