Nuggets vs Suns Game 1 Prediction NBA West Semifinals 4/29

Nuggets vs Suns Game 1 Prediction NBA West Semifinals 4/29

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

 

Game Preview: Suns vs Nuggets (Apr 29, 2023) Pregame

The Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns are set to face off in what promises to be a high-scoring playoff series. The Nuggets, despite being the top seed in the West, are embracing their underdog status against the fourth-seeded Suns and their Big Three of Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant. Nuggets coach Michael Malone believes that his team, with back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic leading the way, is capable of beating anyone if they play their game. To help with that, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are back at full strength, ready to contribute to a playoff run. The Suns, however, have their own weapons in Booker, Paul and Durant, who was acquired at the trade deadline. The Nuggets will need to find a way to contain Booker's hot hand and defend against Phoenix's pick-and-roll offense. Both teams have talented depth, making for an exciting matchup. The experts, NBA picks computers, and predictions from NBA today experts all point to a close and unpredictable series. Make sure to check out the best NBA bets today, including NBA picks with spread and NBA picks and parlays.

 

Suns: Offensive Analysis

The Phoenix Suns are facing the Denver Nuggets in their upcoming game, and their offensive game will undoubtedly be crucial in bringing home a victory. As the odds-on favorites to come out of the West, the Suns are carrying a lot of weight, with their Big Three of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Kevin Durant leading the charge. Looking at their offensive statistics, the Suns rank 17th in points per game, averaging 114.1. While not the highest-scoring team, their effective field goal percentage of 53.7% puts them 21st in the league. They also rank 4th in assists per game with 27.2, which shows the importance of teamwork and ball movement in their offensive strategy. In terms of shooting, the Suns are shooting 47.0% from the field, which is 20th in the league. Their three-point percentage of 37.6% is 7th in the league, and they will need to capitalize on their long-range shooting to take down the Nuggets. It's also worth noting that the Suns' offense struggles in transition, ranking dead last in the league in fast break points per game with only 10.9. They will need to work on their transition game to keep up with the Nuggets, who rank 11th in the league in fast break points per game with 13.2. In terms of turnovers, the Suns rank 8th in the league with only 13.5 turnovers per game. Their turnover-to-assist ratio of 2.02 is 2nd in the league, highlighting their strong ball security and organized play. Overall, the Suns' offensive game is solid, but they will need to step up their transition game and capitalize on their three-point shooting to emerge victorious against the Denver Nuggets. 

Suns: Defensive Analysis

As the fourth-seeded team in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns may seem like the underdogs against the top-seeded Denver Nuggets. However, with a talented Big Three of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Kevin Durant, the Suns have the potential to come out on top. Defensively, the Suns have been solid throughout the season. They rank seventh in the league in opponent points per game (111.8) and sixth in effective field goal percentage allowed (53.2%). They also perform well in limiting opponents' fastbreak points, allowing just 13.2 per game. One key focus for the Suns defense will be containing Jamal Murray, who has been a force in the playoffs, averaging 27.2 points per game in the first round. The Suns will likely rely on their perimeter defenders, such as Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges, to limit Murray's scoring opportunities. Another challenge for the Suns defense will be stopping Denver's pick-and-roll offense, which has been a staple of their game. Nikola Jokic, the reigning NBA MVP, is a master of the pick-and-roll and will be a handful for the Suns to defend. Jokic joked that the Suns' only solution to stopping their pick-and-roll is to "pray," but the Suns will likely rely on their defensive rotations and communication to limit Jokic's impact. Overall, the Suns have the defensive tools to keep the Nuggets' high-scoring offense in check. If they can effectively limit Murray and Jokic while also staying disciplined on defense, they have a good chance of coming away with the win in this playoff series. NBA picks experts and NBA picks computer predictions are likely to favor the Suns in this matchup.

 

Nuggets: Offense Analysis

As the Denver Nuggets prepare to face off against the Phoenix Suns, the offense analysis is crucial to determine the outcome of the game. With NBA picks experts predicting a tight game, the Nuggets must capitalize on their offensive prowess to come out on top. Led by Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets have an exceptional offense and are the top seed in the West, making them a force to reckon with. Jokic, along with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., makes up the trifecta in Denver, and they will be crucial to secure a win against the Suns, as the trio got back to playoff speed during a 4-1 series win over Minnesota in Round 1. Although the Suns have a formidable Big Three of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Kevin Durant, it is the depth and talent of Denver that make them a fierce competitor. With Murray back to his 2020 bubble playoff form, averaging a team-leading 27.2 points against the Timberwolves, the Nuggets have a good chance to control the scoreboard. Furthermore, the Nuggets have a strong pick-and-roll game, with Jokic devising a solution to stopping Phoenix's pick-and-roll offense by cracking a joke, "Pray." This strategy will give them open looks for the likes of Durant and Booker, who are known to convert the majority of their shots. In terms of offensive statistics, the Nuggets have an advantage in points per game, effective field goal percentage, assists per game, and assists per turnover compared to the Suns. However, the Suns have a higher free throw percentage and three-point percentage, indicating that the Nuggets must watch out for these areas. In conclusion, the Nuggets must execute their offense efficiently to overcome the Suns in what is sure to be a high-scoring playoff series. 

