With a surprisingly competitive series, the Phoenix Suns end up beating the New Orleans Pelicans in six games. The Suns will now move on to play Dallas in the semi-finals, while the Pelicans are sent home. Both teams had moments they should be proud of. Here are some of the things each team learned about themselves in this series.
Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans Pelicans Series Recap
The New Orleans Pelicans
Despite losing, the Pelicans should be very happy about how this season ended. They started off the year 3-16!!! The fact that they made the post-season at all was an impressive feat. They put up an amazing fight, winning two games off the Suns. They should look at this as a step in the right direction for such a young team. Here’s what else they learned…
Brandon Ingram Is That Guy
Brandon Ingram played an amazing series against the Suns. Ingram averaged 27 points shooting 48% from the field and 41% from 3. He also added 6 assists and 6 rebounds to that stat line. This was not an easy task with such an elite defense from Phoenix. Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder had a tough time slowing him down, as he got to his spots at ease. Ingram has shown he has star potential in this league with his ability to score
Herb Jones Is Already a Lockdown Player
Herb Jones was given tough defensive assignments this whole series. Whether that be Devin Booker when he was healthy, or Chris Paul. Jones had a decent offensive performance by putting up 11 points on amazing efficiency. But he shined on defense. He made the star Phoenix guards work for every bucket they got. With 2 steals per game throughout the series, Jones shows he already is a serious defender as a rookie.
CJ McCollum Still Has Juice Left in the Tank
CJ McCollum put up 22 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists this series. He also was an energy guy that kept the team moving. Even though they played good defense on him as he shot poorly from the field, McCollum showed that he still has the skill to play at a high level.
When Zion Williamson eventually returns, McCollum’s ability to score and play-make, along with Ingram’s star emergence will make this team a serious contender.
The Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns were able to close out this series without too much trouble. They rallied even without their best player in Devin Booker. They learned a lot from this series that shows promise for the rest of the play-offs.
Chris Paul is Still the Point God
Paul had an ability to take over games like no other in this series. He averaged 10 points per game in the 4th quarter alone throughout the series. This was on 66% shooting from the field. When no one else was willing to step up, he showed why he’s the perfect veteran for this team. He averaged 22 points and 11 assists overall. This was all with poor shooting from his role players.
Deandre Ayton is the Phoenix Suns Future Big-Man
Deandre Ayton put up an impressive 20 and 10 throughout the series. The Suns played through Ayton nicely once Booker went down with his injury. The pick & roll game between him and Paul adds a nice dynamic to the offense that allows Paul to free up nicely against Jones. Ayton also added a nice presence down low slowing down Jaxson Hayes and Jonas Valančiūnas.
The Pelicans showed they have a nice future for this young core. They have had players step up as well as some that show they have stuff left to prove. The Suns also showed they can still be seen as the favorites to come out of the rest with good production from Paul and Ayton, and a speedy recovery from Booker. Both these teams should be happy with how their first round ended.
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