The Suns know what’s at stake. Now they just have to go out and take it.
Phoenix’s final push for the playoffs will be largely defined by a three-game road trip in the final week, one that starts at New Orleans on Wednesday.
The Pelicans have lost each of the previous three meetings with the Suns this season, but will be playing with a nothing-to-lose mentality. We look at that, New Orleans’ health, the Suns’ sense of urgency and more in our game preview.
Phoenix is fighting for its playoff life, and needs as much cushion between itself and ninth-place Memphis, which has already clinched the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two teams.
New Orleans is already mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs, a situation that, while undesired, allows the players to perform with zero pressure.
The trick for Phoenix will be to play motivated, not tight, in a game they essentially must win.
Phoenix had gone three straight games of shooting under 30 percent from three-point range before Sunday’s big win over Oklahoma City.
The Suns rely heavily on their ability to hit from the outside, which has seen them rank second in the league in three-pointers made per game (9.4). If they can reach that number on a more efficient amount of shot attempts, they’ll be in better shape.
Man on Morrow
Veteran guard Anthony Morrow is ona tear, averaging 20.8 points on an absurd shooting clip of 60.4 percent (57.9 percent from three).
With Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday all out, Morrow has become the Pelicans’ lone remaining elite perimeter shooter. The Suns will need to be aware of his presence at all times, much as opponents plan for Gerald Green. Speaking of which…
Gerald Green has simply been on fire over the past four games, averaging 23.3 points on 52.5 percent shooting, including a 48.3 percent clip from three-point range.
New Orleans could be hard-pressed to match Green’s production if he has another big night, especially with Eric Gordon (knee) expected to be out of action.
All-Star big man Anthony Davis could be a game-time decision due to recent back issues. He’s been affected by those in a big way, putting up just 12.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game over the last four contests.
Davis’ absence would be the latest in an injury-riddled season for the Pelicans, who are already without three of their top four scorers in Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday.