Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns 10/20/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Matchup Preview (10/20/21)

On Wednesday, the Denver Nuggets travel to Phoenix to face the Suns in the Footprint Center. After the playoff series last season, Phoenix and Denver surely have somewhat disdain for each other, although it is likely more Denver’s disdain. The Suns swept the Nuggets in four games. There were even memes made about this after some fans got into an altercation during one of the games. In a moment of frustration, Nikola Jokic had swiped for the ball a bit too aggressively in the third quarter of Game 4. Jokic was assigned a flagrant 2 foul and thus, ejected. While neither roster has drastically changed, this game will look slightly different, especially for the Denver Nuggets, who have a few dinged-up players. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns and Deandre Ayton have not been agreeable in contract extension discussions, and it is common knowledge that Ayton is frustrated with them. Right now, Phoenix is a heavy home favorite, and rightfully so, as it swept Denver in the playoffs the last time these teams faced each other. It will be interesting to see if this game carries similar intensity to the one in Game 4 of last season’s second-round matchup.

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds

Phoenix has made the improvements it needed to in the off-season to continue competing for an NBA Championship this season. With the news that Ayton could not reach a max extension with Phoenix, it is hard to say whether he will play motivated or passive at the beginning of the season. The Suns have a track record of winning at home and covering the spread: they were 28-14 as a home favorite against the spread last season. For this one, I like the Phoenix Suns to get a win by 10-15 points in a comfortable game where it never feels out of their control. They should lead early and never look back.

Denver and Phoenix both tended to hit the over last season as they finished 47-35 and 51-41-2, respectively, for the over. The over in this game feels like more of a lock to me than the spread. One thing we know about these teams is they like to move the ball and shoot. This should not be a nail-biter.

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TV Schedule

Date: 10/20/21
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Footprint Center – Phoenix, AZ
Channel: ESPN

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Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup

PG: Monte Morris
SG: Will Barton
SF: Michael Porter Jr
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokic

Denver Nuggets Analysis

Denver did not make many changes this off-season; however, it doesn’t really need to, given the Nuggets knocked off Portland in the playoffs and didn’t even have Jamal Murray. If Porter Jr, Morris, and Gordon step up in the midst of Murray’s absence, then Denver will win many games this year. Guard depth is a concern for Denver while Jamal Murray is out, though. If the Nuggets have injuries at the guard position, they may struggle at times this year. Either way, Nikola Jokic is coming off an insanely efficient season and looks ready to do it all over again. Denver will have to play through Jokic and play tighter defense than it did last season to win its first game. The Nuggets finished 21st in the NBA in opponent field goal percentage and 19th in opponent three-point percentage. They will have to do much better than that to be the talented Phoenix Suns at home.

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Deandre Ayton

Phoenix Suns Analysis

When Chris Paul committed to returning to Phoenix, everything seemed to point towards the Suns having another championship-contending year. This off-season, the Suns made all the right moves, albeit only a few, especially when they acquired Landry Shamet in a trade. Shamet immediately helps Phoenix in its guard depth, which it struggled with at times last season. Unfortunately for Phoenix, the organization has stalled in extension talks with Deandre Ayton. Ayton is reportedly not too happy with the organization that is not committing to him as others in his draft class. If the Suns keep the players happy and the chemistry solid, they will have no problem being a top-seed in the Western Conference again. The Suns will need to push the pace for this game and force the Denver guards to chase them around. Guard depth is still a struggle for the Nuggets, and Phoenix will want to try and get Morris or Barton in foul trouble. If Phoenix does this, then the game should be in its control for the majority, if not all, of the game.

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Daily Fantasy Picks

All eyes are on Michael Porter Jr as he takes the next step in his young career. Porter Jr just signed a massive deal that could see him earning upwards of $200 million. Many people think this is a huge reach for the Nuggets, but there is no denying Porter Jr’s offensive talent after he stepped up in the midst of Jamal Murray’s injury. He averaged 19 points and 7.3 rebounds on 54.2% from the field and 44.5% from behind the arc while merely taking 13.4 shot attempts per game. These stats indicate that Porter Jr will continue to improve, and the next step for him is averaging in the low-to-mid 20s. Porter Jr will be on a mission starting with this game, and a 25-10 game is possible.

The Phoenix Suns acquired Landry Shamet in the off-season after they made it all the way to the NBA Finals last season. Shamet should have a solid role within the Suns’ offense, which rewards ball movement and three-point shooting. He has that and more. Shamet is a 40% career three-point shooter and needs the right fit to become an excellent rotational player. I believe that team is Phoenix for Shamet. He should be a cheap option if you need a utility player, and I like for Shamet to hit several threes in his first regular-season game as a member of the Phoenix Suns.

Andrew has watched sports since as young as he can remember and was fortunate enough to play college basketball. As a kid, he would sneak his Space Jam Michael Jordan jersey into his pre-school so he could wear it every day. Mom was not a happy camper when she found out.

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