The Denver Nuggets can push the Phoenix Suns to the edge of elimination from the 2023 NBA Playoffs with a win this Saturday. Will the Nuggets sound the (virtual) death knell of the Suns with a win? Or, will Phoenix show signs of life and finally score a win in this series?
Catch this game live on Saturday, May 6, at 10 AM, Manila time
Away: Denver Nuggets (2-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jamal Murray
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
Two wins away from barging into the Western Conference finals, the Nuggets will look to continue riding the duo of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Murray was uncharacteristically cold in Game 2’s 97-87 Denver win, as he scoured just 10 points on 3/15 shooting from the field, but Jokic took care of most of the business with 39 points, 16 rebounds, and five assists.
That the Nuggets managed to survive and beat Phoenix by 10 points despite a letdown performance from Murray also said a lot about the depth of this Nuggets squad that got 16 and 14 points from Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Game 2, respectively. Denver is also having success defensively in the series, especially around the rim where the Suns have connected on just 58.7 percent of their shots there – at least 10 percent worse than the league average.
The Nuggets are 5-1 ATS in their last six games after a win.
Home: Phoenix Suns (0-2)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Cameron Payne
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Josh Okogie
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Deandre Ayton
First of all, Chris Paul is expected to miss this Saturday’s Game 3 due to a left groin injury. With that, Cameron Payne is likely to get a nod to start in lieu of the Point God. Either way, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant will have a lot on their plates in Game 3. Booker is leading the Suns in the second round with 31.0 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field.
Durant is putting up 26.5 points on 47.8 percent shooting. Where it starts to get worrying for the Suns is the quality of support behind those two gunslingers. Deandre Ayton scored 14 point in Game 2, but he also looked powerless in trying to slow down Jokic. Monty Williams could dig deeper into his bench in Game 3, so don’t be surprised to see Terrence Ross and TJ Warren get meaningful playing time after combining for just one minute of action in the first two games of the series.
The Suns are 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games as the home team.
Spread: The Nuggets (+4) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (224.0) hits the Over.