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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns prediction and pick for Game 1 of the Western Conference first round. Handicapper Matt McCuen gives his pick for the first game of this series out west.
ANALYSIS

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction: The Phoenix Defense is the Real Deal

The New Orleans Pelicans will battle the Phoneix Suns on Sunday night. The Suns come in as the number one seed in the Western Conference while the Pelicans enter this one as the number eight seed.

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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction

The Pelicans started this season ice cold with a record of 1-13 to begin the year. The season looked like a lost cause for most of the way until they added All-Star guard CJ McCollum to the team. The Pelicans completely turned around their season and now will be playing in their first playoff series since 2018.

On the other side of things, the Suns have their eyes on getting back to an NBA Championship and winning it all this time around. They have the team to do it, led by future Hall of Famer Chris Paul and young star Devon Booker. Booker will finish top five in MVP voting, while Paul has been outstanding all season long, leading them with his veteran presence. Monty Williams earned himself Coach of the Year honors, leading this team to the number one seed and the best record in all of the NBA. The Suns are a team that just has great chemistry all around the team. The Suns enter play tonight as a healthy favorite, sitting as a 10.5-point favorite tonight. 

The play I am going with tonight is going to be a team total under on the New Orleans Pelicans.

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As you may have seen so far, the playoffs are a whole different animal, especially on the defensive end. Teams typically play with much more focus and energy on the defensive side of things come playoffs, and this is a Suns team that is exceptional on defense. The Suns allow just north of 107 points per game, good for seventh in the NBA. These numbers are skewed a bit as they have played games without Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder, two of their better defenders. The Pelicans are a below-average offense, scoring 109.3 points per game which is twenty-first in the NBA. They do not have a ton of scorers outside of Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum which will create issues tonight. Monty Williams is too good of a coach not to have a game plan to limit those two players.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns Pick

Article Author

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Matt McCuen is a native of Delco, PA. He has been working in the sports gambling industry and creating content for the last few years. He is an expert in numerous different sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and collegiate sports. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @DeadPresPicks.

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