The Phoenix Suns hold a 2-0 lead in the series. They won Game 2 by an emphatic scoreline of 123-98, with veteran Chris Paul turning back the clock with a 17-point, 15-assist performance.
Fixture - Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets | Game 3, 2020-21 NBA Playoffs.
Date & Time - Friday, June 11th; 10:00 PM ET (Saturday June 12th; 7:30 AM IST).
Venue - Ball Arena, Denver.
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns have outplayed the Denver Nuggets at both ends of the floor in the series so far. Their margin of victories in both games is evidence of that, so head coach Monty Williams will hope to all but seal the series with another win on Friday.
Defense has been key to the Phoenix Suns' success so far, as Williams' scheme and the team's discipline have prevented the Nuggets from dominating in offense. Their strategy of packing the paint paid rich dividends against the LA Lakers, and it has been a similar story against Nikola Jokic and co. as well.
Chris Paul has been the trump card for the Phoenix Suns in the postseason, as the 'Point God' has averaged 11 points and nine assists on just 1.3 turnovers per game.
Key Player - Devin Booker
Chris Paul has been grabbing the headlines, but Devin Booker has been equally impressive for the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs. Booker has averaged a stellar 27 points, six rebounds and five assists per game, shooting close to 50% from the field and a remarkable 41% from downtown.
Booker's ability to take over a game was evident in Game 6 of the Phoenix Suns' Round-1 clash against the LA Lakers. The 24-year old torched the reigning champions for 47 points. The Denver Nuggets' defense has been pedestrian in the first two games of this series, so it won't be a surprise if Booker has a big night in Game 3.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Chris Paul | Shooting Guard - Devin Booker | Small Forward - Mikal Bridges | Power Forward - Jae Crowder | Center - DeAndre Ayton.
Also Read: 3 superstars who could win the title next season after being knocked out in Round 1 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Denver Nuggets Preview
The Denver Nuggets' are in danger of falling 0-3 down on Friday, which will make a comeback nearly impossible. Their poor three-point shooting has been one of the root causes of their shortcomings in the two games of this series.
The Nuggets shot 35% in Game 1 and 32% in Game 2. In contrast, they shot 38% (ninth-best mark in the league) during the regular season.
Role players and peripheral options not stepping up has been another concern for the Denver Nuggets' head coach Mike Malone. With the exception of Nikola Jokic, no other Nuggets player has scored more than 11 points, which goes to show how much the team is missing Jamal Murray.
If the Nuggets are to stand a chance of pulling one back on Friday, they will need key contributions from the likes of Monte Morris and Michael Porter Jr.
Key Player - Nikola Jokic
Recently crowned the MVP of the league, Nikola Jokic had to endure a tough night in Game 2, failing to lead his team to a win. Jokic ended the game with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists but couldn't produce the desired impact on the floor.
With Jamal Murray and PJ Dozier out and Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr. exhibiting shaky form, Jokic has had the additional burden of carrying the Denver Nuggets' offense in this series.
However, Jokic has shown in the past that his best games have come when his team have had their backs against the wall. Considering the same, the MVP-elect is expected to have a lustrous performance on Friday.
Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Facundo Campazzo | Shooting Guard - Austin Rivers | Small Forward - Michael Porter Jr. | Power Forward - Aaron Gordon | Center - Nikola Jokic.
Suns vs Nuggets Prediction
The Denver Nuggets are dealing with an injury to Jamal Murray, who is arguably their second-best player. That, combined with Monty Williams' ability to make game-changing adjustments, makes the Phoenix Suns the favorites to take the win in Game 3.
Where to watch Suns vs Nuggets?
The Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets game will be available to watch on ESPN, Bally Sports Arizona and Altitude sports. The NBA League Pass is another option to catch live action from this enticing encounter.