5 Observations for Phoenix Suns from Pelicans vs Clippers Play-In Game

Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Phoenix Suns will face the New Orleans Pelicans during the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs in what is guaranteed to be an intense series. In an instant classic, the Pelicans rallied from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to vanquish the shorthanded Los Angeles Clippers, missing both star players Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

If the Pelicans give the Suns what they gave the Clippers in the first and fourth quarters of that game, this series will not be easy for Phoenix. As Monty Williams has often said, it will be on the other side of hard, even for the heavily-favored Suns.

Yes, slowing down both CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram will come as a tricky task to accomplish. Mikal Bridges remains the runaway favorite for Defensive Player of the Year, but he cannot clone himself to guard both McCollum and Ingram.

Furthermore, Phoenix will find no quit in this New Orleans team. The Pelicans had every reason to give up on their season after a 1-12 start. But the players never lost belief. They continued to play hard and together even when the losses mounted.

Then they secured McCollum at the NBA’s trade deadline—a deal that will go down as one of the best in NBA history should the Pelicans sustain this level of success. McCollum can be to the Pelicans like Chris Paul is to the Suns.

Back to the here and now: the recap from the thrilling Clippers-Pelicans game to decide who would draw the Suns in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Here are five observations that Suns fans might want to notice.