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, Brandon Ingram
Phoenix Suns, Brandon Ingram (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Observation #2: Suns have No Answer for Pelicans Forward Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram dominated the Suns in Game 2 to the tune of 37 points. From here on out, Phoenix needs to put Defensive Player of the Year finalist Mikal Bridges on the lengthy forward. But even if that happens, there is no guarantee he slows down Ingram from getting buckets. All the while, if Bridges guards Ingram instead, McCollum will likely go off for 30 points and 10 assists.

So, this resembles a “pick your poison” situation for Phoenix. They will need to decide who they want to carry the Pelicans offense. Should Ingram or McCollum be the primary scorer?

The Suns most recently chose to put all their focus in stopping McCollum. They made the wrong choice! Ingram’s dagger to seal the deal for the Pelicans looked completely unstoppable.

Ingram is playing like a bonafide superstar this postseason and the Suns are in a no-win situation when it comes to guarding him. He is too tall, too long, and too quick for any double teams to consistently bother him. If they do double Ingram, McCollum will be open for several 3-pointers a game, which is a disaster waiting to happen.

But if the Suns guard Ingram in single coverage, he promises to drop at least 30 points. He morphed into a modern-day version of Dirk Nowitzki or even a poor man’s Kevin Durant. In his prime, Dirk wielded a completely unstoppable skillset as a seven-foot forward. Ingram carries the requisite height and length to make his shot almost impossible to contest.

In the closing moments of Game 2, Ingram played like Devin Booker with a seven-foot-three wingspan. Not even Mikal Bridges (who stands at 6’6″ with a 7’1″ wingspan) physically matches up. Bridges is busy guarding CJ McCollum anyway.

This is where missing Devin Booker matters greatly. Booker guarded Ingram for much of Game 1 and the first half of Game 2. Booker is a great defender, as well as a prolific scorer.