What We Learned From Suns' Clutch Win vs Nuggets


Theresa May -- On Tuesday night, the Phoenix Suns were able to pull off a surprise victory over the Denver Nuggets while they were playing them away from home.  

The Suns were ahead by as many as 22 points, thanks in large part to a big game from Grayson Allen. They weathered the storm to get a crucial win over the Western Conference favorite.   

Although there are a great number of positives and negatives that may be derived from this game, the positives were ultimately sufficient to accomplish what needed to be done:  

A number earlier in the season showed how poor the Suns were in the fourth quarter. Their net rating in the first three quarters put them at a near 60-win pace, but their fourth quarter net rating dropped them below 40.  

Due to the fact that the Suns' offensive performance in the fourth quarter was so bad, they ended up scoring more points in overtime than they had in the whole 12-minute span that came before it.   

Despite a win, the fourth quarter difficulties have persisted all season and should be alarming even with strong shot-making potential.  

That being said, it will be very hard for teams in the West (maybe the LA Clippers and Nuggets) to beat the Suns when it matters most in the playoffs.  

After stumbling for most of the second half, Durant and Beal took over the game. They both showed how dangerous the Suns can be in games that will be decided in the half-court.  

It's clear that playoff games are very different from regular season games. Usually, it comes down to technique and making shots. Phoenix has three of the best players in the league in Durant, Booker, and Beal.   

Besides the three stars, they also have three good shooters on their team: Allen, Gordon, and O'Neale.With seven games to go, the Suns are in a good position to win games that come down to the wire.  

Drew Eubanks may have been the game's most valuable player. He played great in the extra minutes and overtime after Nurkic got called for fouls and was eventually kicked out of the game.   

Eubanks had eight boards, two free throws, and two blocks. This blog stated the Eubanks experiment should stop days ago, yet he was impactful on both ends against a tough opposition.  

Phoenix's defensive progress over the last two months is reflected in Eubanks' excellent play. Over the past several weeks, the Suns have been a top-10 defense, mostly due to teamwork.  

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