The Phoenix Suns just took a very important Game 5 win over the New Orleans Pelicans and now sit with a 3-2 lead, one win away from booking a berth in the second round. Many had Phoenix winning the series, but after the Pelicans took two games from them and Devin Booker got hurt, there was some genuine hope that NOLA can pull off a 1-8 upset.
Game 5 saw the Suns outplay them through the strength of their roster, as offensive magnets CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram struggled to score as freely as they had in prior games.
A lot of the credit for that goes to Mikal Bridges, who was easily the best Suns player on both ends of the floor. He ended the game with 31 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 4 blocks. Twitter exploded in praise for Bridges, as his contribution was impossible to ignore. In addition, fans also went in on CJ McCollum and were impressed by Jose Alvarado.
The Pelicans will need to fight as hard as possible to win Game 6 considering the different tiers these teams have been through most of the season. The Suns are battle-tested and have shown the ability to play genuine playoff basketball. The Pelicans have surprised the Suns twice, but can they do it twice more in consecutive games to win the series?
Hopefully, both teams come out and give us a memorable and competitive Game 6. Phoenix will not have Devin Booker back for this series and will be relying on someone like Mikal Bridges to repeat this offensive performance. If not Mikal, it'll have to be someone like Cam Johnson or DeAndre Ayton who steps up.
CP3 has been solid in Booker's absence and will need to continue being the leader of this team if they hope to see this period out and make it to the second round, where they will hopefully have Booker back.