Pelicans +7 at Suns 1.5 unit
Locking this in early even though the Pelicans injury report isn’t 100% clear because most of the guys questionable should play and if any of them play they’re deep enough to make this a game. Zion and Herb Jones practiced and Alvarado and McCollum don’t have anything to really be worried about. Even with Brandon Ingram out this team is 12 deep and beat the Mavs without him, Zion and Herb Jones as 6 point dogs. This is a playoff rematch where the Pelicans gave the Suns a tough series and even though Ingram played in that series, Zion didn’t so getting his offense tonight would fill a lot of Ingram’s scoring. The Pelicans have multiple guys who can defend Booker and the Suns scoring has been more top heavy this season with Chris Paul’s numbers down and no Jae Crowder – Booker had 33 on 3-7 from three vs the Blazers and the Suns lost. The Grizzlies and Heat did this a lot last year where they had a roster of 12-13 guys who could play quality minutes any given night, win without their best player and Spoelstra and Jenkins kept questionable tags vague until close to gametime to make it hard for the other team to gameplan. I would say 80%+ Zion plays and if he does 7 is way too high. If he doesn’t the Pelicans have 10-11 other guys who can compete and the win vs the Mavs proved that.