NOP vs PHX Dream11: The First Round of the NBA Playoffs is going to be soon and we have seen many intense battles already. But one thing is clear, the higher-ranked teams have overcome the initial hiccups and the East is the best example of that. The Heat, the Celtics, and the Bucks, the top three teams have qualified rather comfortably while the fourth-ranked team 76ers is also one win away. However, the West is a different picture, only one team has qualified, the third rank Warriors, while the Grizzlies and the Mavericks are a win away. But what about the Phoenix Suns, they are also a win away but they will face a feisty New Orleans Pelicans here.
The Suns won the last game through the wonderful defense and beat the Pelicans 112:97 as Mikal Bridges rose up for 25 points and also played beautiful defense. The Suns have been playing without Devin Booker but have won two of their three outings without him, which showcases their immense depth. Can they close out the business away from home against a disruptive squad?
Host: New Orleans Pelicans
Visitors: Phoenix Suns
Match Timing: 29 April, @ 05:00 AM (+05:30 UTC)
Venue: Smoothie King Center
Are the Pelicans finished here?
While this series may not have been as close as the Grizzlies-Timberwolves one, it has still been highly captivating considering how the Pelicans have pushed the Suns to their limits. One thing that the Pelicans have done well is that they have not allowed the Suns to establish a running game at times but in the last game, the Suns got the much-needed night from Bridges.
In the last game, the Suns shut down Pelicans from the three-point line as the latter shot just 20% from there, making just 5 of them, compared to 10 by the Suns on a 37% shooting. The Pels did outrebound the Suns 47:40, largely thanks to Jonas Valanciunas, but they turned it over 15 times compared to 8 by the Suns, which gave the Suns six extra attempts at the basket.
The Suns also shut down Ingram who had scored 30 or more in three games straight, limiting him to 22. McCollum had a tough shooting night and except Jonas, no one was able to be a high-yielding efficient option. For the Suns, Mikal Bridges won the show with 31 points while Paul had a 20+ points and 10+ assists night as the Suns shot 50% from the field.
Brandon Ingram has been a reliable fantasy option and even though he had a cold shooting night in Game 5, he will be hungry to get it going on the home floor. CJ McCollum despite his shooting inefficiency remains a premium offensive option while also being a strong rebounder and playmaker. Jonas Valanciunas is a strong rebounding option. Alvarado continues to be a consistent fantasy option while Herbert Jones also brings decent fantasy value.
The Suns have been getting much of their production from Chris Paul, someone who can dish assists at a high rate while scoring a lot. Mikal Bridges’ raised his stocks after a so-so Game 3 while Deandre Ayton has been a terrific scorer and rebounder. Cameron Johnson and Jae Crowder have rather shot poorly at times while the bench has been largely unreliable.
Top Scorer: Brandon Ingram: 33
Top Rebounder: Jonas Valanciunas: 15
Highest assists deliverer: Chris Paul: 12
Scoreline Prediction: Pelicans 111 Suns 106
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.
Guard CJ shot just 7/22 in the last game and he has been a bit off at times but he has brought in terrific rebounding and playmaking as well. I expect a 23-28 points, 5-7 assists, and 5-8 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 34-48
Point Guard Paul has been handing over assists at a high rate without turning it over much while his scoring is also vital with Bridges being out. I expect a 16-22 points and 10-15 assists range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 34-48
Wing Ingram finally cooled off a bit and shot just 7/19 from the floor in the last game but still was a more than decent all-around factor. I believe he will be in 28-34 points and 5-7 rebounds/assists range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 40-55
The Center play of Deandre has been huge and he has been both an incredible scorer and rebounder while giving incredible defense. I expect him to be in 18-24 points and 8-12 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 25-40
Center Val has been the leading rebounder for the Pels and his ability to score and play more than decent defense is huge. I expect him to be in 15-19 points and 12-16 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 24-36
SF Bridges had the best game of his Playoff career, netting 12/17 buckets while also playing elite defense that shut down the Pels. I expect a 18-25 points and 4-6 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 30-45
PG: C Paul(PP), J Alvarado
SG: C McCollum
SF: B Ingram(SP), H Jones
PF: J Crowder, C Johnson
C: J McGee
PG: C Paul(SP), J Alvarado
SG: C McCollum(PP)
SF: M Bridges, H Jones
PF: J Hayes, C Johnson
C: D Ayton
With their season at stake, the Pels will be hungry to level things as we take a peek at some of the most scintillating athletes? In a great piece of news for the Indian NBA fans, this game can be viewed on TV outlets MTV and Sports 18. Meanwhile, streaming platforms JIO TV and Voot are going to display this game to viewers in India. But there are two other games, don’t you wanna watch them? Well, you can get hold of the NBA League Pass. If you purchase the annual subscription, you can get all live games and you can also access the full game replay if you can’t watch the live-action. To learn the scores, stats, and news, visit the official website of the NBA.