Nuggets Ready For Matchup With Suns
The Denver Nuggets will begin their second-round playoff series on Sunday, and it will begin on the road in Phoenix.
The Suns eliminated the Los Angeles Lakers in six games, and they will have a home-court advantage for the matchup with the Nuggets.
Denver had a tough series against the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Nuggets were able to hold off and eliminate their rivals in six games. The Nuggets will be the underdogs in this series, but this has been a role that has suited Denver in the past.
Nikola Jokic is leading the way with 33 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in the playoffs, and he will need to have another big series. Jokic will be dealing with Suns’ center Deandre Ayton in this series, and he will need to win that matchup.
The Nuggets are shooting 41 percent from the three-point line so far in the postseason, and they will have to stay hot if they want to advance. Michael Porter Jr. scored nearly 19 points per game against Portland and has a monster first quarter in the Game 6 victory.
The defense will have to play a key role for Denver in this series, especially when it comes to slowing down the guard play for Phoenix. The Suns have a superstar in Devin Booker, and Chris Paul has had a great season in leading the Phoenix offense.
Booker scored 47 points in the Game 6 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, and it proved to be too much for the defending champions. Playing without Jamal Murray has not slowed the Nuggets down too much, but his absence will hurt against the Suns.
The winner of this series will move on to the Western Conference Finals, a position that Denver was in a season ago. The Utah Jazz await the winner of the LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks in the other semifinal series.
Avalanche Still Leading Series
The Nuggets aren’t the only team from Denver still alive in the postseason as the Colorado Avalanche are competing in the West Division finals. Colorado is taking on the Vegas Golden Knights, two of the top betting picks to win the Stanley Cup this season.
Colorado swept the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs, and they carried that momentum into the second round against the Golden Knights. The Avalanche stormed out to a 2-0 series lead, before suffering a loss in Game 3 of the series in Las Vegas.
The Avalanche scored seven goals to win the opening games of this series and then came away with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 2. Colorado was on the other end of a 3-2 overtime game on Friday night, and that will give the Golden Knights some hope moving forward.
Both the Avalanche and Golden Knights finished the regular season with 82 points, but a better winning percentage gave Colorado home-ice advantage. That advantage could come into play for the rest of the series as the home teams have won all three games.
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