Film Analysis of Nuggets-Suns Game 2: Highlighting what the Suns did to shut the Nuggets down

Hey everyone! I made a video about the defensive clinic the Suns put on last night against the Nuggets. You can watch the video here:

If you don't have time to watch the video, here is a rough outline of what I went over:

1. Ball Denial

  • Most important/effective thing the Suns did last night was deny passes to Jokic whenever he got off the ball
  • There were tons of possessions where Jokic gave up the ball and never was able to get it back, and they forced a bad shot.

2. Suns PnR Defense
  • Nuggets had a lot of side pick-and-roll possessions blown up, Suns were executing ICE defense very well (see link for more info on ICE)
  • Suns were also great getting over screens when they had Ayton drop back on middle pick-and-rolls
  • In concert with the first point, the Suns did a great job of denying pick-and-pop passes off of Jokic ball screens/DHOs

3. Digging on Postups
  • "Digs" are when a defender plays between the post and their own assignment, which allows them to double the post readily but also recover to their own man when needed
  • Jokic never was really able to get comfortable in the post because of Suns digs
  • Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder are excellent at disrupting postups with digs

4. Good rotations, good transition D
  • Suns covered up for each other really well, using stuff like pre-switching and scram switching to quickly take away unfavorable matchups
  • Example: If Booker was guarding Jokic, Crowder would come switch with him quickly before the Nuggets could enter the ball into the post
  • Couple of nice highlight transition saves, block by Torrey Craig and CP3 recovering to knock away Campazzo’s fastbreak layup

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