While the final digit of the Western Conference’s second round has not yet been decided, the second round begins with the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns on the 30th (Korean time).
Above all, the matchup between the two teams is attracting attention from many people even before the start. In fact, this is because the Western Conference Semifinals are being evaluated as the Western finals this season. Both teams face off with full power from the first game without any special injuries. In the regular season, the two teams were evenly matched with 2 wins and 2 losses.
However, ahead of the series opening, ESPN experts predict the advantage of Phoenix with Kevin Durant (34, 208cm). It was also an overwhelming result, with 12 out of 16 experts predicting Phoenix’s superiority. For reference, Phoenix has recorded only one loss in Durant’s 12 games.
Phoenix is a team with a powerful mid-range game. If the mid-range jumper leading to Durant-Devin Booker (26, 196cm)-Chris Paul (37, 183cm) explodes, few teams can control it. In the first round of the actual playoffs with the Clippers, these three had great fun with the attack development through the mid-range game. It’s never a good thing for Denver to see their midrange game come to life.
The same goes for injuries every playoff. Denver, which suffered from elimination several times a year, was also fully equipped for the first time in a long time in this playoff. While ace Nicola Jokic (28, 211cm) is still alive, Jamal Murray (26, 190cm), who returned to health this season after a long rehabilitation, showed off a performance reminiscent of the bubble days on this playoff stage, which he stepped on again after 3 years. He is proving that he is a strong player in the big game. Murray averaged 27.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists over five games in the first-round series with Minnesota. 크크크벳
On the other hand, it makes me wonder how well the Phoenix defense will control the two-on-two play that leads to Denver’s main offensive route, Jokic and Murray. Also, for Denver, the key is how much Michael Porter Jr. (24, 208cm), the third option, reduces the ups and downs. Porter Jr. averaged 16.4 points (49.2% FG), 8.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 42.4% (average 2.8 success) of 3-pointers in the first round series. Porter Jr. is a dice player with many ups and downs. The number 6 may come out, the number 1 may come out. If Porter Jr. 6 comes out, Denver can easily look at the Western Finals stage.
Both teams are highly dependent teams. In this situation, if one or two key players are injured or lose their physical strength, the team suffers a fatal injury. This series will also consume a lot of stamina. It is a more important time to manage injuries and physical strength of players.
Denver and Phoenix’s first game, which marks the beginning of the Western Conference Semifinals, will end with the victory of which team will end, and the first leg of both teams will be tipped off at 9:30 am shortly after.