Will Chris Paul's Absence Help the Suns Overcome Bookers' Absence to Beat Pelicans for Two Games in a Row?Chris Paul's absence didn't have any effect on the Suns' win over the Pelicans on Sunday. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne‚ both presumed to return soon‚ provided solid support to Paul. In addition‚ the Suns' 48-10 record before the All-Star break was enough to keep them in the playoff race. But what exactly happened in Booker's absence?
Devin Booker's versatilityIf you're thinking about whether the Suns can beat the Pelicans for the second time in three years‚ you need to consider how well Booker played during his absence. He was instrumental in keeping the Suns afloat without Chris Paul. And he finished the year as a legitimate MVP candidate and the team's best player. So‚ will Booker's versatility help the Suns overcome Bookers' absence to beat Pelicans for two games in a row? While he hasn't been as productive without Paul‚ his versatility has helped Phoenix overcome Bookers' absence. Booker scored 31 points and dished out seven assists in Game 2 before exiting the game due to a hamstring injury. Although Landry Shamet has been considered a candidate to replace Booker‚ he has not received the majority of Booker's minutes. If Booker were not available‚ the Suns would have lost by 11 points. Booker's absence would have led to a three-game sweep if Phoenix couldn't overcome the Pelicans. Without Booker‚ the Suns would be down three games to one in the series. Booker's versatility will be a key in this series if he remains healthy. The Suns took advantage of New Orleans' final lead to take a 2-1 series lead. Deandre Ayton added 28 points and 17 rebounds to the Suns' total and Paul made four free throws in the final 1:32. The Suns' defense rebounded effectively during Booker's absence. Meanwhile‚ Cameron Johnson played a major role when Booker missed a game.
Chris Paul's absenceThe Phoenix Suns have a few things to work on if they hope to remain in the playoff picture this season. Without Chris Paul‚ the team has struggled to score in large quantities and has relied heavily on defense to get through the transition. Without him‚ the Suns will have a tough time overcoming the Pelicans. With Bookers out‚ the Suns have room for improvement‚ but their lack of scoring isn't going to prevent them from reaching their goal of being the top seed in the Western Conference. Despite Booker's absence‚ the Suns were still able to come back and win the game. Paul's team huddled during the break to talk with the referees and get the correct calls. After the halftime huddle‚ he got up to help Torrey Craig‚ who had been fouled by Naji Marshall. With 7:31 left in the half‚ Craig returned to the game. While the absence of Booker hurts Booker's absence hurts the Suns‚ Paul is still playing a small role in the story arc. Booker and Paul were both underrated before Booker was traded‚ but they have been able to complement each other well. Booker's offensive versatility has been an invaluable asset to the Suns over the past few seasons. Phoenix took advantage of New Orleans' final lead with 5:37 left to play in the game and seized the momentum. Paul made four of his final four free throws in the final 1:32 to seal the deal. Paul's passing ability was crucial and led the Suns to victory. Bookers strained his right hamstring in the previous game against the Suns and sat on the bench for Game 3.
Cameron Payne's presumed returnMonty Williams and Chris Paul helped the Suns to a 109-101 victory over the Pelicans. With Booker sidelined‚ the Suns have a difficult time executing their game plans and relying on Booker alone. Fortunately for Suns fans‚ Green can tailor game plans around Paul and his scoring ability. Green can also split Booker's minutes between Landry Shamet‚ Cameron Johnson‚ and Jaxson Hayes. Landry Shamet stepped into Booker's role last time he was sidelined and did a nice job‚ averaging 12 points and 2 assists and shooting 40 percent from the field. Without Booker‚ the Suns have to deal with the absence of a leader‚ and Booker is the most important piece of that puzzle. They are going to be missing Booker for at least a couple of days‚ and the Suns are able to compensate with other pieces. With Booker out‚ the Suns can focus on Deandre Ayton's development as a go-to interior player. Although Booker will be missed‚ the Suns have plenty of capable backups that can fill Booker's role. They have the experience to overcome Booker's absence‚ and their players have already developed cohesion and chemistry together. This is a team with more star power than the Pelicans‚ and they can overcome Booker's absence by putting up bigger contributions than usual. The Phoenix Suns had a strong first half. They led the Pelicans at halftime with a 59-48 advantage. Ayton scored 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting‚ including 4 baskets off Paul feeds. Monty Williams praised the Suns' defense and said the Suns' defensive effort in the second half was impressive. Ayton and McGee combined for 20 points and two rebounds‚ and Paul had zero turnovers in his 40 minutes.
