The Suns started off the season better than many had expected, getting positive contributions from Ricky Rubio and Aaron Baynes to help them pick up some wins. But a suspension to their former No. 1 overall pick, DeAndre Ayton, for performance enhancing drugs, left them thin in their frontcourt, and now that Baynes is limited, they've been losing more of their games.
It'll be up to Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokić to lead the team to a win and not suffer a letdown after beating one of the best teams in the league on Friday night, 96-92. The Nuggets nearly blew a 19-point third quarter lead against the Celtics, but managed to hold on thanks to some clutch baskets from Murray and Paul Millsap. If they play a normal game, the Nuggets should walk away with another home win.
Who: Phoenix Suns (8-7) vs Denver Nuggets (12-3)
When: 6:00 PM MT
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
How to watch: Altitude
Rival Blog: Bright Side of the Sun
Potential Matchups Suns at Nuggets
|PG||Jamal Murray||Tyler Johnson||Nuggets|
|SG||Gary Harris||Devin Booker||Nuggets|
|SF||Will Barton||Kelly Oubre Jr.||Nuggets|
|PF||Paul Millsap||Dario Šarić||Nuggets|
|C||Nikola Jokic||Frank Kaminsky||Nuggets|
|BENCH||Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, Torrey Craig, Jerami Grant, Michael Porter Jr, Juancho Hernangomez, Mason Plumlee||Elie Okobo, Mikal Bridges, Chieck Diallo, Cameron Johnson, Jevon Carter||Nuggets|
Injuries: Aaron Baynes (out - hip), Ricky Rubio (doubtful - back), Cameron Johnson (probable - knee), Frank Kaminsky (probable - hip), Ty Jerome (out - ankle); Bol Bol (doubtful - young)
Three things to watch for
Play hard. This should not be a difficult game if the Suns are going to be this hampered by injuries. Make sure to check Booker, keep whoever starts at center off the glass, and don't turn the ball over. Without their veterans, this is the same team from last year, just a bunch of young guys waiting for Booker to try to score 70 points in a loss again.
Starters plus/minus. These guys are starting to play really well together, and things look like they are clicking for them. The first quarter of their last game was an incredible start to a game, and set the tone for the game from the opening tip. With Will Barton playing excellent ball, they have five two-way players on the court with the starting unit, and they are so dangerous in offense, especially after they get a stop on defense and can find mismatches in transition. They should have another solid game against the Suns, who are coming off a win last night against the Timberwolves.
SEGABABA. Beware the second game of a back to back. The Suns won their first game, defeating Minnesota, but now they have to come directly to Denver, a place that is so difficult to play, fans of opposing teams are creating petitions to shut down pro sports in the Mile High. They should see the Suns start the game with a surge of energy, and then have their legs collapse in the third quarter. Don't lose the game in the first half, and then finish it off in the third and fourth quarter.
Denver 118 - Phoenix 102.