Phoenix Suns: 3 Denver Nuggets Players Crucial to Shut Down

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Matthew Stockman/ Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Matthew Stockman/ Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns must shut down Michael Porter Jr.

Michael Porter Jr.’s ability to knock down 3-pointers makes him an incredibly threatening offensive force, able to extend or erase opponent leads within seconds. The second year forward from Missouri illustrated this best during his Game 6 effort against the Trailblazers, where he cashed in on six 3-pointers during the first quarter, tying our own Devin Booker that same night for an NBA record.

Unfortunately for the Suns, they never got to see Porter Jr. at his full might this season, with him only coming off the bench during the the two contests he suited up against them for, having just recovered from COVID-19. Luckily though, the Suns remain equipped to face him with top wing defender Mikal Bridges at their dispose.

Although Porter shined brightest against the Blazers with his 3-point barrage during Game 6, his offensive game extends to all areas, as he possesses the ability to score at all three levels, and does so with a top five efficiency rate. But Bridges has showed out during these playoffs as well, including a 2-block and 3-steal performance during a pivotal Game 5 against the Lakers.

During that same contest, Bridges helped guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Dennis Schroder, who both failed to score a single point with a collective 0-10 showing from the field. Bridges also ranks top-10 amongst playoff starting forwards in steals per game (1.5), defensive win shares (0.173), and defensive rating (104.3) so far during this postseason.

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Plugging Bridges onto Porter Jr. seems like the safest bet for the Suns at least to start this series, but playing in accordance with his teammates will still remain vital to their collective efforts. Almost no postseason player scores off screens more than Porter Jr., so deciding to either switch with a teammate or pursue through the screen remains something that must go well .