NOP vs PHX Dream11: The NBA Playoffs are bringing us beautiful battles and some bottom-ranked teams are refusing to go away quietly. The two NBA Finals last season have already seen a huge fightback from their competitors. The Bucks saw the Bulls pull through a brilliant win and the Suns faced a defeat as Devin Booker went down due to injury. Can they recover here without Booker?
The Suns lost the last game 114:125 as their energy and confidence got sucked out due to Booker’s injury. However, coach Monty Williams still has the Floor General Chris Paul at his disposal and perhaps he will make the needed adjustments. Brandon Ingram put on a show in the last game and that is why the Pelicans fans have been filled with a lot of hope and wondering if there is an upset in the making, will there be an upset indeed?
Host: New Orleans Pelicans
Visitors: Phoenix Suns
Match Timing: 23 April, @ 07:00 AM (+05:30 UTC)
Venue: Smoothie King Center
Pelicans will be confident but the Suns still have the tools
The Pelicans didn’t look like in the game until Booker was in and was having one of his special nights, having bulked up 31 points in first half alone. Chris Paul just shot 5/16 and was unable to close the game as he usually does. Jae Crowder struggled even more, only able to nail two of his eleven attempts. Overall, the Suns weren’t terrible by any standards, making 50% of their Field Goals but it was their second-half defense that held them behind.
The Pelicans shot an astounding 55% while making an amazing 56% of their threes, converting 17 of them. The team also outrebounded the Suns 43:33 which also played a huge role while the team also moved the ball well, having 32 assists. Both McCollum and Ingram had a solid all-around game and when Ingram took control of the game, the Suns stood no chance. The Pelicans accumulated a 34:22 third quarter, the period when Booker went down due to injury.
Without Booker, Bridges and Ayton will have to elevate their games, and both of them can surely do it. Cameron Johnson will also see an uptick in his minutes and the Suns even without Booker can be a well-coordinated unit. The ball will need to move much more but Bridges has shown isolation capabilities. Booker also is a strong defensive presence and the Suns will need to play much better defense than they did in the second half of Game 2.
With Booker out, Bridges’ fantasy stocks should rise as his touches will increase. The stocks of Paul will of course bolster and he is already such a dependable fantasy pick. In terms of fantasy value, Jonas Valanciunas has outplayed Suns’ Deandre Ayton so far but not by a long distance. Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum will be rostered even more with Booker out and Ingram opened up the floodgates in the last game. Larry Nance Jr has seen an intense increase in fantasy value considering his highly inspiring play. Jaxson Hayes’ production has dipped but he and Herbert both remain viable fantasy options. Cameron Johnson will see an increase in his minutes and it may not be a bad idea to include him in the schemes.
Top Scorer: CJ McCollum: 32
Top Rebounder: Jonas Valanciunas: 14
Highest assists deliverer: Chris Paul: 13
Scoreline Prediction: Suns 116 Pelicans 110
Phoenix Suns Team News
Suns Expected Starting Five
Defensive Forward: Jae Crowder
Slashing Wing and Defensive Specialist: Mikal Bridges
Inside Presence: C: Deandre Ayton
Two-way Wing: SF: Cameron Johnson
Floor General: PG: Chris Paul
BENCH: Elfrid Payton, Bismack Biyombo, Torrey Craig, Javale McGee, Landry Shamet, Ismail Wainright.
New Orleans Pelicans News
Pelicans Expected Starting Five
Athletic Forward: PF: Jaxson Hayes
Defensive Forward: F: Herbert Jones
Rebounding Specialist: C: Jonas Valanciunas
All-around Wing: SF: Brandon Ingram
Scoring Guard: G: CJ McCollum
BENCH: Devonte Graham, Gary Clarke, Naji Marshall, Jose Alvarado, Willy Hernangomez, Trey Murphy III, Garrett Temple.
McCollum has been one of the major reasons why the Pelicans have been able to make it thus far, first, he has addressed the three-point shooting needs and then he has shown the willingness to move the ball around. I expect a 26-32 points, 5-8 assists, and 4-7 rebounds range here.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 42-65
The Point Guard will have more responsibilities without Devin Booker and he will be expected to also up his scoring. Paul shot 5/16 from the floor in the last game but didn’t commit even a single turnover. I expect a 16-22 points and 10-13 assists range here.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 34-48
The springy wing Ingram shot 13/21 in the last game and showcased his all-around game. He had a strong second half and hit all his three attempts from long range while also converting all his eight free-throw attempts. He can be in 25-31 points, 6-9 rebounds, and 5-8 assists range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 40-60
Ayton has a sizeable impact in the paint and his ability to get high-quality inside shots can help the Suns overcome a dry stretch on offense. Apart from that, he is a strong rebounder and defender. I expect a 16-22 points and 10-13 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 25-40
Jonas is the leading rebounder for the Pelicans and he can also provide more than decent offense and act as the last-line-of-defense in the paint. He can conjure up 13-19 points and 12-16 rebounds range here.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 24-36
Wing Bridges will be tested as a major offensive option in this game and he has improved his isolation abilities so a big night can be incoming. I expect a 18-24+ points, 4-7 rebounds, and 1-2 steals/blocks range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 30-45
PG: C Payne, C Paul(PP)
SG: C McCollum
SF: B Ingram(SP)
PF: L Nance Jr, C Johnson, H Jones
C: J Hayes
PG: C Payne, C Paul(SP)
SG: C McCollum(PP)
SF: M Bridges
PF: C Johnson L Nance Jr
C: D Ayton, J Hayes
As the series moves to the Pelicans’ home court, the stakes are high for the Booker-less Suns, don’t you wanna see the action? In not the most encouraging piece of news for the Indian NBA fans, this match can’t be seen on TV outlets MTV and Sports 18. On the other hand, streaming services JIO TV and Voot are not going to showcase this game to viewers in India. So what can you do? Well, you can get hold of the NBA League Pass. If you buy the annual subscription, you can get all live games and you can also access the full game replay if you can’t catch the live-action. To know the scores, stats, and news, go to the official website of the NBA.