Phoenix Suns' 48-10 record before the All-Star breakThe Phoenix Suns have a 48-10 record heading into the All-Star break‚ tied for the best record in the NBA. They've topped the Western Conference for the past three seasons‚ won the last four playoff series‚ and have a seven-game winning streak. That is the longest streak in the team's history. Phoenix also boasts the best net margin (+8.1) in the NBA‚ and its starting lineup has only played together 32 games. The Phoenix Suns are on track for an NBA Finals berth this season. While the Warriors have been on a tear‚ the Suns are on a roll and are six games ahead of them after the All-Star break. The Suns are poised to win the Western Conference and home court advantage in the NBA Finals‚ and they've also been on the bubble for individual awards. Both Chris Paul and Devin Booker are on the verge of claiming MVP awards. The Phoenix Suns have been a surprise to most people this season. The team is led by All-Star point guard Chris Paul‚ but has been hampered by injury. The injured Chris Paul has missed eight games‚ and Phoenix has gone 5-3 without him. Despite their injury struggles‚ the Suns' three-time All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker has stepped up his game and has a 48-10 record before the All-Star break. Before the All-Star break‚ the Phoenix Suns were the best team in the Western Conference. They had an impressive 48-10 record before the All-Star break and were seven games ahead of their closest divisional rival. Despite the injury to Paul‚ the team has already won two 10-game streaks and are now eight games back of the Warriors. The '92 Bulls are the only team to beat them in the Eastern Conference.
Phoenix Suns' Game 2 loss to the New Orleans PelicansThe Phoenix Suns were not their usual self in Game 2 of their series with the New Orleans Pelicans. They struggled all game long and didn't come close to winning the series. But that was before the Suns lost to the Pelicans in the first round. The Suns have lost three of their last four games‚ and their record is now 6-16. If you've been following the NBA‚ you'll know that the Pelicans are a team to beat. They won't lose their series against the Houston Rockets‚ but it certainly doesn't help. The Pelicans' starting five are still the same. They were led by Paul and McCollum‚ but the Pelicans' young core will be missing some key pieces. Without Booker‚ the Suns will have to rely on Chris Paul to run their offense. The playmaker is a key piece of the team's offense‚ and without him‚ the Suns' offense will struggle to find its rhythm. After falling behind by 19 points early in the series‚ the Pelicans are looking to bounce back in Game 2. Despite the Suns' lackluster shooting‚ they still need to rebound the offensive glass. Without that‚ the Pelicans can score easily. That's why Devin Booker has been out of the lineup for a majority of the game. Despite the loss‚ they can still take some confidence from their recent play. Despite their recent struggles‚ the Suns showed improvement in key areas of their series. Although they still struggled in the paint‚ they did clean up leakouts and rebounding in Game 2. The Pelicans‚ on the other hand‚ were able to shoot 80% from beyond the arc in Game 2‚ which is better than what most NBA teams would expect. Ayton had to guard Valanciunas further from the basket‚ but the Suns did not take advantage of it.
🔥 45 for Jimmy Butler in G2
🔥 41 for DeMar DeRozan in G2
🔥 37, 11 & 9 for Brandon Ingram in G2
Stars look to follow up BIG Game 2 performances in a trio of Game 3s tonight on ESPN and ABC! pic.twitter.com/msstRBy6A1 — NBA (@NBA) April 22, 2022
Torrey Craig through three games in the playoffs:
All are worst on the team. It’s time to let the Juice loose. — John Voita (@DarthVoita) April 23, 2022