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|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Denver Nuggets||+4.5 (-105)
|O 219.5 (-115)
|Phoenix Suns||-4.5 (-115)
|U 219.5 (-105)
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|The Phoenix Suns are on a great run after beating the Lakers, but they haven’t faced an interior presence at the level of Nikola Jokic. In a cagey, defensive outing, the Suns will have the advantage.|
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|Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns Information|
|Teams||Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns|
|Location||Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, Arizona|
|Time||10:00 PM EST, June 7th, 2021|
|How to Watch||TNT|
|Denver Nuggets||Head-to-Head||Phoenix Suns|
|Michael Malone||Head Coach||Monty Williams|
|47-25 (3rd in West)||Standing||51-21 (2nd in West)|
|117.1 (7th of 30)||Off Rtg||117.2 (5th of 30)|
|112.1 (12th of 30)||Def Rtg||111.3 (9th of 30)|
|97.1 (27th of 30)||Pace||97.2 (26th of 30)|
Playoff Leaders (Per Game)
|N. Jokic (33.0)||PPG||D. Booker (29.7)|
|N. Jokic (4.5)||RPG||D. Ayton (10.7)|
|M. Morris (5.8)||APG||C. Paul (7.7)|
|F. Campazzo (1.7)||SPG||M. Bridges (1.5)|
|J. McGee (1.0)||BPG||J. Crowder, C. Payne (1.0)|
|M. Porter (.538)/N. Jokic (12.5)||FG%/FGM||D. Ayton (.796)/D. Booker (9.8)|
|A. Gordon (.600)/M. Porter (2.8)||3P%/3PM||D. Booker (.429)/D. Booker (2.5)|
The Phoenix Suns certainly don’t play a traditionally big lineup, so they’ll be facing a real challenge when they face the Denver Nuggets.
In their first round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Suns were outrebounded 41.8 per game to 43.2 per game. Where they need to improve is on the defensive boards though.
Phoenix allowed 63 offensive rebounds in their last series against the Lakers. Against the likes of Nikola Jokic and athletic forwards like Michael Porter and Aaron Gordon, the Suns won’t be able to get away with a lazy effort.
“Honestly, I was thinking about Kobe and the conversations we had… Being legendary and taking the steps to get there… I know he was in the building tonight. I know he’s proud.”
– Devin Booker pic.twitter.com/yB7REsKSnU
— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopNBA) June 4, 2021
The Phoenix Suns overcame the reigning NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, with the performer of the series being Devin Booker.
Booker was incredible scoring the ball, averaging 29.7 points per game while also contributing 6.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per contest.
The Suns guard had few difficulties against the Los Angeles Lakers defensively. He will need to be wary of the Nuggets though, as they are versatile and athletic on the defensive side.
The Denver Nuggets look like they’ll have the advantage in the paint when they face the Suns, but the matchup in the backcourt is a more concerning issue.
Monte Morris, Austin Rivers, and Facundo Campazzo combined to contribute 36.1 points per game in their first round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Not only will they need to maintain their scoring efforts, but they’ll need to control the disciplined Phoenix backcourt on the defensive side. As Jokic is their primary option on offence, they’ll need to reward his efforts with shot making.
How to manipulate a defense. A short story by Nikola Jokic.
He beckons Rivers ahead in transition to draw attention, then rifles it to Monte Morris in the corner, instead.
(Did the same thing on MPJ’s game-winner w/ an Aaron Gordon cut). pic.twitter.com/7LieVEC80A
— Mike Singer (@msinger) June 2, 2021
It’s no secret as to who the Nuggets will be depending on this series. Nikola Jokic makes their offence tick, and he’ll need to find new ways to exploit an impressive defensive team.
In the first round, Jokic averaged 33.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. He had his hands full against a stacked Portland frontcourt, but won’t get a break against the athletic DeAndre Ayton.
Jokic will need to maintain his brilliant scoring rate as the Nuggets are starved for options at the moment. He’s shown the ability to do so, but it will be how he creates for teammates that will decide Game 1.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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