The top seeded Denver Nuggets currently hold a 2.5 game cushion from the Grizzlies who are in second in the Western Conference. Denver is 52-27 after dropping an ugly one to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, 124-103 with Nikola Jokic on the floor. Jokic only had 14 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in the blowout loss.
The team that everyone in the West is chasing clearly has turned on cruise control, but they might want to get it back in gear because one of the teams that’ll be contending for the Western Conference title is looking scarier and scarier with the day. The Phoenix Suns have won six in a row to get to 44-35 and they currently occupy the fourth spot in the West.
Let’s get into the odds for what could be a playoff preview.
Nuggets vs. Suns odds, spread and total
Nuggets vs. Suns prediction and pick
Is this what it’s going to take to get the Nuggets to flip the switch back on and play like the best team in the conference? They’ve had spurts of strong play since March began, but they’ve lost three of their last four games and the only one that they won, Jokic was on the sidelines. While the Suns have been on the longest active win streak in the NBA, Denver is 3-3 with a -2.5 net rating. The Nuggets have actually been playing some strong defense, better than they’ve been for the year with a 110.8 defensive rating, but the offense has fallen off massively.
Since getting back healthy, it hasn’t necessarily been Kevin Durant dominating for Phoenix he’s taken more of a back seat to Devin Booker who averaged 32.1 points a game in March and had 27 against San Antonio last time out. For any team to have KD as a no. 2 option heading into the playoffs, they have to be considered one of the favorites to win the NBA Finals.
Over this win streak the Suns have a defensive rating of 104.8 which is the best in the NBA for that stretch. They’ll need to figure out who on their bench they really trust in a playoff scenario and they might treat this game that way. Meanwhile, Jokic and Jamal Murray are questionable. I’m not sure that they’ll both play with the No. 1 seed almost certainly locked up. I like Phoenix to win and they’re 5-1 against the spread in their last six, but my best bet is the under because of the type of defense they’re playing.
Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change