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Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets Prediction: Jamal Murray and crew favorites as we head into Game 7 l NBA Playoffs 2020

Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz - Game 6
Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz - Game 6
ANALYST
Modified 31 Aug 2020, 13:25 IST
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The Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets series has been a total roller-coaster ride, with Game 6 ending with a score of 107-119 in favor of the latter.

High-scoring nights from Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray kept the game close throughout, and it almost feels abnormal to imagine a world in which either guard doesn't score at least 40 points.

The Utah Jazz started well in the first quarter but went cold during the second. This was something that the Denver Nuggets clearly capitalized on, keeping an average lead of 9 points throughout the second quarter.

Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell had offensive explosions once again
Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell had offensive explosions once again

The second half was a completely different story. The Utah Jazz stepped up massively, not only closing the gap but even taking the lead. It was close throughout the half, with Mitchell and Murray battling harder than ever.

Unfortunately for Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz, their offense, while still impressive, stagnated just enough to let the Denver Nuggets establish another lead, which was one they would continue to build on until the end of the game.

With the series tied at 3-3, we are going to Game 7.


The Denver Nuggets have momentum in their favor

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The Denver Nuggets have the momentum, going into Game 7
The Denver Nuggets have the momentum, going into Game 7

Incredible wouldn't quite describe Jamal Murray anymore. The Denver Nuggets point guard has put up ridiculous numbers throughout the series, and Game 6 was no different.

Murray recorded 50 points in 43 minutes, on 70.8% from the field and 75% from three-point range. These numbers seem more like an NBA 2K stat-line and yet, it is very much from the real world.

Jamal Murray wasn't the only player who did well for the Denver Nuggets, though. Nikola Jokic quietly had a good game - he recorded 22 points and 9 assists and was efficient throughout. Jerami Grant also deserves some credit, having made some critical shots from deep whenever he was called upon.

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Jamal Murray had another electrifying performance in Game 6
Jamal Murray had another electrifying performance in Game 6

The Denver Nuggets' defense was impressive too, especially in the first half. While they weren't elite, the Denver Nuggets defended well enough to make the Utah Jazz's offense stagnate for short periods during critical moments in the game.

With performances like these in the last two games, the Denver Nuggets have a good chance of winning the series in Game 7.


The Utah Jazz didn't give Mitchell enough support

The Utah Jazz were impressive, but ultimately suffered a defeat in Game 6
The Utah Jazz were impressive, but ultimately suffered a defeat in Game 6

Donovan Mitchell started the game a little inconsistently but quickly recovered in the second half to keep the Utah Jazz in the match-up for as long as he could.

Mitchell once again was nothing short of special, recording 44 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists on shooting 69.2% from behind the arc.

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But in what has been a recurring problem for the Utah Jazz throughout this series, Mitchell didn't have any offensive support from his team. Mike Conley was the only one Mitchell could possibly rely on to provide some secondary offense, but as the scoreline suggests, it wasn't enough.

Donovan Mitchell was elite once again but needs support from his teammates
Donovan Mitchell was elite once again but needs support from his teammates

The Utah Jazz's defense is not the problem here. Jamal Murray's high scoring is a case of brilliant offense overcoming great defense. But if the Jazz want to win this series, they are going to need players like Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson to step up significantly on the offensive end.


What does the future hold for this series?

The Denver Nuggets have adapted almost scarily well to the Utah Jazz, and it has showed. The Nuggets' victories in Games 5 and 6 were hard-fought, but more than convincing.

The Denver Nuggets have adapted completely to the Utah Jazz
The Denver Nuggets have adapted completely to the Utah Jazz
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At the end of Game 4, we had predicted that if the Utah Jazz don't end it in Game 5, there is a very high possibility of the Denver Nuggets coming back to win the series. And so far, we've been right.

The Jazz are well and truly in trouble, with Donovan Mitchell clearly exhausted and frustrated while his opponents only grow more dominant with every passing game.

For Game 7, we double down on our statement and predict a Denver Nuggets victory to bring this amazing series to a close.


Also Read: Celtics top Raptors in the second-round opener, Kawhi's Clippers advance and Murray scores 50

Published 31 Aug 2020, 13:25 IST
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