The Western Conference semifinal matchup between the No. 1-seeded Denver Nuggets and No. 4-seeded Phoenix Suns is set to begin on Saturday, April 29 after both teams won their first-round matchups in five games.
Denver closed things out against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night while Phoenix did the same with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Suns benefitted from Kawhi Leonard’s torn meniscus, which held him out from Games 3-5.
These teams split their season series, but Denver and Phoenix met just twice with Kevin Durant in the lineup for the Suns. The unfortunate part for those of us looking for some history? The Nuggets sat all five of their starters in one game and four in the other.
Denver has been one of the best home teams in the league this season (34-7 in the regular season), and it earned the No. 1 seed in the West with a strong regular season.
The addition of Durant at the deadline immediately made the Suns the favorites in the West, and oddsmakers expect them to win this series based on the latest odds:
Suns vs. Nuggets series odds
Suns vs. Nuggets correct score (Exact outcome odds)
Suns vs. Nuggets series game schedule
- Game 1: Suns @ Nuggets, Saturday, April 29, Time TBD, TV Channel TBD
- Game 2: Suns @ Nuggets, Monday, May 1, Time TBD, TV Channel TBD
- Game 3: Nuggets @ Suns, Friday, May 5, Time TBD, TV Channel TBD
- Game 4: Nuggets @ Suns, Sunday, May 7, Time TBD, TV Channel TBD
- *Game 5: Suns @ Nuggets, Tuesday, May 9, Time TBD, TV Channel TBD
- *Game 6: Nuggets @ Suns, Thursday, May 11, Time TBD, TV Channel TBD
- *Game 7: Suns @ Nuggets, Sunday, May 14, Time TBD, TV Channel TBD
Suns vs. Nuggets series prediction and pick
Look, the Suns may have the best one-two punch in the NBA with Durant and Devin Booker, but they are way overvalued in this spot against Denver.
Phoenix played multiple close games with the Clippers post-Leonard’s injury, and the Suns lack the depth that the Nuggets have in their rotation.
Durant, Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton all had to play big minutes against a Clippers team that was down Leonard and Paul George in the first round, and it went just 1-1 in the games that Leonard played in.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets have a deep roster, headlined by MVP candidate Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets are also starting to see playoff Jamal Murray return, as he scored 35 points in Game 5 against the Timberwolves and had a 40-point showing in Game 2 of the first round.
Denver has home-court advantage in this series, which is severely underrated. The Nuggets went 34-7 at Ball Arena this season and are 3-0 at home in the playoffs. With four games being played there, I think that gives Denver a sneaky advantage in this series.
The Suns are extremely top-heavy, and I have serious doubts about their depth. Torrey Craig, Cam Payne, Josh Okogie, Bismack Biyombo and Landry Shamet are the team’s primary reserves, but only Craig and Okogie played over 15 minutes in the team’s Game 5 win over the Clippers.
Can Craig or Okogie hit enough shots for the Nuggets to respect them enough all series?
This Phoenix team is going to live by Booker and Durant, and the Nuggets have two elite defenders to match up on those two players in Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
The Nuggets aren’t going to shut them down, but it takes one off night to potentially flip this series.
At the end of the day, the Suns have more top-line talent, but they lack the chemistry and depth Denver has. That, along with home court, should make a strong Denver team the favorite. I’ll back the Nuggets as underdogs to get this done in seven games.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.