New Orleans Pelicans: Offseason additions will decide the game vs. Suns

Chris Paul defended by Steven Adams of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Chris Paul defended by Steven Adams of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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There will be a lot of new faces when the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Phoenix Suns.

The New Orleans Pelicans will travel to the Valley to take on the Phoenix Suns in game four of the young season.

Both teams are coming off wins and will look to take an early upper hand in the crowded battle for a Western Conference playoff spot.

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Both teams added some impact players in the offseason who will very likely decide the winner. Here are the three key matchups of the game.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns: Key matchups to watch

Matchup #1

Steven Adams vs. Deandre Ayton

Steven Adams has been everything the Pelicans wanted when they acquired him in the offseason. He has been a noticeable upgrade at both ends of the floor, protecting the rim and playing brilliant help defense on one end and setting space-clearing screens on the other.

Adams will have his hands full with Deandre Ayton, who is a monster on the boards and a double-double machine for the Suns.

The key for Adams will be to push Ayton as far from the hoop as possible and to disrupt the pick-and-roll with Chris Paul.

If that means selling out on Paul’s penetrations and giving Ayton mid-range jumpers, so be it, but the Pels have to stop Paul from getting into the lane and Ayton from rolling for lobs on the PnR.

Ayton had 15 rebounds against the Kings, so keeping him off the glass will be a priority. Ayton’s defensive rebounding is a big part of the Suns’ defense, so if Adams can grab a few offensive boards he can keep the Suns from getting out in transition.

Adams also has to take advantage when Ayton double teams Zion Williamson by cutting to the rim and looking for lobs. This will be a good test for Adams and should be a fun matchup to watch.