The Phoenix Suns are in a tough spot after losing the first two games of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Denver Nuggets. While the cliché says that a series doesn’t start until the road team wins, history tells us that teams that lose the first two games on the road have only won 8% of best-of-seven series since 1984.
Despite the odds being against them, the Suns were favored to win the series because of their strong performance throughout the regular season. However, things got more challenging after Chris Paul was diagnosed with a groin strain, putting his status for the rest of the series in jeopardy. For the best sports betting casinos of May 2023, make sure you visit CasinoDaddy!
So, what adjustments can Phoenix coach Monty Williams make to compensate for Paul’s absence and help the Suns even up the series heading back to Denver for Game 5?
One solution is to increase the two-man game between the Suns’ two best players, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant. Surprisingly, Durant screened for Booker just eight times in the first two games of the series, which is a surprisingly low number. With Booker likely controlling the ball more often in Paul’s absence, having Durant screen for him is a way to create better matchups against the Nuggets’ starters.
However, it’s not enough for Durant to just make contact. He has to make solid contact, which means he needs to put in a lot of effort to screen Booker’s defender. This forces a switch and puts a smaller defender on Durant, which gives him the opportunity to shoot over the top in isolation.
According to Second Spectrum, the Suns have scored nine points on as many chances when Durant makes solid contact on the screen, as compared to two points on four chances when he hasn’t. This shows just how important it is for Durant to put in the effort to make solid contact and create those favorable matchups.
Overall, the key for the Suns is to stay positive and keep fighting. While the odds may be against them, they have the talent and the determination to come back and win the series. As long as they continue to make smart adjustments and play to their strengths, they have a chance to rally at home and even up the series against the Nuggets.
In conclusion, while the Phoenix Suns face an uphill battle in their Western Conference semifinal series against the Denver Nuggets, they have the talent and the determination to come back and win. By increasing the two-man game between Devin Booker and Kevin Durant and focusing on creating favorable matchups, they can even up the series and keep their hopes of advancing alive. It won’t be easy, but with smart adjustments and a never-say-die attitude, the Suns can rally at home and shock the Nuggets.