The New Orleans Pelicans find themselves down but not out in their first-round playoff matchup with Phoenix. The team will look to regroup and steal Game 2 away from the Suns. If they are to do so, they may need a significant contribution from rookie Trey Murphy III.
ESPN highlighted him as an X-Factor who could sway a game or a series the Pelicans' way. Here's a snippet of what they had to say about Trey Murphy III.
Murphy's shooting is what made him attractive as a prospect when selected with the No. 17 pick in last year's draft. He has been a mainstay in the Pelicans' rotation since March 7, and during that time, he has made 43.8% of his 3s on 4.3 attempts per game. Murphy can come in and score in bunches to give the Pelicans a big lift, if needed. ESPN
Murphy was a catalyst in Friday's Play-in Tournament victory against the Clippers to gain entry into the playoffs. He played the entire 4th quarter against the Clippers and hit four 3-pointers which helped propel the Pelicans to victory. His outside shooting touch will be critical as the game plan for the Suns is to blitz both Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum on pick and rolls. Guys will be open and need to hit open shots for the Pelicans to have a chance. That was not the case on Sunday night, especially in the 1st half.
The Pelicans were just 2 of 11 on "uncontested" 3-point shots in the first half against Phoenix. Murphy is a guy who can change the way defenses play based on his shooting ability. Look for Willie Green to draw up plays to get Murphy more shots in Game 2. He only attempted 4 in 26 minutes of play.
The Pelicans will need them or face a daunting 0-2 deficiency. The team has never won a series as a franchise after trailing 0-2. If the Pelicans avoid that deficit, Trey Murphy III may be a big reason.
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