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: Win the offensive battle on the boards

It mattered not due to their incredibly hot shooting, but the Suns surrendered 18 offensive rebounds to the Nuggets last night, losing the collective rebound battle for the first time this series 38-46. Going forward though, the Suns cannot expect to keep winning if they fail to assert their dominance on the boards.

During the regular season, the Suns allowed  just 9.4 offensive rebounds per game to their opponents en route to their highest winning percentage since the 2006-07 season. Having done well to limit their opponent’s second chances all year, to lose focus now would be a catastrophe. More shots give way to more scoring opportunities, and the last thing the Suns need right now is to extend a life preserver to the drowning Nuggets.

Successful rebounding relies heavily on pure effort, but positioning matters a great deal as well. The Nuggets post the highest offensive box out percentage (41.5) amongst all postseason teams, whereas the Suns rank second-worst (12.9). Contrarily, the Suns own the third-highest defensive box out percentage (87.1) this postseason, while the Nuggets own the worst (58.5).

With each team focused heavily on the boards at one side while seemingly ignoring the other, the Suns might want to spread out their focus a bit more. Cutting into Denver’s forte to even things out will not only pump the breaks on the Nuggets offense, but also feed into Phoenix’s, making the Suns even more lethal especially if their hot shooting also continues.