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Preview: Pelicans Twin Towers cast long shadow over Suns

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NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

What: New Orleans Pelicans (10-8) vs. Phoenix Suns (7-12)

When: 7:00 PM AZ Time

Where: Here, at Talking Stick Resort Arena

Watch: Fox Sports Arizona

Listen: 98.7 FM Arizona Sports


The Suns close out a 9 of 10 home stand with one more chance to end up on a happy note. Unfortunately, it’s against the surging Pelicans who have beaten the Suns regularly in recent years.

Pelicans (10-8)

Offense: 9th (105.9); Defense: 20th (105.8); Pace: 7th

It’s all about the Twin Towers. Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins are just simply dominating the game, accounting for more than 52 points, 25 rebounds, 8 assists and 7 blocks+steals per game. They are also taking almost 10 threes per game between them, despite being a collective 14 feet tall. It’s crazy.

Beyond those two, though, the roster is limited. Jrue Holiday is playing well (14 points, 5.9 assists in 36 minutes per game), but is not approaching his former All-Star level. He has shared playmaking duties with 96 year old Jameer Nelson most nights.

The Pelicans, as you’d expect from an Alvin Gentry-coached team, might not have a dominant playmaker but they are second in the league in assists per game. Seven different players average at least 2.3 assists per game.

But now Rajon Rondo has gotten healthy and will take over the primary playmaking duties going forward, while Jrue Holiday slides to the shooting guard role. Rondo has played the last five games, quickly increasing his minutes per game.

Suns (7-9 under Triano)

*Offense: 20th (102.9); Defense: 22nd (106.2); Pace: 1st

*Stats are since Triano took over. I continue to pretend that the league-worst-ever 0-3 start with a -30 point differential under Watson and Bledsoe simply didn’t happen, and that the Suns started the season late.

You know all you need to know about the Suns, but Zach Lowe today made an interesting observation about Tony Buckets.

P.S.: Warren is a midrange and floater wizard -- the NBA's Man of A Thousand Release Points -- but it would be nice if he occasionally passed the ball.

Warren is dishing just 1.6 assists per 36 minutes. Meanwhile, he's jacking almost 19 shots per 36 minutes. Only 27 rotation players have ever shot so often while recording so few assists, and almost all of them were behemoth big-man finishers.

Zach’s list is for players with 1,000+ minutes in a season.

This year there is only one other regular NBA player averaging more field goals and fewer assists per game: Kristaps Porzingis.

Prediction

Who knows? Hopefully the Suns end the long home stretch with a feel-good win.

What say you, Suns fans?