Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

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Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Indy »

Regular Season Game #37 | Road Game #17
Smoothie King Center | New Orleans, LA
January 4, 2022 | 6:00 p.m. (Phoenix time)
RADIO: 98.7 FM Arizona's Sports Stations/KSUN-La Mejor | TV: Bally Sports Arizona

https://www.nba.com/gamenotes/suns.pdf

https://www.nba.com/gamenotes/pelicans.pdf

Go Suns!!!

Dis • cuss


Suns keep shining without full roster, prep for Pelicans
Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 2:03 AM

Game Preview

The Phoenix Suns have been short-handed because of NBA health and safety protocol, but that hasn't kept them from competing for the league's best record.

Head coach Monty Williams, starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder and backups JaVale McGee and Abdel Nader all were sidelined by COVID-19 protocol as the Suns routed the Hornets 133-99 on Sunday in Charlotte.

It's unclear if anyone will return when the Suns conclude a three-game road trip by facing the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

The road trip began with a 123-108 loss in Boston in which the Celtics were more physical than Phoenix and led by as many as 30 points.

"We wanted to come out strong first and foremost on the defensive end," said Chris Paul, who scored just seven points but helped seven teammates score in double figures with 16 assists against the Hornets.

"With (Paul), your hands have got to be ready at all times," said Jalen Smith, who tied a career-high with 19 points and added 12 rebounds against Charlotte. "I have been picking his brain and he's been able to tell me how to get on the court and how to keep improving."

The Suns raced to a 73-47 halftime lead and led by as many as 43 points in the second half.

"I can never just automatically know I'm going to shoot this many shots," Paul said. "I've got to feel the game and see how it's going. I think you can be aggressive, too, without necessarily shooting -- just putting pressure on the defense."

Assistant Kevin Young has been the acting head coach in Williams' absence.

The Pelicans got their top two scorers -- Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas -- back Monday, but it wasn't enough in a 115-104 home loss to the Utah Jazz.

Valanciunas, returning from a one-game absence while he was in the health and safety protocol, had 25 points to lead six New Orleans scorers in double figures. But Ingram, who had missed the last two games because of Achilles soreness, had just 10 points as he made just three of 18 shots.

Ingram made just 1 of 7 3-pointers, and the Pelicans were just 12 of 46 from beyond the arc.

"We've got to keep pushing, get in the gym as much as we can, and keep it moving," said Josh Hart, who scored 15 points. "So, it's a tough one, but the beautiful thing about the league is we've got another one tomorrow."

The Pelicans, who began the new year with a 136-113 loss at defending champion Milwaukee on Saturday, are in the midst of three home games against the best teams in West over four days. The stretch concludes against NBA-leading Golden State on Thursday.

"We have some good teams coming in," Pelicans coach Willie Green said. "Our guys are well-aware of it, and we've been in this situation before where we've played against good teams -- on the road, at home. We just have to come out and play our style of basketball."

--Field Level Media

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

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From the Pels media guide for today... so many connections:
  • Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin is a native of Phoenix and spent 17 seasons with the Suns to begin his NBA front office career
  • Griffin graduated from Arizona State in 1995 and began with the Suns as an intern in the media relations department before transitioning to basketball operations
  • Griffin served in a multitude of roles with the franchise, including basketball operations assistant, assistant director of player personnel, director of player personnel, assistant general manager and senior vice president of basketball operations
  • Griffin served in the Suns front office from 1997-2010
  • Pelicans Vice President of Player Care and Performance Aaron Nelson was a member of the Suns’ training staff for 26 seasons from 1993-2019
  • Nelson was originally hired as the team’s assistant athletic trainer and spent his final 19 years with the team as the head athletic trainer
  • Additionally, Pelicans Head Athletic Trainer Tom Maystadt served as the rehabilitation coordinator and assistant athletic trainer for the Suns from 2009-19
  • Pelicans Head Coach Willie Green was a part of the Phoenix Sun’s coaching staff from 2019-21 and helped led the Suns to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993
  • Additionally, Green and Suns G Chris Paul were teammates on the L.A. Clippers from 2012-14
  • Paul was drafted by New Orleans in the first round (4th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft
  • In franchise history, Paul ranks 3rd in total points (7,936), 1st in assists (4,228), 1st in steals (1,010) and 1st in free throws made (1,971) and free throws attempted (2,310)
  • Additionally, Paul and Pelicans F Gary Clark were teammates on the Houston Rockets during the 2018-19 season
  • Suns Head Coach Monty Williams served as the head coach in New Orleans from 2010-15
  • During his tenure with the franchise, Williams compiled a 173-221 (.439) record, and led New Orleans to the postseason in 2011 and 2015
  • Suns Assistant Coach Randy Ayers served as an assistant coach on Monty Williams’ staff in New Orleans from 2011-15
  • Suns G Devin Booker attended Moss Point High School in Moss Point, Mississippi, approximately 110 miles from New Orleans
  • Booker was named the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year as a Junior
  • Pelicans Assistant Coach Jarron Collins played one season for the Suns during the 2009-10 season
  • Pelicans C Jonas Valančiūnas and Suns F Jae Crowder were teammates with the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2019-20 season
  • Pelicans G TomášSatoranský played for the Chicago Bulls along with Suns G/F Chandler Hutchison during the 2019-21 seasons before Hutchison was traded to the Washington Wizards
  • Suns F/C Frank Kaminsky III and Pelicans C Willy Hernangómez were teammates on the Charlotte Hornets in 2018-19
  • Pelicans Player Development Coach Corey Brewer played for the Denver Nuggets along with suns F/C JaVale McGee during the 2012-13 season
  • McGee also played under current Pelicans Head Coach Willie Green during his time in Golden State for the 2016-18 seasons
  • In addition, McGee and Pelicans G Josh Hart and F Brandon Ingram were teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2018-19 season
  • Lastly, McGee and Pelicans F Gary Clark briefly played for the Denver Nuggets during the 2020-21 season
  • Hart and Suns F Mikal Bridges were college teammates at Villanova where they won a National Championship with the Wildcats
  • Brewer and Suns F Abdel Nader were teammates in Oklahoma City for the 2018-19 season
  • Suns G Elfrid Payton played one season with the Pelicans in 2018-19 where he averaged 10.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game
  • Additionally, Payton began his NBA career with the Orlando Magic in the same year that Pelicans Head Coach Willie Green ended his NBA playing career in Orlando during the 2014-15 season
  • Pelicans G Jared Harper had a brief stint with the Phoenix Suns during the 2019-20 season
  • Additionally, Harper and Suns G Elfrid Payton were teammates on the New York Knicks during the 2020-21

