Phoenix Suns (45-37) at Denver Nuggets (53-29)
Game Info: Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 10:00 p.m. EST (Ball Arena)
Betting Odds: Nuggets (-5.5) / Over/Under (227.5)
Pick: Nuggets (-5.5)
In our 2nd Game 5 of the night in the NBA, we will get a matchup between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets, with both squads looking to become 1 game closer to advancing to the Western Conference Finals.
Phoenix did something that many doubted they could do on their home floor in Games 3 and 4 to even up the series 2-2 before heading back to Denver. Even though they were not able to pick up the intensity on the defensive end for large parts of Game 4, leading to a new career Playoff high set for Nikola Jokic (53 points on 20/30 shooting from the field), Kevin Durant and Devin Booker were both able to score 36 points each. What was more impressive was the fact that after surrendering a sizeable lead heading towards the end of the game, they were able to quickly bounce back and deliver in the clutch. Now playing in a critical Game 5 on the road, we shall see if Phoenix can deliver the first away win in the series after the home squad was able to grab the first 4 games.
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Denver can not hold their heads down for too long after losing the 2-0 series lead that they built early on. They played the Suns extremely hard on the road, only losing by a combined 12 points, and had numerous opportunities to take at least 1. Although they were not able to, Game 5 brings them back into Ball Arena, somewhere they have thrived in all year long with a stellar 34-7 record. Once again though, as I have stated in the past, other than Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets will need to get some much needed support from the likes of Michael Porter Jr. and their main bench pieces if they are to advance to the next round and have aspirations of winning it all. For sure, we are seeing a cut down in minutes for the bench in the Postseason by Head Coach Michael Malone, but this is to be expected, so they still must be ready when they are called upon in the middle quarters to get the starters a bit of rest.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Denver is 29-16-1 ATS when playing as the home team
- The Nuggets are 18-13 ATS when coming off of a loss
- Phoenix is 9-14 ATS as the road underdog
From the start of the Playoffs when I saw the seeding of teams fall into place, I had this one circled with a big red marker. Now that we are being able to experience it now, I fully expect it to go 7 games. Jokic has simply been unstoppable and has been able to get whatever he wants, when he wants it. On his home floor, I am going to back him to make enough key plays down the stretch to put the Suns to the brink of elimination. Give me Denver by a few baskets!
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