The Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA) suffered a major injury in the playoffs last year.
Phoenix, which advanced to the NBA Finals stage in 2021, won 64 wins (18 losses) in the regular league in the 2021-2022 season, recording the highest win rate among 30 clubs. However, he could not cross the wall of the second round of the playoffs. After a close match in Game 7, they lost 90-123 to the Dallas Mavericks led by Luka Doncic.
In the second round between Phoenix and Dallas, the home team always won until Game 6. There were many evaluations that Phoenix, which has a home advantage, has a higher chance of winning Game 7. However, the result was a one-sided defeat.
Phoenix was not as strong as expected until the middle of the regular season in the 2022-2023 season. With the arrival of new owner Matt Isibia, the atmosphere in the team changed. At the trade deadline in February, they recruited superstar Kevin Durant, dubbed “district 1 option” by domestic fans, and immediately emerged as a winning candidate.
Phoenix, who finished the regular season in 4th place in the Western Conference, defeated the formidable Los Angeles Clippers 4-1 in the first round. I gave up the first game, but took all four games after that. Phoenix’s firepower was too strong for the Clippers to overcome Kawhi Leonard’s injury variable.
Phoenix has become an overwhelming scoring team by adding Kevin Durant to the talents of Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.
There were just two variables. First, the dependence on the main players was too high. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker averaged more than 43 minutes each in the first round of the playoffs. Veteran guard Chris Paul, born in 1985, also played an average of over 38 minutes. The bench became weak in the process of signing Durant. However, there was no problem passing the first round because the power of the main player was so strong.
The problem was the second round opponent. The opponent I met in the Western Conference semifinal stage was the Denver Nuggets led by ‘Basketball Guru’ Nikola Jokic, who occupied the first seed in the entire Western Conference.
Nikola Jokic is the best center in the league, averaging 24.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists in the regular league this season. All records related to the most assists by a center position player in a single season belong to Jokic. He also won the regular league MVP twice.
In addition, key players who have recently suffered frequent injuries, such as Jemal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., are all in good health, and newly recruited players such as Bruce Brown and Kentavius Caldwell-Pope do their part and boast strong power.
The wall between Jokic and Denver was too high for Phoenix, who showed a will to win by recruiting Kevin Durant.
Phoenix felt the bitter taste of missing the playoffs in front of home fans this year as well as a year ago. It was a one-sided defeat this year as well.
Denver defeated Phoenix 125-100 in the 2022-2023 NBA Western Conference Round 2 Expedition Game 6 held in Phoenix, USA on the 12th (Korean time).
The moment of elimination last year was reproduced. The two teams showed a tendency to win both teams before the game. Denver has crossed that wall. Phoenix once again ended the season helplessly in front of home fans.
In fact, the game was decided in the first quarter. Denver finished the first quarter 44-26 and took a 37-25 lead in the second quarter. The first half ended with a 30-point lead, 81-51. The score difference between Dallas last year and the first half of Game 7 was also 30 points.
Nikola Jokic led Denver to a triple-double with 32 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Jemal Murray scored 26 points. Denver’s field goal (2-point shot + 3-point shot) success rate that day was a whopping 53.7%. In particular, Denver’s concentration was so good that it felt like everything went in when he threw it in the first half.
Phoenix, which played the postseason game heavily relied on the starter, showed a lot of physical strength overall. Kevin Durant struggled with 23 points, but that alone was not enough to prevent the team from being eliminated. Devin Booker scored only 12 points, but only made 13 field goal attempts (4 successful).
Phoenix, already weakened by Denver’s plan to block the midrange area, which is Phoenix’s strength, and focus defense on Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, was unable to respond. Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton were lethargic as they could not play due to injuries.메이저놀이터
After finishing the series with 4 wins and 2 losses, Denver advanced to the Western Conference finals for the fifth time in its career.
Denver became the first team in both conferences to reach the conference finals.
The Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 95-86 in Game 6 of the 2nd round of the Eastern Conference, returning the series record to 3-3.
On the 13th, two games of the second round of the conference are scheduled. The Golden State Warriors will travel to the Los Angeles Lakers to play Game 6 of the second round of the Western Conference. Currently, the Lakers lead with 3 wins and 2 losses.