Phoenix Suns’ opponent in 1st round of playoffs will be Clippers or Pelicans

Apr 13, 2022, 9:03 PM
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Chris Paul #3 during the second half of th...
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Chris Paul #3 during the second half of the NBA game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Footprint Center on December 23, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Thunder 113-101. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns’ list of potential opponents for the first round of the NBA playoffs is down to two teams: the Los Angeles Clippers and the New Orleans Pelicans.

New Orleans beat the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night and will now travel to L.A. to take on the Clippers, who lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves the night prior. The winner of that game on Friday will become the eighth seed and face the Suns in Phoenix for Game 1 on Sunday.

The Suns had a similar type of experience last season as the No. 2 seed, waiting during the week to see who they would play. Phoenix, however, has to wait two extra days this time around as the top seed.

A meeting with the Clippers would be a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, a series the Suns won in six games. The in-season matchups don’t offer a good perspective, as seven-time All-Star Paul George missed the first three games and the Suns rested four starters for the fourth.

The Pelicans are led by Willie Green, the lead assistant for Suns head coach Monty Williams’ first two years in Phoenix before Green took the job in New Orleans last postseason. New Orleans has been an improved team since acquiring guard C.J. McCollum in mid-February and beat the Suns on the road on Feb. 25 when Phoenix was without Chris Paul. Two weeks later, the Suns beat the Pelicans in New Orleans 131-115.

Friday’s game between the Clippers and Pelicans tips off at 7 p.m. on TNT.

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