The Phoenix Suns wasted no time in the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs, as they handled the Denver Nuggets with no problem. In 4 games, the Suns outscored the Nuggets by a whopping 63 points and at least 116 points in every game of the series. The Suns held double-digit leads heading into the 4th quarter of every single game against the Nuggets and were never really in jeopardy of losing at all throughout the series. Phoenix will move on to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2010 when they played the Lakers. Phoenix is now an impressive 8-2 in the postseason and will have plenty of time to rest up before playing their next opponent which will either be the Utah Jazz or Los Angeles Clippers. Utah currently leads their series 2-1 and game 4 will be played tomorrow night in LA.
The Suns team stat lines for the post season are pretty impressive…they’re shooting over 38% from the 3 point line, over 85% from the free throw line, outscoring opponents by over 10 points a game, and are shooting over 47% from the field. These numbers all point to the success that Phoenix has had thus far in the postseason. Individually, point guard Chris Paul has been a huge difference maker for the Suns, particularly in the close out game against the Nuggets. Paul went for 37 points, shooting over 70% from the field and was 7-7 from the free throw line. He also had 7 assists and 3 rebounds. Paul shot up to 13th in the all time postseason leaders in assists which is incredible. Devin Booker has also been doing his thing, averaging over 27 points a game along with 6 boards and 5 assists. Center Deandre Ayton has been a beast in the paint. He’s averaging 11 rebounds/game along with 16 points. If Phoenix can continue to get this production from their top players then you’d have to think they are a favorite to win the NBA Finals.
Game 4 against Denver didn’t disappoint at all. It was a lot of solid back and forth basketball for most of the game. Both Phoenix and Denver went on runs throughout the game that really got the crowd going. A pivotal point in the game was when Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic was ejected for what seemed to be a pretty harmless foul.
I’m just not sure this deserves to be labeled a flagrant 2 foul in a elimination game. But the refs reviewed the play and concluded that Jokic needed to be gone so that took a huge toll on Denver’s chances with just over 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. From this point on the Suns smelled blood, and they took control for the remainder of the game. Paul couldn’t miss from midrange…at one point he made 9 straight shots from the mid range area of the court. It was tough to see the MVP’s season end like it did tonight, but we all know he’ll be back next year. The Nuggets are a contender when they have all of there guys healthy. Jamal Murray is another significant piece that Denver was missing during their postseason run.