3 Phoenix Suns Observations from Game 2 Loss vs New Orleans Pelicans

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The Phoenix Suns ran out of bullets in a shootout vs the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 2 of their first round matchup last night. After Devin Booker went down with a hamstring injury in the third quarter, the Suns were out of options in trying to keep pace with the Pelicans torrid offense.

Of course, Suns fans everywhere might point to Booker’s hamstring injury as the sole reason why Phoenix lost. It indeed factored significantly into the final score. Booker’s 31 points in the first half paced the Suns in Game 2, but they were still only up five at halftime (a HUGE red flag in hindsight).

The Suns now find themselves in a predicament similar to the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs. Going into the matchup, Dallas seemed certain to breeze past the 8th-seeded Golden State Warriors, led by former Dallas coach Don Nelson. Golden State ran a small, perimeter-oriented lineup dubbed “Nellie Ball” featuring guards Baron Davis and Jason Richardson.

Dallas had no answer for Davis and Richardson on offense. Forwards Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes pressured Mavs star forward Dirk Nowitzki into playing one of his worst playoff series in his illustrious career. Six games later, Golden State completed the upset over Dallas and became immortalized as the “We Believe” Warriors.

Similar to the Dallas and Golden State series in 2007, former Suns assistant coach Willie Green is leading a Pelicans squad that has already proven to be a bad matchup for the Suns. The “We Believe” Warriors had a legendary run. Can the New Orleans Pelicans achieve the same feat at the expense of this record breaking Suns team?