Phoenix Suns: 3 Keys to Completing Sweep of Denver Nuggets in Game 4

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Key to Game 4 Victory: Limit inside penetration

Between all three games so far during this series, the Nuggets are shooting 33.8 percent from beyond the arc, a number far below their regular season rate, which sat at 37.7 percent. This likely comes as setback brought on by Phoenix’s astute defense, which during the regular season forced opposing teams into a 35.7 3-point field goal percentage, the fifth lowest across the league.

But the Nuggets refuse to let these numbers discourage them, as they continue to let it fly from deep, averaging 41.3 3-point attempts per game this series. This attitude remains something the Suns should nurture though, with it clearly coming as Denver’s own worst enemy.

Instead, the Suns just need to fortify their defense down low, and continue forcing Denver into outside shots. The Nuggets undoubtedly stand equipped to score inside, averaging the most points during the regular season on cuts to the basket with 12.9 per game, the third most on post-up plays with 8.4 per game, and the fourth most on put-backs with 7.9 per game.

Neglecting to attack offensively against Phoenix this way though, Denver just seems determined to play to their weaknesses rather than their strengths. Again, by no means should the Suns interrupt this mistaken approach.

This starts with physical defense in the paint and blocking off lanes through the baseline. This especially worked well to slow down Aaron Gordon last night, who only found four shots under the basket, going 2-4. Beyond that though, the Suns forced Gordon to take his remaining shots from the mid-range or 3-point area, where he went 0-6.

Unless the Nuggets miraculously start making the Suns pay from deep, keeping them focused on scoring from outside their comfort zone remains imperative.