The Denver Nuggets will look to get their first win of the series against the rolling Phoenix Suns on Philippines Independence Day. Can the Nuggets free themselves up rom a winless streak?
Catch this game live on Saturday, June 12, at 10 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Denver Nuggets (0-2, 0-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Facundo Campazzo
- SG: Austin Rivers
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
The Nuggets can’t afford to lose in Game 3. A loss would very much likely mean a relatively quick elimination in the second round, and hopefully for Denver Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon have spent their time after Game 2’s 123-98 road loss to Phoenix thinking about how they can get out of their slump.
Gordon scored just six points in Game 2 on 3-of-7 shooting, while Porter was an atrocious 3 of 13 from the field for 11 points. Nikola Jokic had 24 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. Maybe a change to familiar scenery will get Jokic’s supporting cast going.
The Nuggets are shooting 50.5 FG% at home in the playoffs and are connecting 39.8% of their shots from behind the arc at Ball Arena. Another Nuggets player who needs to get doused with cold water to wake up is Monte Morris.
As a key player of Denver’s second unit, he’s been nothing but a disappointment in the series so far, shooting just 11.3 FG% and 14.3 3FG%. Denver heads to Game 3 with a 4-1 ATS slate over its past five games. Moreover, the Nuggets have covered the spread in four of their last five games as the home chalk.
ROAD TEAM: Phoenix Suns (2-0, 0-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: Deandre Ayton
Chris Paul is feeling it. Always on the wrong side of playoff injuries before, Paul is seemingly getting a huge break in this postseason. After getting past the banged-up Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, Paul and the Suns are capitalizing on the Jamal Murray-less Nuggets, who are struggling to score.
But that’s not to take credit away from the exceptional defense of the Suns in the series. The Suns limited Denver to only 40 FG% and 32.6 3FG% in Game 2. So far this postseason, the Suns are surrendering just 98.5 points per game on 41.9 FG% and 31.1 3FG%.
And on top of those, the Suns are not missing a beat on offense, either. They are averaging 122.5 points against the Suns, while shooting over 50% from the field and 43.1% from the 3-point region.
Phoenix has four players averaging at least 17.0 points in the series, led by Devin Booker’s 19.5. Paul, meanwhile, is putting up 19.0 points but he’s generating more offense than that, as the Point God is dishing out 13.0 dimes per contest. The Suns are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games as the road underdog.
Spread: MPJ is going to pull off a Khris Middleton and step up in Game 3 to help Denver score a win. But go ahead and take the Suns to cover (+3.5).
Over/Under: The Suns offense will slow down a bit in this game. Take the Under (223.5).