Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans Pelicans 4/28/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans Matchup Preview (4/28/22)

Phoenix has shown remarkable resiliency in this series, winning a colossal Game Five to take a 3-2 lead over the surging New Orleans Pelicans after losing Devin Booker to a hamstring injury a few games prior. Booker’s injury was initially going to keep him out the remainder of this series and potentially, a good portion of the next series, too; however, reports are now surfacing that a Game Six or Game Seven return is possible. On Wednesday afternoon, several NBA insiders, including Woj, stated that Booker is progressing towards a return sooner versus later. This would instantly give Phoenix the boost needed to get past the Pels and into the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

New Orleans now has yet another incentive to win: Zion Williamson could return if it makes it to the next round of the playoffs. While it is still hard to say the viability of this claim, it should be exciting enough for the Pels to give it their all in this next game, and hopefully, a Game Seven if they make it that far. Below I cover the betting odds for this game, including my predictions for which team will cover the spread and whether the point total will land over or under the line. Check it out!

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Odds

I keep getting burned in this series. First, it was the Pelicans’ insanely hot shooting from deep in the first two games; then, in Game Five, the Suns’ ability to slaughter a solid team without their primary scorer. Before the playoffs, Phoenix was 8-6 without Booker, so it would have made sense for the Suns to struggle, but that has not exactly been the case. I will consider taking the Suns against the spread because I believe the sense of urgency is there now. Still, I don’t love betting the spread in this series right now with how much of a roller coaster it has been.

The point total has had some movement; at the time of writing this, it sits at 213 points. Three of the past four games have been well over this point total, but the last game was slightly under. Phoenix has played some solid defense, and New Orleans’ shooting has cooled off; however, I’m not expecting another 5-for-25 performance from deep for the Pels. I will take the over. This is my favorite of the popular bets.

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How To Watch

Date: 4/28/22
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Smoothie King Center – New Orleans, LA
Channel: TNT

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Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Landry Shamet
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Deandre Ayton

Phoenix Suns Analysis

In Game Five, Phoenix answered the call to lock down on the defensive end, holding the New Orleans Pelicans to a 40/20/80 shooting split. Anytime you can hold an opponent to 5-for-25 shooting from behind the arc, you are likely to walk away with a win! This is the consistent defense that the Suns have to play if they want to make another deep playoff run; strong shooting nights alone won’t cut it. The loss of Devin Booker hurts, but they could potentially get him back for Game Seven based on new reports, which will be imperative to moving past the Dallas Mavericks or Utah Jazz in the Semi-Finals. However, the Suns are doing quite well even without Booker, shooting at least 50% from the field in their past three games, so they may not need to rush him back.

New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineup

PG: C.J. McCollum
SG: Herb Jones
SF: Brandon Ingram
PF: Jaxson Hayes
C: Jonas Valanciunas

New Orleans Pelicans Analysis

New Orleans has put up a valiant fight in this series, but there has not been much positive change for the Pels since Devin Booker got injured. In fact, the Pels have struggled substantially on the offensive end in Games Three, Four, and Five, shooting 27% from behind the arc. New Orleans had shot just under 50% from deep in the first two games. This regression is partially due to the simple “Law of Averages,” but it could also be Phoenix buckling up a little harder on defense, knowing that it doesn’t have its best scorer. Either way, the Pels will need to shoot better and take advantage of the fact that Booker is still out. Once he returns, if he does, it will be extremely difficult to win in a Game Seven against a fully healthy Phoenix team in Footprint.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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