Skip to main content

Pelicans vs. Suns: Can Jose and Herb Contain Chris Paul Again?

The New Orleans Pelicans have a chance to steal the home-court advantage back from the Phoenix Suns in Game 5. Can Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado keep Chris Paul in check for one more game?

The New Orleans Pelicans have a chance to steal the home-court advantage back from the Phoenix Suns in Game 5. Can Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado keep Chris Paul in check for one more game?

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns

  • When: April 26, 2022 @ 9:00 PM CT
  • Where: Phoenix, AZ Footprint Center
  • How To Watch/Listen: TNT, Bally Sports, ESPN 100.3FM New Orleans

Expected Starting Lineups:

New Orleans Pelicans: CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Herb Jones, Jaxson Hayes, Jonas Valancuinas

Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul, Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton

Willie Green showed in Game 4 he has a game plan to Chris Paul in check. If Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado keep Paul from getting to his spots, CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram have a chance to shoot the New Orleans Pelicans to a series lead over the Phoenix Suns in Game 5.

Green said after the Game 4 win on Sunday, “We just tried to throw different looks at (Chris Paul). Be aggressive. Try denying him the ball at times, but you know it was just a collective effort from all of our guys. Having more of a mindset and a focus on not allowing Chris in the fourth quarter to dominate the game, which he's done and is capable of doing. So we're just proud of the overall effort…Our game plan discipline was pretty good. They're a tough team and they make you bring it. We're proud of our guys. The effort, the energy. We competed at a high level for 48 minutes."

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Jose Alvarado steals the ball from Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul

The question is whether the two rookies can again limit Paul after holding him to just four points in Game 4. Paul was hounded into one of his worst playoff performances. He was caught by Alvarado for a rundown steal and committed an 8-second violation. It was the first fourth-quarter turnover by Paul all series. Jonas Valanciunas said of Alvarado and Jones, there has “Never been a question about their physicality. They’re willing to die on the court….Defense, that’s their profession, they’re doing it. Herb, Jose, actually everybody that steps out on the court is willing to play good defense. That’s a key.”

Green made a rotational adjustment that put Valanciunas on the court opposite Javale McGee more than Deandre Ayton. The move gave New Orleans extra possessions while keeping Phoenix to one shot per trip down the floor. Valanciunas finished with 26 points and 15 rebounds. The staggered frontcourt rotation helped the Pelicans win the rebounding battle 48-39 with 7 more offensive rebounds than the Suns. McCollum (9) had more rebounds than Ayton (8) or McGee (4).

Monty Williams will make some adjustments to give Paul some breathing room. Alvarado will need his head on a swivel looking for hard picks coming up the court. Jones will need to keep Paul out of the paint in the half-court sets. Williams pointed out the free throw disparities and will push his team to attack the rim instead of settling for shots. The Suns made just 10 free throws and 7 three-pointers in the Game 4 loss.

Chris Paul and Jose Alvarado

This is the last game between these two teams with some wiggle room. There is no margin for error after tonight for the losing squad. Game 6 will an elimination game for one of these teams. The Pelicans could close out the series or have their season ended when they come home on Thursday. It all depends on what they can accomplish in Phoenix tonight.

Read New Orleans Pelicans News