The table is set for the second-round showdown between the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets. Will the Suns steal a win in Mile High City? Or, will the Nuggets get the early series lead?
Catch this game live on Sunday, April 30, at 8:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Phoenix Suns (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Kevin Durant
- PF: Torrey Craig
- C: Deandre Ayton
The Suns are hoping that Devin Booker will be able to sustain his blazing form, as they get ready to face Denver. Booker sizzled for an average of 37.2 points on an incredible 60.2 percent shooting from the field. That kind of efficiency is always going to be subject to regression, but even then, the Nuggets aren’t going to take away their attention on him.
That’s going to be easier said than done, however, because the Suns also happen to have arguably the most-gifted scorer in the history of the NBA in Kevin Durant. The Los Angeles Clippers tried to get physical with Durant and throw different defensive looks at him, but that only opened plenty of scoring opportunities for Booker. With the Suns playing a nasty game of pick-your-poison with Durant and Booker, it’s going to be interesting how Denver will try to contain both — if it’s even possible at all. The Suns are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games on a Saturday.
Home: Denver Nuggets (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jamal Murray
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
The Nuggets ripped apart the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic carried most of the load for Denver, as expected, but they also got plenty of support from their teammates. Murray led the Nuggets in the first round with 27.2 points on 47.1 percent shooting from the floor, while Jokic mustered a near-triple-double of 26.2 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 9.0 assists.
These are two guys who can match the production of Booker and Durant. Murray has a history of lighting the stat sheets on fire in the playoffs, and he’s already started doing that again with the way he embarrased Minnesota’s defense. Apart from Murray and Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon are threats to Phoenix in part because of their rebounding. As a team, the Nuggets are third among teams in the playoffs with a 53.8 REB%. The Nuggets enter Game 1 carrying a 4-0 ATS record in their last four games after at least three days of rest.
Spread: The Nuggets (-3) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (225.0) hits the Under.