The Suns have only played the Denver Nuggets once this season. During their match, Durant was the only star available as Booker and Bradley Beal were both sidelined. Phoenix tried to make it competitive, but the defending champions showed why they won the Larry O'Brien trophy.
In their first game, the Suns did their best to slow down Nikola Jokic. They had decent defensive stops against the two-time MVP, holding him down to 0-3 shooting from behind the three-point arc. Center Jusuf Nurkic outplayed the 2023 Finals MVP individually, but that wasn't enough for them to win.
The Nuggets had 38 assists that night and caused Phoenix to turn the ball over 12 times. After the game, the five-time All-Star talked about their win and how their ability to create shots became the answer.
"“That’s our play style,” Jokic said. “When we make shots like that, it’s much easier for us to have a good game. I think we create open looks — it’s just a matter of if we’re going to make it or not.”"- Nikola Jokic
The Nuggets won the championship last season for a reason. The team's chemistry on both ends has helped them with their success this season. Denver ranks second in assists per game. They average 30 assists this season, and Jokic is a significant factor behind it. In a playoff series, Phoenix could face difficulties stopping the 2023 champions.