NBA PREVIEWS |

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans Preview and Predictions 12-05-2019


The New Orleans Pelicans look to halt a six-game losing streak when they host the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. New Orleans is waiting on projected impact rookie Zion Williamson (knee surgery) to make his NBA debut and the club is suffering in the meantime.

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The Pelicans were drubbed 118-97 by the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday and have allowed an average of 118.3 points during the slide. New Orleans has never found its stride during the absence of Williamson though small forward Brandon Ingram has emerged as a go-to player and is averaging 25.4 points per game. Phoenix has dropped seven of its last nine games with the troubles continuing with Wednesday's 128-114 road loss against the Orlando Magic. The Suns have given up least 120 points in seven of their past nine setbacks.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Arizona (Phoenix), FS New Orleans

ABOUT THE SUNS (9-11): Star guard Devin Booker tallied just 17 points against the Magic and was limited to 30 minutes after taking a hard fall in the opening quarter and injuring his back. Booker returned later in the half but never found his mark while scoring fewer than 20 points for the fourth time in the past seven games. Forward Frank Kamisnky stood out against Orlando with a season-best 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and is averaging 17.5 points over the past two games.

ABOUT THE PELICANS (6-15): Coach Alvin Gentry said a series of injuries have prevented New Orleans from establishing a firm rotation and he noted that the team can get there once Williamson is healthy later this month. "At some stage we have to get to the point where (every player) has the feeling that I'm going to go in and play these (amount of) minutes," Gentry told reporters. "Obviously, that changes if someone is going great (within a specific game) or there if foul trouble, but we have to get to that." Ingram scored 24 points against Dallas and has reached 20 or more in each of his last 11 appearances.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Ingram scored 28 points as the Pelicans registered a 124-121 road win over the Suns on Nov. 21 with SF Kelly Oubre Jr. leading Phoenix with 25 points.

2. New Orleans C Derrick Favors (mother's death) and F-G Kenrich Williams (birth of a child) are both listed as questionable.

3. Phoenix C Aron Baynes (calf) will likely miss his third straight game.

Prediction

Free Daily Lock Pick: NBA: Washington vs. Milwaukee - January 28th - (100% Confidence Release)

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Capacity: 17,188

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Last Injuries

New Orleans Pelicans

  • Jrue Holiday

    Knee
    Prob Sun | probable

    Holiday is expected to play against the Celtics on Sunday despite left knee soreness.

  • Josh Hart

    Ankle
    Prob Fri | probable

    Hart is expected to play Friday versus the Nuggets despite left ankle soreness.

  • JJ Redick

    Hamstring
    Prob Fri | probable

    Redick is battling a left hamstring strain, but he is likely to suit up against the Nuggets on Friday.

  • Kenrich Williams

    Back
    Out indefinitely | out

    Williams has been sidelined due to right lower-back soreness, and it is unclear when he will return to the lineup.

  • Jahlil Okafor

    Back
    day-to-day | questionable

    Okafor has been held out of the past three games with a sore lower back, but it is expected that he will return against the Spurs on Wednesday.

  • JJ Redick

    Hamstring
    Prob Wed | probable

    Redick is projected to be in Wednesday's lineup versus the Spurs despite a left hamstring strain.

  • Josh Hart

    Ankle
    Prob Wed | probable

    Hart has a sore left ankle, but it is projected that he will play Wednesday versus the Spurs.

  • Jrue Holiday

    Elbow
    Prob Wed | probable

    Holiday is anticipated to suit up against the Spurs on Wednesday despite a left elbow triceps strain.

Phoenix Suns

  • Cameron Johnson

    Quadricep
    Out indefinitely | out

    Johnson is sidelined due to a right quadriceps contusion, and it is unknown when he will return to the lineup.

  • Ricky Rubio

    Ankle
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Rubio is nursing a right ankle injury, and it is unclear if he will be available to face the Mavericks on Tuesday.

  • Aron Baynes

    Hip
    Out indefinitely | out

    Baynes has been absent from the lineup due to a sore left hip, and a timetable for return has yet to be established.

  • Kelly Oubre Jr.

    Concussion
    Prob Mon | probable

    Oubre Jr. has been held out of the last two games due to a concussion, but he is expected to be cleared in time for Monday's clash against the Spurs.

  • Ricky Rubio

    Personal
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Rubio is away from the team to be with his wife for the birth of their child. It is anticipated that he will be available against the Knicks on Thursday.