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Pregame notes: Suns host struggling Pelicans

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s what we’re seeing from Footprint Center before the Suns take on the Pelicans:

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Injury Update

Phoenix Suns: Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery) OUT

New Orleans Pelicans: Brandon Ingram (left knee bone contusion) OUT | Zion Williamson (left finger contusion) AVAILABLE | Nnaji Marshall (left shoulder contusion) OUT | Jose Alvarado (right oblique strain) AVAILABLE

Pregame Press Conference Notes

  • Suns’ coach Frank Vogel on what specifically with the Suns defense has improved over the last three games: “I would say our transition defense has dramatically improved over the last few games and something that really harping on, trying to turn a weakness into a strength. I think it begins there. I think the sense of urgency and attention to detail to the gameplans we are putting in, knowing that every game matters and that this is the playoffs before the playoffs. Every game could move us in the standing and our guys have a great attention to detail.”
  • Vogel on packing the paint to stop Zion Williamson and what the Suns can do to stop him: “We’ve done some good things, but we foul him too much and we’ve been late too much, so it has been good, not great and I feel like today, we have to be even better to get this win.”
  • Vogel on looking back at the previous matchups against the Pelicans and the formula to win today: “I just think we have to play consistent 48 minutes. Obviously, when you get a big lead, the other team is going to change the game. We’ve seen that several different times and we always say at halftime that you have to win the second half differently than you won the first half. It’s not going to be one of those situations where, ‘oh, we got away from what we did in the first half.’ No, the other team’s gameplan changed because what they planned didn’t work, so they are going to change and do something different and that’s what winning in this league is about; making those in game adjustments even when what you are doing is working.”
  • Pelicans’ coach Willie Green on schemes to get some open looks from deep: “Defenses are trying to take away our ability to take quality threes. We can do a better job with rim pressure, anything to the rim, kick outs, transition opportunities for us. We are missing some of that by not having Brandon (Ingram) and not having Jose (Alvarado) the last few games. It is definitely a focus for us.”
  • Green on what you did in the last meeting on defense to get back into the game: “We just brought a different level of physical toughness to the game. Scrambling on defense, multiple efforts, rebounding the ball, all keys to being able to get out and have an efficient offense. We need that for closer to 48 minutes, we had the first quarter where they had a big run on us.”
  • Green on Devin Booker knowing that Green knows most of his tricks: “We are digging deeper to take his opportunities away. He torched us the last few games. We have to switch the coverages up on him.”

Pregame Video

(See the latest on @BurnCitySuns/X)

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau


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