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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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Observation #1: The Pelicans are a Bad Matchup for the Suns

There are always teams that represent difficult matchups for even the most fortified units. For the Suns, the Pelicans might be that kryptonite.

As evidenced in last season’s NBA Finals, the Suns struggle with big, physical teams who possess a bonafide superstar able to rise above their undersized front line. Milwaukee Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo dominated the Suns last year by playing said role.

But the Pelicans are even bigger and just as physical as Milwaukee. New Orleans out-rebounded the Suns by a combined 30 boards in their first two games. That resulted in 15 extra shot attempts.

Normally, you beat bigger and more physical teams by pressuring them into turnovers. However, that strategy will prove faulty against the Pelicans. They possess too much veteran savvy and athleticism for Phoenix’s pressure defense to make an impact.

CJ McCollum is the veteran leader who stabilizes things for the Pelicans. Pressure does not faze him in the slightest. If the Pels can find a way to move him off the ball, there is no way the Suns can stop both him and Brandon Ingram.

Speaking of Ingram…