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

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Go suns!

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

This could be a rough watch for Suns fans. The Pels are at full strength minus Zion, and they gave the Suns a pretty tough game back in November. Ayton was out for the previous match up and Valenciunas had a strong game. Ingram was also out for the Pels and Herb Jones was defending Booker well before he left the game with an injury.
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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Split T »

We weren’t playing Jalen Smith last time though haha
My wish list: Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Larry Nance Jr, Robert Covington, PJ Washington

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

Split T wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 5:07 pm
We weren’t playing Jalen Smith last time though haha
We saw how Steven Adams dealt with him. I have a feeling Jonas will do pretty much the same.
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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

The Suns have not cooled off since playing in Charlotte.

Nice stuff by Cam Johnson on Jonas. Glad the officials didn't call the take foul on Booker's pass.
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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

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Very nice start, Jonas will be a load, but so far we’re doing what we need to offensively and that’ll be enough.
My wish list: Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Larry Nance Jr, Robert Covington, PJ Washington

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

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Early triple double watch for Book. 9/4/2 and only 5 minutes in.
My wish list: Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Larry Nance Jr, Robert Covington, PJ Washington

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

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Bridges does seem to struggle with Ingram…one of the few longer players than him.
My wish list: Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Larry Nance Jr, Robert Covington, PJ Washington

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

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Jalen looks so good…confidence and opportunity will do a lot for you
My wish list: Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Larry Nance Jr, Robert Covington, PJ Washington

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Oatmeal »

Split T wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:24 pm
Jalen looks so good…confidence and opportunity will do a lot for you
Playing him at the right position probably helps him the most. He was always a 5.

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

Split T wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:24 pm
Jalen looks so good…confidence and opportunity will do a lot for you
I had a long thought yesterday about who was better, Ayton as a rookie or Smith right now.
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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by specialsauce »

We can’t resign Stix for more than $4m and change annually. At this rate he is going to almost certainly get a better offer in FA. Might as well trade him and get something for him. Amazing turnaround for him
. He did not look like an NBA player at ALL in summer league.

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

I thought he looked fine in SL. He was playing with a bunch of bums who were chucking and trying to get a job somewhere.
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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Split T »

specialsauce wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:33 pm
We can’t resign Stix for more than $4m and change annually. At this rate he is going to almost certainly get a better offer in FA. Might as well trade him and get something for him. Amazing turnaround for him
. He did not look like an NBA player at ALL in summer league.
I was thinking about that, but honestly his minutes will mostly disappear when Ayton/McGee return. I don’t think anyone will give him $5 million a year. Vanderbilt had a better resume and didn’t get that last summer.

I’m still team trade him though if we can get a versatile wing to bolster the bench.
My wish list: Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Larry Nance Jr, Robert Covington, PJ Washington

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Split T »

That bench lineup we were running just now was rough
My wish list: Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Larry Nance Jr, Robert Covington, PJ Washington

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Split T »

Wanna see that one again, that block looked clean by Bridges


Edit: Ball don’t lie
My wish list: Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Larry Nance Jr, Robert Covington, PJ Washington

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by AmareIsGod »

Split T wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:47 pm
That bench lineup we were running just now was rough
Sadly, that rough lineup would have hung tight with our best squads during our lean squads of yesteryear.
What is smallball? I play basketball. I'm not a regular big man. I can switch from the center to the guards. The game is evolving. You got dudes like Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis, all these 7-footers, doing everything. There's no stopping us. - Ayton

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Re: Game Day: Suns (28-8) @ Pelicans (13-24), 1/4/2022

Post by Split T »

Not a fan of how the refs are reffing Valunciunas. He’s being allowed to be very physical but we’re getting a lot of ticky tack fouls against him. He hit Jalen in the face with no repercussions, he’s screamed in the face of the refs twice now with no tech and he’s been hanging out in the paint 4-5 seconds constantly.
My wish list: Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Larry Nance Jr, Robert Covington, PJ Washington

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