NOP vs PHX Dream11: NBA is heading towards the Playoffs territory swiftly and the intensity is only going to pick up from here. This is a high-time for squads that are looking to sneak into the Playoffs or are looking to seal a high position in their respective Conferences. And as the time ticks on, it is a must to propel a special run before time runs out. However, for the Phoenix Suns, this is not much of an issue, they keep on maintaining the distance with the rest of the league but the team they will face in the New Orleans Pelicans is facing a desperate window.
The Suns have been doing a wonderful job of keeping their campaign afloat despite missing their leading playmaker Chris Paul. Devin Booker has kept the top-rank push floating at a high clip and the team has been taking care of business more often than not. As the Playoffs close in, the Suns are surely the title favorites.
On the other hand, the Pelicans got a jolt with Brandon Ingram being ruled out for multiple weeks and the timing couldn’t have been worse. They are in the tenth position in the Western Conference and it is obvious that their position isn’t secure as of now. They hit a sweet winning streak in the middle but with Ingram hurt, the ask has become tougher now.
Host: New Orleans Pelicans
Visitors: Phoenix Suns
Match Timing: 16 March, @ 05:30 AM
Venue: Smoothie King Center
Suns: They are primed to go deep
The Suns have indeed been the deepest team in the league in terms of winning without their floor general. When Chris Paul went down, there were murmurs that the team will lose the steam completely, and yes, to be honest, they have had some tough losses without him but they built such a gulf without him, that even winning around half of the games from here can ensure a top spot. Despite missing Paul, the team has won seven out of the last eleven games. And with 14 games left, they are highly likely to seal the top spot with 60+ wins. So, why has the winning train continued in recent times?
Well, Booker has adapted to the absence of Paul by becoming a better playmaker but the biggest difference-maker at the one-guard position has been Cameron Payne, who is perhaps playing the best basketball in his NBA career. On the other hand, with Bridges and Crowder, the Forward position is stacked and both of these players are two-way maestros. Then you have Deandre Ayton, who can seal the middle, grab tough rebounds, play effectively inside and boost the defensive end. McGee, Holiday, Craig, and Shamet round off a depleted bench without Cameron Johnson.
Pelicans: Ingram went down at the wrong time
Things were looking rosy for the Pels when they won four games in a row with the duo of Ingram and McCollum popping off for big nights. But then Ingram went down and since he last played in OT losses after the four-game winning streak, the team lost three games in a row after grabbing a win against the struggling Rockets. With Ingram’s absence, the role of CJ McCollum has increased and he has also missed a couple of games due to the COVID-19 protocols and is questionable for this game.
This is the worst time to miss your key players, especially when you are polishing for a Play-in tournament run. Thankfully for the Pelicans, after this game, the schedule is not that tough and has to be one of the easiest in the league. Still, they will need Ingram back because, at this point, they need to beat bigger opponents too so that they don’t lose their current tenth place. So, yes, in the remaining window, it will be huge for the Pels to make a deep run to increase the distance with other teams. However, without Ingram, they seem heavily outmatched against teams like the Suns.
New Orleans Pelicans | Phoenix Suns
Games: 68 | 68
Wins: 28 | 54
Defeats: 40 | 14
New Orleans Pelicans News
Pelicans Expected Starting Five
Wings: SF: Naji Marshall | SF/PF: Herbert Jones
Middle: PF/C: Jaxson Hayes | C: Jonas Valanciunas
Guards: PG/SG: CJ McCollum(QUESTIONABLE) / Devonte Graham
BENCH: Devonte Graham, Gary Clarke, Jose Alvarado, Willy Hernangomez, Trey Murphy III, Garrett Temple.
Phoenix Suns Team News
Suns Expected Starting Five
Wings: PF: Jae Crowder | SF: Mikal Bridges
Middle: C: Deandre Ayton
Guard: SG: Devin Booker | PG: Cameron Payne
BENCH: Elfrid Payton, Landry Shamet, Bismack Biyombo, Torrey Craig, Javale McGee, Aaron Holiday, Ismail Wainright.
Center Jonas has his load increased with the absence of McCollum and Ingram, and if you look above, you can see what he is capable of. He has scored 30 or more in two of the last three games while grabbing 10-15 rebounds. Adebayo can be chosen as a Star/Pro Player in the Dream 11 NBA Fantasy scenario.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 32-55
Off-guard Devin has been highly effective as an isolation scoring threat and he has also upped his playmaking since Paul has been out. He has mostly been in 23-30 points, 7-10 assists, and 1-4 steals range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 36-55
Hayes is an athletic big and his ability to finish inside while also having a decent impact on the rebounding end. Jaxson is mostly in 7-13 points and 4-6 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 15-27
Center Ayton has been doing a great job in the middle, packing the paint to seal rebounds and also finishing inside while being an elite defender. He has mostly been in 19-23 points and 10-16 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 30-45
CJ McCollum(NOP) has missed the last two games due to COVID-19 protocols. When the isolation guard has played, he has usually been in 24-32 points, 4-6 rebounds, and 8-11 assists range in absence of Ingram. He is QUESTIONABLE for the game.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 39-55
Point Guard Cameron has been doing his thing and has done well to fill the void caused by the absence of Chris Paul. He has been in 10+ points, 8-12 assists, and 4-7 rebounds range recently.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 26-38
Wouldn’t it be fun to watch Deandre Ayton and Jonas Valanciunas going in the middle? Well, I have great news for the NBA fans in India who are craving the action! You can catch this game live on two designated official streaming services. These streaming platforms are JIO TV and Voot. But, there are three other games, you’d wanna watch, right? Then you can go to the NBA League Pass and buy the annual subscription, an option that provides you access to all the live games and also the full game replay. To know the scores, stats, and news, visit the official website of the NBA.