Nuggets vs Suns Prediction Game 2 NBA West Semifinals 5/1

Nuggets vs Suns Prediction Game 2 NBA West Semifinals 5/1

© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

 

Game Preview: Suns vs Nuggets (May 1, 2023) Pregame - Denver hosts Phoenix with 1-0 series lead

The Phoenix Suns will take on the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs on May 1, 2023. Despite being fourth in the Western Conference, the Suns are facing a tough challenge against the first-placed Nuggets, who lead the series 1-0 after their 125-107 win on April 30. The Suns will look to bounce back and even the series, but they face a formidable opponent in the Nuggets, who have won 53 games this season. According to expert NBA picks, the Nuggets are favored to win by 4.5 points, with an over/under of 227.5. The Suns will be looking to prove the oddsmakers wrong and come away with a crucial victory on the road. The Nuggets have been dominant at home this season, posting a 34-18 record against conference opponents. They are seventh in the Western Conference in scoring, averaging 115.8 points per game while shooting an impressive 50.4% from the field. However, the Suns have the best defense in the conference, giving up just 111.6 points per game while holding opponents to 46.6% shooting. The key players to watch in this game will be Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray for the Nuggets, and Devin Booker and Kevin Durant for the Suns. Jokic is shooting an incredible 63.2% from the field and averaging 24.5 points, while Murray is averaging 2.8 made 3-pointers over the last 10 games for Denver. For the Suns, Booker is averaging 35.5 points, 6.7 assists, and 2.3 steals, with Durant averaging 21.8 points over the last 10 games. With both teams evenly matched in terms of recent form (both are 6-4 in their last 10 games), this game promises to be an exciting showdown. 

 

Suns: Offensive Analysis

The Phoenix Suns will need to step up their offensive game in Game 2 against the Denver Nuggets if they want to avoid falling into a 0-2 series deficit. In the previous game of the Western Conference second round, the Nuggets won 125-107 led by 34 points from Jamal Murray, while Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Suns. Phoenix ranks 17th in the league in points per game with an average of 114.0, which could be improved upon to win against the top-seeded Nuggets who score 115.8 points per game. Devin Booker is the Suns' top scorer, averaging 35.5 points, 6.7 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. However, the team needs more support from the rest of the roster if they want to prevail in Game 2 and level the series. The Suns' effective field goal percentage is at 53.7%, which ranks 21st in the league. They need to improve on their shooting efficiency and increase their shooting percentage if they want to keep up with the Nuggets. The free throw shooting has been up to the mark with a 79.4% free throw percentage, which could be an important aspect during the game. In addition, the Suns are an excellent passing team, ranking fourth in assists per game with an average of 27.1. Their assists-to-turnover ratio is also impressive, ranking second in the league with 2.012. Phoenix's ability to share the ball efficiently could be a vital factor in their offensive performance. In conclusion, the Suns need to up their offensive game, be efficient with their shooting, and increase their scoring output to compete with the Nuggets, who have been playing high-scoring games this season. It will take a concerted effort from the entire roster to level the series against the Nuggets. 

Suns: Defensive Analysis

The Phoenix Suns need to bring their best defensive performance as they face the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference second round. Despite being fourth in the Western Conference, the Suns have been the leader in the conference in giving up just 111.6 points per game while holding opponents to 46.6% shooting, making them a force to be reckoned with on defense. However, the Nuggets won their last meeting by 18 points, and Phoenix has to step up its defensive game to avoid falling behind 2-0 in the series. The Suns have been exceptional in limiting their opponents' scoring, ranking seventh in the league in allowing just 112.0 points per game. Additionally, they have been effective in defending the paint, limiting their opponents to just 48.6 points in the paint per game, which is the ninth-best in the league. They also rank fifth in the league in opponent field goal percentage (46.5%) and fourth in opponent three-point percentage (35.8%). Phoenix's two-way star, Devin Booker, is a significant contributor to their defense as well, averaging 2.3 steals per game in the playoffs. Additionally, the Suns have several defensive weapons in Chris Paul, Torrey Craig, and Mikal Bridges, who are all versatile defenders and can switch on multiple positions. The Suns' well-rounded defensive game will be critical in containing the Nuggets' top players, including MVP Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, who combined for 63 points in their last meeting. The Suns must focus on their perimeter defense, as Murray made eight three-pointers in the previous game. Overall, the Suns have proven to be a formidable defensive unit throughout the season, and they must continue to bring that intensity on the defensive end against the high-scoring Nuggets. If Phoenix can limit Denver's scoring and come through with another suffocating defensive performance, they could take a significant step towards leveling the series. 

