Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns 6/9/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Matchup Preview

The Phoenix Suns took care of business in Game 1, flushing the Nuggets away 122-105. The Suns ended the third quarter on a 25-7 run and that was followed up with a time-defying fourth-quarter surge from Chris Paul, whose shoulder seems to be ailing pretty well. Phoenix has proven it is here to stay, and if the Nuggets want any chance of winning this series, they will have to lock down on defense as Phoenix has just been doing whatever it wants offensively. Denver is by no means in a must-win scenario, but stealing one in Phoenix would be massive for its confidence when the Nuggets return home. All eyes will be on Nikola Jokic, the 2020-21 MVP, who had an average game to his standards, to see how he and the rest of the Nuggets respond to that decisive Suns’ win. In order for Denver to remain competitive and have a chance at winning, they will have to avoid huge runs and buckle down on defense. Game 1 presented a whole bunch of open looks for the Suns, and Phoenix can only hope that continues. For all odds movement and the full matchup history of these two teams, visit the Denver Nuggets At Phoenix Suns Matchup Page.

TV Schedule

Date: 6/9/21
Time: 9:30 PM ET
Arena: Talking Stick Arena – Phoenix, AZ
Channel: TNT

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Nuggets Starting 5

PG: Austin Rivers
SG: Facundo Campazzp
SF: Michael Porter Jr.
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokic

Nuggets Analysis

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets felt the wrath of the Phoenix Suns in Game 1, and now they know what the Lakers went through before them. Denver’s most glaring issue is its serious lack of back-court depth. The loss of Jamal Murray real railroaded its season, but the Nuggets are not rolling over. If they had Murray, the Nuggets would likely be staring at another Western Conference Finals appearance and maybe even an NBA Finals Appearance. Unfortunately, that may not be in the cards now, but the Nuggets will make this series competitive. Ultimately, Nikola Jokic will determine just how far these Nuggets can go in these playoffs. While he had a below-average game on Monday, don’t expect that to continue. Jokic was just named the MVP of the league today, and it’s no mystery why that’s the case. Jokic’s season-long PER (player efficiency rating) currently stands at tenth all-time. This season has been a remarkable one for the Joker, but he may have to do even more for the Nuggets to stand a chance in this series.

Suns Starting 5

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

Suns Analysis

phoenix suns

Phoenix looks spectacular in these playoffs so far. They match up incredibly well with the Nuggets and have shooters all over the floor. Led by the leadership of Chris Paul, the scoring guru Devin Booker, and the incredibly efficient big man, Deandre Ayton, the Suns look poised for a potential title run. A decisive win against the Nuggets on Monday just further proved that they are the real deal. Spectacular shooting and disciplined defense drive this well-coached team. The Suns are only allowing 98.6 points per game on merely 42.2% shooting from the field throughout the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Suns are shooting 47% from the field and 36.2% from behind the arc. Although we only have a sample size of seven games to base these numbers on, we can deduce that six games to the defending champs and one game to a Western Conference Championship finalist is nothing to undermine. Key factors for the Suns to continue their run include Booker staying red-hot, Chris Paul’s shoulder staying relatively healthy, and Ayton continuing to be exceptionally efficient and to stay out of foul trouble. Pair that with a strong defensive effort, and the Suns may find themselves in the NBA Finals.

Nuggets & Suns DFS Angle

The Nuggets and Suns both have players that can absolutely go bonkers. Booker had a 47 point game to close out the last playoff series against the Lakers, and Jokic is this year’s MVP, just averaging short of a triple-double on unparalleled efficiency. Despite his overwhelming expense, go with Jokic in Game 2. He had a sub-par Game 1 and will want to do everything in his power to steal a game in Phoenix before returning home. Also, the value players in this game I really like are Jae Crowder and Monte Morris. Crowder is a three-point sniper who can get hot in any given game, especially on the Suns’ home floor. Meanwhile, Morris has been seeing the floor a lot since the season-ending injury to Jamal Murray, and considering the serious lack of depth that the Nuggets face, he is guaranteed to get a lot of minutes. In the post-season, Morris is averaging the most assists per game for Denver at 5.9, and the third-most points per game at 13.4, despite the fact that he has not been starting.

Nuggets vs. Suns Betting Odds

Nuggets Spread: +6
Nuggets Moneyline: +200
Suns Spread: -6
Suns Moneyline: -250
Over/Under Points Total: 222.5

In the past seven games, the Suns have covered the spread five times. They are especially great at covering while at home, as they are 26-14 as the favorite against the spread and 13-7 as favorite at home. The Nuggets, however, have had much less luck as road underdogs against the spread, going only 2-4. Denver is under .500 against the spread on the season and has struggled against talented teams like Phoenix on the road. As for the point total,  both teams are trending towards the over in this game. In similar point total games throughout the season, both the Suns and Nuggets are 57% in hitting the over. In Game 1, the over hit and the Suns covered the spread comfortably. The score was back and forth for the majority of the game, but because of a very hot Phoenix run at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter, it got out of hand pretty quick.  As long as the Suns continue to utilize the pick-and-roll well with Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton, play lock down defense, and let Booker find his rhythm early, they will likely find themselves to be 2-0 at the end of this contest.  I think Game 2 will be much like Game 1 in that it will be very competitive through three quarters and then the Suns will break away. Choosing the Suns with the spread is a strong play as they are red-hot and show no signs of slowing down. The Nuggets’ lack of front court depth is likely to exhaust them. Chasing Booker, Paul, and Payne all over the court will drain the Denver guards. Expect a very big game from both Devin Booker and Nikola Jokic, but stronger supporting play from the rest of the Phoenix Suns

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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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