The Phoenix Suns did something that no other team has done before, knock LeBron James out of the first round.
With the Suns’ win on Thursday night, it marked the first time LeBron James has ever been eliminated in the first round of the Finals in his career, giving extra momentum to an already driven Phoenix team.
It was a dream come true for the Phoenix Suns to land a playoff spot this year after not making the playoffs in the last decade. But they aren’t done and now they focus on the second round of the Finals, hoping to advance even further.
Round 2 Matchup and Betting Odds
The No. 2 Suns started out as underdogs as they took on the No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers in round 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals. It took them six games to get it done, but the Suns conquered the former NBA champs to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Denver Nuggets also won round 1 in game 6, beating the Portland Trailblazers. Denver was slightly favored over the Trailblazers in the series since they were named the home team and ended up coming out on top.
As for the Western Conference semifinals series between the No. 2 Phoenix Suns and No. 3 Denver Nuggets, Phoenix is the home team. The first two games will be played in Phoenix and with Devin Booker’s performance the last few games, the Suns are the favorite according to sportsbook apps.
The Phoenix Suns
Chris Paul suffered an injury in game one of the first round of the NBA Finals, making every Suns fan nervous. He fought through his injury and played his heart out, helping to lead the team to win the series. He wasn’t the only one who put on a show. Devin Booker continued to shine each game, racking up an insane amount of points, including 47 points in game 6.
Jae Crowder and Cameron Payne also stepped up, not only with their defensive hustle but their aggressiveness. The Suns are looking to be pretty healthy entering the second round of the playoffs, with Paul still working through his injury. But if they continue to play with the passion that they have been showing, they could make things tough for the Nuggets.
It has been a long time coming for the Suns to have a successful playoff run and we don’t see them slowing down anytime soon. If they can get ahead by winning the first two games at home, the Suns could be one step closer to the Finals.
The Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic is clearly the favorite for MVP this year and his 36 points in game 6 helped the Denver Nuggets eliminate the Portland Trailblazers in round 1. Michael Porter Jr. has also been shining in the postseason, hitting five consecutive 3-pointers in game 6. The entire team has been calm and collective through the playoffs so far, working together to play amazing basketball. This could be a problem for the Phoenix Suns.
The Nuggets and Suns faced off three times in the regular season, with the Nuggets winning two. But playoff basketball is much different, and sports bettors know that, making it an interesting series for sports betting.
With both teams playing incredible basketball, it is going to come down to injuries and which team stays healthy. Home court advantage is always a plus, but it isn’t the only factor.
As we saw with the Lakers, injuries can make or break a team’s chances to advance in the playoffs. So far, the Phoenix Suns have shown that they can overcome injuries and have been playing some of their best basketball in the last ten years, making it a promising future for the team.
The odds of the Suns sweeping the Nuggets are slim and Denver will probably win at least two games with the roll they are on. But if the Suns can continue to put up big points, Phoenix will most likely eliminate the Nuggets in game 6.
Suns vs Nuggets Game 1 Details
- Date: Monday, June 7
- Time: 10:00 PM EST
- Location: Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, AZ
- TV: TNT
- Odds: Suns favored by 4