The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets both took care of business in six games, and are now ready to take each other on. Who draws first blood?
Catch this game live on Tuesday, June 8, at 10:00 AM Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Phoenix Suns (0-0, 0-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: DeAndre Ayton
The Phoenix Suns overcame a 2-1 series deficit against the defending champion LA Lakers to take three straight and finish the series 4-2. As much as people can say that Anthony Davis’ injuries led to Phoenix having an easier time, it can also be said that the Lakers were lucky that Chris Paul wasn’t himself in Games 2 and 3 after his shoulder injury.
What can’t be denied, though, is Devin Booker’s phenomenal performance in the series. He averaged 29.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 5.0 APG to lead the Suns in scoring in his first-ever playoff series. He was backed up by CP3’s 9.2 PPG and 7.7 APG that doesn’t look impressive at first but also factors in that he was hurt in a bunch of those games.
Phoenix will also be expecting DeAndre Ayton to maintain his consistency against the Nuggets. Against LA’s backcourt, he had a double-double average with 15.8 PPG and 10.7 RPG. Ayton will have to focus on two things that will really help his team, which is to continue providing his excellent rebounding, and to try his best to frustrate Nikola Jokic into fouling him. The Nuggets’ offense is far less potent when Jokic isn’t on the floor, and Ayton has the strength (and now probably the confidence) to take it to the Joker.
Phoenix are 23-11 ATS as a home favorite.
ROAD TEAM: Denver Nuggets (0-0, 0-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Facundo Campazzo
- SG: Austin Rivers
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
The Denver Nuggets don’t understand the meaning of the word “quit”. They had some really tough battles against the Portland Trail Blazers, including having to survive a 55-point night from Damian Lillard in Game 5.
In Game 6, they fell behind by 14 in the third quarter but rode it out behind Nikola Jokic’s 20-point explosion in that half, which was a great answer to Michael Porter Jr’s 22-point first quarter in the same game.
Jokic is averaging 33.0 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 4.5 APG in the series, while Porter Jr. has 18.8 PPG and 6.7 RPG. They’ve been getting plenty of help, too, especially from big surprise Monte Morris, who is averaging 15.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 5.8 APG off the bench.
Aaron Gordon has been relatively quiet but solid in the series too, with his 12.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG and 2.3 APG. Austin Rivers is the fifth Nugget to average double-digits in the playoffs, and he’s contributing 11.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG and 2.3 APG.
The Nuggets beat the Suns 2-1 in their regular season series. They’re 6-7 ATS as the road underdog.
Spread: With their habit of fighting back late in games, I think Denver can cover the +5 spread for the game.
Over/Under: Even if it’s a feeling-out process, I think both teams have enough firepower to cover the over 219.5 spread.