New Orleans Pelicans Preview: How to bounce back vs the Suns

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans are heading to the Valley to take on the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. The Pels are on a three game losing streak ahead of their three game road stretch. These next few games can determine the culture for the rest of the season and the Pels will have to struggle to stay alive in a brutal November.

New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns last game

New Orleans played their last game at home on Saturday against the New York Knicks. They lost another close game 123-117. Even without Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans went punch-for-punch against a good team like the Knicks. Jonas Valanciunas was the best player on the court. He put up a team-high, 27 points and 14 rebounds, his 5th double-double this year. The Pelicans did a good job holding Julius Randle to 10 points, but RJ Barrett came up huge with a career-high 35 points.

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The Suns are 2-3 this year and are coming off of a 101-92 win vs the Cleveland Cavaliers. Devin Booker had a game-high 27 points. Two of the most recent losses from the Suns come from the Trail Blazers and Kings. Including Booker, five players on the Suns scored in double digits. The Pelicans’ defense will have a challenge against Phoenix, who has gotten off to a slow start but still has a potent offense.

Hopefully coach Willie Green will have some tricks to slow down his old team.

2021-2022 season

The New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns play four times this season. Two in Phoenix (Tuesday and February 25th) and two at the Smoothie King Center (January 4th and March 15th).


New Orleans and Phoenix have played each other 64 times and the Suns have the 33-31 advantage over the Pels. In their most recent matchup, New Orleans lost 132-114 on February 19th, 2021. In that game, the Pelicans were outscored 41-12 in the 4th quarter. Brandon Ingram led the Pels with 25 points, shooting 50 percent. Devin Booker had 23 points and four rebounds for the Suns in the win.

Keys to the game

Trey Murphy III is having a slow start, averaging just under six points a game. He needs to find his game because when he is hot, he’s hot. Trey is shooting 40 percent from 3-point range but is only shooting about four a game. He needs to find his confidence soon because he can come off the bench and provide energy for the Pels.

Bench points once again will be important. There are only a small number of Pelicans players who have come off the bench to score in double digits. This will be pivotal for the Pelicans’ success.

Kira Lewis has also been unable to find his stride early on averaging 4.6 points per game. His speed and intensity are great to see, but he needs to be aggressive when attacking the basket.

The next few road games will be tough, but the New Orleans Pelicans need to get back in the win column sooner rather than later, and it all starts Tuesday night vs the Suns.

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