Sun’s coach Monty Williams gets to train against his former squad while Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy gets a chance to prove he’s a better coach than tweeter (certainly a high bar). .
At the beginning of his coaching career, Williams trained the Pelicans (then called Hornets) for five seasons, the first with Chris Paul as the all-star point guard. They have changed almost everything since then, including their name. I’m not sure there is a lot of nostalgia going on, but we can mention it anyway.
On the Pels sidelines, we see the return of the NBA coach of one of the best Twitter follow-ups of 2020 in Stan Van Gundy. SVG is a defensive first trainer who will seek to make the most of the all-star striker tandem of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
Both the Suns and the Pelicans start the young season 2-1 after missing the playoffs last year.
The Pelicans made some off-season changes, swapping Jrue Holiday for Eric Bledsoe and a couple of draft picks. They also picked up Steven Adams from Donner.
Dario Saric has been updated to likely for Tuesday’s game. Jalen Smith sprained an ankle on Saturday and will miss his second game against the Pels tonight. Abdel Nader stays outside.
Brandon Ingram, fresh from his all-star nod and maximum overtime, put in the best performance of the week in the Western Conference to kick off the new season. Ingram posted averages of 26. 7 points (44/47/82 divisions), 6. 7 templates and 7. 3 rebounds in three games.
Zion Williamson has no minute limits and posted Monster 21. 7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2. 3 steals per game at the Power Forward Spot. In between, Adams was a tertiary factor with just over 7 points, 8 rebounds per game.
The back yard features two questionable shooters in Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe. You’ll remember how Eric doesn’t want to be here. Well, he’s back in Phoenix, this time in a pelican uniform. Bledsoe averages just 10 points (31% three-point shooting), 4 assists and 2 ricochets in 32 minutes. Ball is a bit better, pitch 12. 7/4. 3/5. 0.
As a team, the pelicans are ninth in free throw attempts, eleventh in rebound (sixth in total rebound rate), third in stealing and third in defensive performance with the suns.
They have some formidable wins against the Raptors and Spurs, who pinched a shellack from the heat.
It looks like Dario Saric will finally take the place for the suns after recovering from a tense quad bike before heading back to the States for the season. However, don’t expect miracles as he hasn’t played in a competitive game or major competition since August.
But don’t worry, because Frank is here! Frank Kaminsky may not be that good at NBA basketball, but he was miles better than Damian Jones on Sunday and helped the Suns with that late third run. Frank had 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a block and was 17 in 18 minutes of play. Still, I’m looking forward to Dario.
Guess who was better than you might have thought before? Chris Paul is third in the NBA at 17. 3 potential templates per game with an average of 9. 7 current templates because the suns have missed many shots so far. Ricky Rubio average 15. 8 potential assists a year ago. The Suns as a team have dropped from the first to the seventh assistance rate so far, but that’s more for the rest of the team who have to pick them up than the point guard.
In related news, I look forward to Devin Booker playing better. He looks like he’s pushing. A lot of. He has to reduce his sales – 19 in 3 games versus only 11 assists – and make more shots. I’m sure he will because he’s Devin Booker and I hope it starts tonight against former teammate Eric Bledsoe. That the Suns are 2-1 and Booker has such a difficult start is music to the ears of this Suns fan.
Maybe E’Twaun Moore will play against his former team tonight? Moore was a professional who sat outside while the wake of the suns was healthy. He’ll be a big part of the team at some point this year, but right now he’s behind everyone else.
Many thanks to Zach Lowe for sharing this with Chris Herring on his Lowe Post Pod this week. This year’s Pelicans, under SVG, follow the Bucks, Celtics, and Raptors model of allowing as many threes as the opponent wants while defending the devil from the color. All of these Eastern teams have used this scheme to great effect in recent years with top 10 defenses, often top 3.
In order for the suns to win, they need to take and do a couple of threes instead of trying to force-feed the color.
On the other end, the Pelicans in the Color LIVE on the offensive and try not to have threesomes outside of Brandon Ingram or JJ Redick when they can help. None of Lonzo Ball, Bledsoe, Zion, or Steven Adams can do them with a high clip. They prefer to attack the rim and with Zion the attacks will be non-stop. The Sun’s best chance of this win is to force a three-point shootout.
It’s too early in the season to make any legitimate predictions as anything can happen. Heck, Clippers’ title contender, lost 51 points to the 2-0 Mavericks, who had defeated the Suns four days earlier.
But hey, this is a Suns blog. So let’s predict the Suns break out for a compelling 15-point win despite three of the last four matchups working overtime.
I will also predict that even if the suns win at 15, the ESPN highlights package will have Zion’s dunks in the front and center.
New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, NBA, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Western Conference
World News – USA – Game Preview: Suns (2-1) hosts Zion, Pelicans (2-1 ) in the big TNT matchup
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