Friday night left another punishment in the face of the Denver Nuggets and Facundo Campazzo. A face that already looked bruised after two unconvincing performances as a visitor and that did not improve in the first home game If not the opposite: The Phoenix Suns prevailed in Colorado and lead 3-0.
This Sunday from 21 in Argentina the fourth game of the series is played. Is there life for the Cordovan team in these NBA playoffs?
The antecedents will say no. In the 142 series in which a team went ahead by winning the first three games, Never the one who found himself at such a disadvantage he was able to turn the matter around.
Barely three teams managed to win the next three games to force a seventh game, but they fell in that instance: New York Knicks in 1951, Denver in 1995 and Portland Trail Blazers in 2003.
The Nuggets, in fact, are one of the few teams that knows what it is. recover from a 1-3 (something that happened only 13 times in history), and both comebacks were just last year. That is to say: a good part of this team knows what it is to fight from below.
But there are substantial differences: several names that are no longer there and especially the absence of who was the big star of those recoveries, the base Jamal murray (tore ligaments).
Nikola Jokic, pensive on one of his breaks. Photo AP Photo / David Zalubowski
If to this is added the return “half” of Will barton, a player of often questionable decisions but a necessary scorer who he’s just coming back from an injury (strain in the hamstrings of the right leg), everything gets complicated.
To be able to face the Suns, Denver you will have to find other ways of scoring plus Nikola Jokic. The Serbian is being controlled in great form by the rival pivot, Deandre ayton, and by the defensive system of Phoenix, which privileges the care of the paint to close the roads to the European.
That leaves much of the rest of Denver’s players open, but to the Suns’ peace of mind, these are grossly failing: Barely 36% of the throws they take open or wide are hit (that is, with the closest marker more than 1.20 meters away).
It’s a steep drop from the 45% the team scored in the regular season at that distance class with the scoreboards.
Phoenix is also allowing the Nuggets to shoot more than half the time without a sticky mark, which makes it clear how much the mistakes and inefficiencies themselves are weighing. The rival knows that it is failing and allows that to continue happening, which also makes an undeniable dent in confidence.
Denver will play again this Sunday with a packed house of almost 18,000 people. AFP photo
Time to start scoring, as simple as that. As the open shots start to come in, the Suns will have to adjust their mark, which will lead to a wear that they have not had until now: in each closure it was seen better and more whole to those of Arizona than to those of Colorado.
So throughout the series, a Campazzo team has been seen crestfallen, with no hint of rebelling. Attitudinally the situation is diametrically opposite to that of that 2020 team that did not give up or even beaten.
On the defensive side, meanwhile, the team will have to find some kind of answers because Phoenix also he is practically doing what he wants: While in the total playoffs he averages 109 points per game, in this series he is at the rate of 120 goals per night.
In five of the six games against the Los Angeles Lakers in the previous round, Chris Paul scored less than 10 points; but in everyone who played Denver He was over 15 and in two he was over 20. In each game he scored two triples (the same amount as in the entire last series) and he hit much more a launch that was not accompanying him.
In this case, however, there seems to be progress on the part of the point guard, who probably saw his shooting affected by the shoulder problem suffered in the first round: he is shooting more with the brand on top but with a better percentage of success. Likewise, it is clear that the Nuggets they must annoy him more and better.
Denver needs a more aggressive front line, trying that Paul -owner of one of the most intelligent brains of all time- cannot dispose to pleasure and pleasure of the ball-in-hand creation, squeezing him as well as the potential pass receivers (mainly the scorer, the guard Devin Booker).
Chris Paul is dominating the series against Denver. Photo AP Photo / David Zalubowski
In the last game, the coach Michael Malone took that responsibility away from Campazzo to give it to Austin rivers. Although the move was logical (in 10 minutes defended by the Argentine, Paul scored 9 points and distributed 10 assists), it did not help him much.
In this sense, it is key that men like Michael Porter Jr. increase your commitment. He’s decidedly a bad defender, but that’s cannot exempt you from the item If not the opposite. Many times they score him simply because he doesn’t put a bit of emphasis on defending.
Jokic, another who isn’t a great rim protector, will need to adjust against Ayton so he doesn’t get comfortable in the paint and score easy. Although Phoenix has a quintet with a lot of scoring ability, the ideal would be that Denver force pitches from Mikal Bridges or Jae Crowder.
It is not easy, but if there is commitment, the Nuggets they can at least make it to a fifth game. As if to leave, when that happens, with the forehead a little higher and closer to the great team that recovered from various difficulties.