Elfrid Payton will not return to the active lineup tonight against the Phoenix Suns, making it seven straight contests he’ll miss due to a sprained right ankle. In addition, the New Orleans Pelicans will be without the services of Nikola Mirotic, who turned his right ankle in the last game against the Bulls and experienced some swelling.
Julius Randle is expected to replace Mirotic in the starting lineup, and expect Gentry to utilize Cheick Diallo and likely at least one of Jahlil Okafor or Solomon Hill. Neither of these players have been in the regular rotation for the previous three games, but they could be pressed into action with two regulars sidelined.
Although the Pelicans have beaten the Suns in six straight contests, Phoenix hung tough in the last two matchups inside the Smoothie King Center, with both games not being decided until the final minute. As its the case with every team in the league during the first third of the season, the Suns have not been a pushover in the early goings. Led by Devin Booker (38 points, nine assists) and DeAndre Ayton (14 points, 10 rebounds), Phoenix very nearly upset the Boston Celtics this past Thursday.
For more on the matchup with the Suns, please click here to read Chris’s preview.
What: New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns
Where: Smoothie King Center
When: Saturday, November 7, 2018, 6:00 p.m. Central
How: FSNO, 99.5 FM WRNO