Where: Smoothie King Center (my nominee for worst arena name in the NBA), New Orleans, LA
When: 4PM AZ Time
Watch: Fox Sports AZ, NBA League Pass
The Suns wrap up their road schedule, where they're 8-32 on the season, vs. the Pelicans in New Orleans tonight. A playoff team last year, and trendy pick to make a move in the Western Conference before the season, the Pelicans have struggled through ineffectiveness and injury in their first season under former Suns head coach Alvin Gentry.
Their current injury report includes Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon. That sounds like a pretty decent lineup, no? Instead, they're all out for the season, and the Pelicans trotted out a starting five of Toney Douglas, James Ennis, Dante Cunningham, Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik last night. And they actually WON! It was against the Lakers, but that still does technically count as an NBA win.
Meanwhile, the Suns "disappointed" many of their fans by beating the Rockets Thursday night, potentially costing themselves a bit of probability in picking a spot or two higher in a draft which doesn't contain a sure-fire future star, let alone a transcendent, franchise-changer.
To each his own, but I'll never understand fans wanting to see their team lose during a game, no matter the circumstances. Maybe if this draft contained a Tim Duncan, LeBron James or Anthony Davis, I'd think differently, but it doesn't. I would be willing to sell my soul, but expect a better return than Ben Simmons or Dragan Bender.
In the victory over the Rockets in Houston, super sub Mirza Teletovic led the way with 26 points, including 4-9 from behind the arc, as the Suns made 12 3-pointers in the game. (The Rockets are a mess and should be ashamed to have surrendered 124 points to this iteration of the Suns.)
Devin Booker, Alex Len and Archie Goodwin continue to have their strikes and gutters, ups and downs, as youngsters will, but give us reason to watch and some hope for the future. Give thanks for Booker because this season would be an utter loss without him.
PG: Ronnie Price vs. Toney Douglas
SG: Devin Booker vs. James Ennis
SF: PJ Tucker vs. Dante Cunningham
PF: Alex Len vs. Alexis Ajinca
C: Tyson Chandler vs. Omer Asik
Basketball will be played, and smoothies consumed. Even though the Pelicans are severely shorthanded and on second game of back to back, I figure the Suns probably enjoyed some festivities in the party city of New Orleans last night and will come out flat.
Pelicans win, 111-101