Extra Pass: Suns hoping to avenge loss to Pelicans

Published December 10, 2022, 6:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

The Phoenix Suns will get a chance to get one back over the New Orleans Pelicans at 4:30AM on NBA TV Philippines.

What’s up with the New Orleans Pelicans?

The New Orleans Pelicans are the biggest surprise this season, which was something that was probably uttered last season as well. Whereas last time around they made the jump from fringe play-in team to a dangerous team with upset potential, the Pelicans are now the No. 1 team in the Western Conference.

They’re missing the services of Herb Jones and Brandon Ingram, yet here they are, on a six-game winning streak just because guys like Jose Alvarado, Larry Nance Jr., and Naji Marshall won’t let up. CJ McCollum has been the team’s anchor and–after a full year in with the Pelicans–looks to be undeniably comfortable in his role. 

Then, there’s the return of Zion Williamson. The burly forward is on a rampage this season, making last year’s full calendar absence a mere breather for opposing teams’ defenses. A healthy Zion? There’s no stopping him out there.

What’s up with the Phoenix Suns?

The Phoenix Suns are still doing more than okay and definitely not falling out of elite level despite (still) not making major overhauls in their lineup. Cameron Johnson has been missing time, but Torrey Craig is steady as a starter. Josh Okogie and Landry Shamet are adding much-needed offense off the bench. 

It’s all about Devin Booker though. His importance to this Suns team cannot be emphasized even more–whether he’s scoring 51 points or merely luring the defense so Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton can shine. Booker is averaging a career-best 27.4 points per game this year. If the Suns are pushing for another Finals run, however, his teammates need to step up. 

The Suns have lost three straight in a rough stretch of games versus the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, and New Orleans Pelicans. Good thing they’ll get a quick rematch with the Pelicans.

Storyline to watch out for

So about that Pelicans loss. The Suns hated how the score turned out, and they surely didn’t appreciate how Zion Williamson made it that way. With only eight seconds left and the Pelicans up nine points, Williamson did this:

There was a bit of commotion after this play, with the Suns taking offense to Williamson’s knockout punch to the gut. After the game, Williamson had this to say:

"That was a little out of character for me. But you gotta understand … They sent my teammates home last year.”

The Suns have just one day to think about this loss before they get a chance to bounce back. That 360 windmill will be in their heads for a bit.


The Suns will be unlikely to take another loss like that at the hands of the Pelicans. The best bet is that the game could be chippy at times, entertaining always.