 

Nuggets: Offense Analysis

As the Nuggets prepare to host the Suns with a 1-0 series lead, their offense will be a key factor in securing another victory. According to NBA picks experts and NBA picks computers, the Nuggets are favored to win with a spread of 4.5 points and an over/under of 227.5. The Nuggets have been a dominant offensive force, ranking first in the Western Conference with a scoring average of 115.8 points per game and shooting an impressive 50.4% from the field. Their top performers, including Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, have been consistent in their scoring, shooting, and three-point shooting abilities. On the other hand, the Suns have also been a solid team on offense, ranking 17th in the Western Conference with a scoring average of 114.0 points per game. Devin Booker has been a standout perform for the Suns, averaging 35.5 points per game along with 6.7 assists and 2.3 steals. However, the Suns have struggled with their shooting percentages, with a lower effective field goal percentage than the Nuggets. Based on NBA picks and parlay predictions by NBA today experts, the Nuggets have the advantage on offense and are likely to continue their scoring dominance. The Suns will need to improve their shooting and offensive efficiency to keep up with the Nuggets' high-powered offense. NBA picks with spread and NBA predictions today favor the Nuggets to win in another high-scoring game.

Nuggets: Defensive Analysis

As the Denver Nuggets prepare to take on the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference second round with a 1-0 series lead, their defense will be a key factor in securing another win. The Nuggets have been solid on defense this season, allowing just 111.6 points per game, which is the best in the Western Conference. They have also held opponents to just 46.6% shooting, the second-best mark in the conference. Leading the way for the Nuggets on defense is Nikola Jokic, who is averaging 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He is also a force on the defensive end, averaging 1.0 blocks per game. In addition to Jokic, Jamal Murray has been a big contributor on defense, averaging 1.2 steals per game. Paul Millsap and Gary Harris have also been key players, each averaging over one steal per game. The Suns have a potent offense, averaging 114.0 points per game, but they have struggled against top defenses. They scored just 107 points in their last meeting with the Nuggets and were held to 45.6% shooting. Devin Booker is the Suns' leading scorer, averaging 35.5 points per game in the last 10 games. He will be a key player to watch for the Nuggets' defense. Overall, the Nuggets' defense has been impressive this season and should be able to slow down the Suns' offense. Look for Jokic, Murray, and the rest of the Nuggets' defense to step up and help secure another win for Denver.

 

Injury Report

Both the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets have not listed any injuries heading into this Western Conference second-round matchup. This means both teams will have their full rosters available and at their disposal for what should be an intense and competitive matchup. 

 

Betting Trends

The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets are set to face off in the Western Conference second round with the Nuggets holding a 1-0 lead in the series. As the game approaches, bettors are analyzing the betting trends for both teams to determine where to place their bets. The Nuggets have a 53-29 overall record and are first in the Western Conference, while the Suns have a 45-37 record and are fourth in the Western Conference. In their last meeting on April 30th, the Nuggets won 125-107, led by 34 points from Jamal Murray, while Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Suns. The Nuggets are currently favored by 4.5 points, with an over/under of 227.5. Bettors are looking at a variety of factors to make their NBA picks, including the teams' performances over their last ten games. The Nuggets have a record of 6-4 over their last ten games, averaging 113.7 points, 45.0 rebounds, 25.4 assists, 8.4 steals and 4.4 blocks per game while shooting 48.3% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 109.0 points per game. The Suns have a similar record of 6-4 over their last ten games, but are averaging 117.2 points, 43.6 rebounds, 25.6 assists, 6.9 steals, and 6.2 blocks per game while shooting 49.0% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 115.2 points per game. Bettors are also considering the top performers on each team. Nikola Jokic is shooting 63.2% and averaging 24.5 points for the Nuggets, while Devin Booker is averaging 35.5 points, 6.7 assists, and 2.3 steals for the Suns. Overall, the Suns are known for their strong defense, giving up just 111.6 points per game while holding opponents to 46.6% shooting. 

 

Prediction

The Denver Nuggets come into Game 2 with a ton of confidence following their dominant 125-107 victory in the series opener. Jamal Murray led the way with 34 points while Nikola Jokic added 21 points and 15 rebounds. The Nuggets were firing on all cylinders, shooting an impressive 50.4% from the field. On the other hand, the Phoenix Suns will be looking to bounce back after struggling to contain the Nuggets' offense. While Devin Booker had a solid performance with 29 points, it wasn't enough to keep up with Denver. Overall, the Nuggets have been the better team throughout the season and have a 1-0 series lead for a reason. With home-court advantage and the momentum on their side, expect Denver to come out strong once again and cover the spread. 

 

Pick: Nuggets (-4) 

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