Game Preview: Suns travel to New Orleans for vital struggle against Pelicans

Who: Phoenix Suns ( 43- 31 )@ New Orleans Pelicans ( 45- 29 ) When: 5: 00 pm AZ Time Where: Smoothie King Center ( New Orleans, LA ) Watch: NBA TV, Arizona’s Family 3TV / Arizona’s Family Sports Listen: KMVP 98.7The Phoenix Suns will conclude their five- game road trip in New Orleans tonight against the Pelicans. Thus far, they have alternated wins and losses, splitting their route journey at 2- 2, including a gain in Denver. Day is ticking. The group is tied with the Kings at 43- 31 though the Kings hold the tie- break, pushing them to the 8th plant. They are only two games’ throws behind Dallas and New Orleans, between, as the fifth and sixth seeds. A victory evening would give them a total game lead over the Eagles, making this one crucial for their playoff push. Last evening the Clipper, Mavs, Kings, Lakers, and Soldiers all won, making it a terrible day for Phoenix in the status section. The Suns are just back from a path loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City, where they lost 123-108 without SGA suiting up. Phoenix and New Orleans have just met again this year, on January 19th, in a 123- 109 Suns win at the Smoothie King Center. The team will join again on April 7th in Phoenix for their third and final encounter of the time line. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Possible StartersPhoenixJusuf Nurkic
Kevin Durant
Grayson Allen
Bradley Beal
Devin Booker
New Orleans Jonas Valanciunas
Zion Williamson
Herb Jones
Trey Murphy III
Craig McCollum
Injury ReportSuns: Damion Lee — OUT ( Right Meniscus Surgery ) Pelicans: Brandon Ingram — OUT ( Left Knee, Bone Contusion )
Jose Alvarado — OUT ( Right Oblique, Strain )
Jersey Matchup Keys to a Suns WinWin the glassPhoenix may defeat a powerful Falcons team in the face-to-face game, or at least maintain its neutrality. This group has length, with Jonas Valanciunas and Zion Williamson and their long arms in Jones and Murphy. Limit the following- opportunity points, box out, and drive off the Pelicans misses to dump them in changeover. It’s a proven formula that has helped the Suns achieve great success this year. Take good basketball: If the Suns is stop turnovers and fight on the glass, they are a risky team. These two have been their superman throughout the year, allowing their rivals to outshine them by incredibly low margins. Take care of the game and destroy the Eagles on the boards. Plain and simple. Willie Green and business will look for ways to introduce a shaky Phoenix defense with protective intensity. The strength level needs to be great for a regular, lengthy stretch. Luring, showing large on windows, rotating, closing out on guns, communicating… all of it. In what should be one of the most crucial games of the year for the Phoenix Suns, they’ll need to be on the same site in what should be a hostile environment. Craig McCollum and Zion Williamson serve as the unpleasant centres for Phoenix, which is the key. Without Brandon Ingram, Phoenix needs to put pressure on these two precisely because they can obtain containers in a hurry and have excellent function people surrounded them. With a win over the Eagles now, the Suns have a chance to manage their life. Not only would they get a match in the standings, but they would secure the period- collection tie- breaker in head- to- head matchups. If they defeat the Falcons in both upcoming game on April 1 and 7, that will give them a full two games in New Orleans and place them in good stead to do so by increasing their seed advantage ( or two ). Expect a strong victory on the road when the sun appears. 122- 111. I’ll stay optimistic below, and well, they’ll want it.