For the first time in 32 years, the Phoenix Suns meet the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs. The duels in the regular season were all close, but now the omens have changed. After LeBron James with Nikola Jokic, will the Suns also be the likely MVP from the postseason?

Here is an overview of all series.

Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets: The starting point

If it goes purely according to the results of the regular season, a close and high-class series awaits us. All three games were only decided in the final phase, twice it needed an extension, Denver won two of the three games. The parameters have changed, however, and little can be read from these three games, which all took place in January.

Jamal Murray wasn’t absent with a cruciate ligament rupture at the time, Aaron Gordon was still bobbing around in Orlando and Austin Rivers was on duty as a guard for the New York Knicks. Now the cards have been reshuffled, the Suns are favorites in this series. It is only logical, after all, Devin Booker and Co. knocked out the reigning champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and gave LeBron James an unexpectedly long offseason.

Phoenix isn’t just a 2-seed in the west, they play like one too. Deandre Ayton earned his spurs against Anthony Davis, role players like Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson proved that they can also perform on the big playoff stage.

And booker? Last but not least, he underlined with 47 points in a closeout game that he is one of the best guards and scorers in the league. There are only question marks behind Chris Paul, who dragged himself through the series with shoulder problems. The three-day break should do the 36-year-old good, he didn’t appear on the Injury Report before Game 1.

Suns vs. Nuggets: the series at a glance

game date Time Home Away
1 8. June 4 o’clock Suns Nuggets
2 10. June 3.30 a.m. Suns Nuggets
3 12. June 4 o’clock Nuggets Suns
4 14. June 2 O ‘clock Nuggets Suns
5* 16. June tba Suns Nuggets
6* 18. June tba Nuggets Suns
7* 20. June tba Suns Nuggets

With Paul, Phoenix can draw on unlimited resources, the Nuggets cannot. With Murray (cruciate ligament rupture), PJ Dozier (adductors) and Will Barton (thigh), Denver was missing three guards in the series against Portland, and Barton is hoping that he will be back in action in the coming days. Dozier could also return on a longer series.

The guard rotation remains a construction site. Facundo Campazzo made the best of the situation as the new playmaker, while Rivers, who joined the team at the end of the season on a ten-day contract, scored several important three-pointers in crunchtime. The “next-man-up” mentality is not just an empty phrase in Mile High City.

Of course, it helps to play alongside Nikola Jokic. The Serb makes every player around him better, be it through his passports or the enormous gravity that he possesses through his many skills. Whenever the nuggets needed him against Portland, Jokic was there and was in no way inferior to the famous Damian Lillard on the other side. Now the next Herculean task is waiting.

Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets: Facts and Figures

Stat Suns Nuggets
Bilanz Regular Season 51-21 47-25
Offensive rating (place) 116,3 (7) 116,3 (6)
Defensive rating (place) 110,4 (6) 111,5 (11)
Net-Rating (Platz) +5,9 (3) +4,8 (6)
Direct comparison 1-2 2-1