The Phoenix Suns were able to avoid a minor scare in the first round, beating the New Orleans Pelicans 4-2 in a hard-fought series. The Suns saw star shooting guard Devin Booker miss three games entirely and sit out most of a fourth one in this series, but Booker did come back for Game 6 ahead of schedule. It proved to be helpful, as the Suns gutted out a win Thursday to seal the series.
Phoenix also got a big performance from Chris Paul, who had some down moments in this series. Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges regained some confidence and swagger with strong moments themselves. If these four players continue firing, the Suns are going to be back in the NBA Finals.
The Pelicans have a lot to be excited about going forward, making the postseason out of the play-in bracket and taking the best team in the league to six games. A lot of these contests were close, showing New Orleans has what it takes to be a contender sooner rather than later. If Zion Williamson can come back healthy, this team will be one to watch.