Nuggets: Defensive Analysis

The Nuggets are set to face off against the fourth-seeded Suns in what promises to be a high-scoring playoff series. Despite being the top seed in the West and having back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets are embracing their underdog status against the talented Suns, who have a Big Three of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Kevin Durant. The key for the Nuggets will be their defense, as they look to contain Booker and Durant, who has been labeled as "a special talent" by Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon. Jokic joked that their solution to stopping the Suns' pick-and-roll offense is to "pray," but the Nuggets will need more than that to come out on top. Fortunately, the Nuggets have the depth with key contributors like Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. healthy and back at full strength. Murray, in particular, has a history of elevating his game in the playoffs, averaging 24.7 points and 5.9 assists over 38 career playoff games. The Suns have arrived early in Denver to acclimate to the higher elevation, but the Nuggets' home court advantage, coupled with their defensive prowess, could give them an edge in this series. Experts and computer models may be favoring Phoenix, but with the Nuggets embracing their underdog status and looking to prove themselves, anything can happen in the NBA playoffs.

 

Injury Report

As the Suns and Nuggets prepare for their first-round matchup, both teams have relatively healthy rosters with only minor injuries to key players. For the Suns, only Abdel Nader is listed as out with a knee injury. Meanwhile, the Nuggets have listed Will Barton as questionable with a hamstring injury. 

 

Betting Trends Analysis

The Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets will clash in what is expected to be a high-scoring playoff series. For bettors looking to make NBA picks, it's important to analyze the betting trends of both teams. Here's a breakdown of some key stats and trends for both the Suns and the Nuggets. The Suns come into this game with a record of 51-21 and are the fourth seed in the Western Conference. They are favored to come out of the West and have a strong team led by Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Kevin Durant. Phoenix has covered the spread in 57% of their games this season and has a 23-17-2 record against the spread on the road. On the other hand, the Nuggets finished the regular season as the number one seed in the West with a record of 47-25. They have a strong team led by back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, and key contributors Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Denver has covered the spread in 50% of their games this season and has a 22-18-1 record against the spread at home. In terms of the total, the Suns have gone over the total in 49 of their 72 games this season (68%), while the Nuggets have gone over the total in 41 of their 72 games (57%). It's important to note that the Suns have gone over the total in 63% of their road games, while the Nuggets have gone over in just 47% of their home games. When it comes to head-to-head matchups, the Suns have won five of the last ten games against the Nuggets, but the Nuggets have covered the spread in six of those ten games. The total has gone over in six of the last ten matchups between these two teams. In terms of current form, the Suns have won four of their last five games, while the Nuggets have won three of their last five. Both teams have key contributors back from injury and are ready to compete in the playoffs. Overall, the Suns are the favorite in this series, but the Nuggets have home-court advantage and a strong team led by Nikola Jokic. Bettors should consider the betting trends and factors such as injuries and home-court advantage when making their NBA picks and parlay bets for this series.

 

Prediction

First and foremost, the Nuggets have an impressive record of 53-29, with a strong 34-7 record at home. In contrast, the Suns have a record of 45-37, with a 17-24 record away from home. Additionally, ESPN Analytics predicts that the Nuggets have a 63.1% chance of winning, which is significantly higher than the Suns' chance of winning at 36.9%. The Nuggets also have a more reliable ATS record than the Suns, with a record of 47-39-1 compared to the Suns' record of 44-41-2 ATS.

Furthermore, the Nuggets have a more balanced team, with Nikola Jokic leading the team with an impressive 24.5 points per game, 11.8 rebounds per game, and 9.8 assists per game. He is also a versatile player with a high field goal percentage of 63.2% and free throw percentage of 82.2%. In contrast, the Suns' top scorer, Deandre Ayton, averages 18 points per game and 10 rebounds per game.

Lastly, the Nuggets have home-court advantage, with the game taking place at Ball Arena, where they have a record of 34-7. The Suns, on the other hand, have a mediocre away record of 17-24. All of these factors combined make it highly likely that the Nuggets will win and cover the -2 points spread in Game 1 at home against the Suns.

 

Pick: Nuggets -2

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