Nuggets vs Suns Game 2 Prediction
Nuggets vs Suns NBA Game 2 Prediction – Following a 122-105 loss on Monday, the Denver Nuggets and newly crowned Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic will return to the desert to play the Phoenix Suns and Devin Booker.
Game 1 was a back-and-forth affair for the first two and a half quarters. Then the Suns turned on the jets and did not stop. They ended the 3rd quarter on a 16-0 run that would hand them control of the game, which they did not lose for the rest of the night. Chris Paul would score 14 in the 4th quarter to put the Nuggets to rest.
Game 1 also saw four of the Suns’ starters score 20+ and all of their starters hitting double-digit scoring totals. Chris Paul looked like he was back to normal totaling 21 points, 6 boards, and 11 assists. Devin Booker was his usual self making 8 of his 12 attempts for an efficient 21 points.
For the Nuggets, a quiet night for the recently red-hot Michael Porter Jr. was probably the reason for their lack of production on the offensive end. MPJ has a tough draw facing one of the best young defenders in the league in Mikal Bridges. Bridges led the Suns with 23 points in Game 1.
MVP Nikola Jokic has his hands full too having to deal with the physical presence of Deandre Ayton. Jokic was held to just 22 points and 3 assists. The Nuggets will be looking for him to distribute the ball more in Game 2 to live up to his new MVP status.
Keys to a Nuggets Victory
Denver needs to take care of the ball. Their turnover numbers were average, however, the Suns would capitalize on those mistakes and score 18 points off of turnovers. The Suns had 10 turnovers but the Nuggets would only score 12 points off of those. Much of this has to do with their faults in transition with smaller defenders like Facundo Campazzo, and slower guys such as Jokic.
The Nuggets also need to focus their offense on the inside. Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder are formidable defenders, but taking them on is less of a challenge than dealing with a perimeter that includes Mikal Bridges and defensive Point God Chris Paul.
Attacking the basket is what Denver did well, and it is what kept them in the lead for much of Game 1. They will need to return to it for Game 2.
Keys to a Suns Victory
Feed the guards and continue to shoot from deep. The Suns averaged around 38% from deep this season, with their leaders being Cameron Payne at 44% and Mikal Bridges at 38%.
If the Suns are able to keep the ball in Chris Paul and Devin Booker’s hands, good things will happen. Paul is one of the greatest playmakers this game has ever seen, and Booker was born a shot creator.
The Suns also need to continue to get to the free-throw line. They attempted twenty free throws to the Nuggets six on Monday night. If the Suns can maintain their discipline on the defensive end, and continue to draw fouls, they will continue to win games.
I think the Suns take Game 2 and leave the valley with a 2-0 series lead heading to the Mile High City.
Devin Booker and the starters for the Suns will once again be too much for the Nuggets to handle. However, I expect a big night from Jokic. This should be a close matchup.
The Suns come into this one as 6 point favorites and I’m not too fond of that number. After a runaway performance from the Suns in Game 1, I expect the Nuggets to keep this one close down to the wire. I’m taking the Nuggets at +6.
Expect this one to be high paced too. The Nuggets have averaged close to 119 points per game in these playoffs and I expect them to get back to that number. Take the Over 222.5.
Final Picks: Suns ML (-250), Nuggets +6 (-110), Over 222.5 (-110). Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook