The Phoenix Suns have continued their successful NBA Playoffs 2021 run with a Game 2 win during the ongoing Denver Nuggets vs Suns series. As the Western Conference semifinals continue, most experts and fans predict a Suns victory. Chris Paul's experience and Devin Booker's playmaking seem to work wonders for the team, players like Deandre Ayton only adding to the team on the court.
Chris Paul “Deandre Ayton is our MVP of the playoffs.”— Cameron Cox (@CamCox12) June 10, 2021
After dropping 20 points in Game 1, Ayton scored 15 points and 10 rebounds during the Suns 123-98 win over the Nuggets on Wednesday (Thursday IST). Paul was all praises for Ayton, stating that the 22-year-old has been the Suns' MVP during the playoffs. Paul was also asked about Ayton picking up fouls early in the game, adding that he was rightfully mad at the team that should protect him.
Chris Paul started smiling as soon as asked about Deandre Ayton picking up two fouls early, but being good from there:— katherine fitzgerald 🌵🗞 (@kfitz134) June 10, 2021
“I think the best part of it was DA got on our ass. He was mad. He was maaaad at us. And I loved it! Cause rightfully so. He was right. We gotta protect him.”
Paul himself dropped 17 points during the game. He also spoke about getting distracted due to the loud cheers, so much so that coach Monty Williams had to tell him to return to the huddle during the timeout. Ayton too remained in awe of the crowd. Booker later revealed that he let Ayton it used to be this loud in the arena even before he was a part of the team.
This is the Suns' first playoff run since 2010.
"I feel good," Paul said after the win, which might not have been possible without his performance. He is still dealing with his shoulder injury, looking to keep playing throughout the postseason.
Devin Booker scored 18 points and 10 rebounds. Mikal Bridges had 16 points.
The Nuggets, who have NBA MVP Nikola Jokic on their roster, are struggling to find their tempo. That being said, they are also without Jamal Murray (ACL) and Will Barton (hamstring). As the playoffs continue, the Nuggets might start feeling the weight of having two of their starters sidelined. "This was an embarrassing performance for myself all the way to the last player," Denver coach Michael Malone said, adding that there is a reason the crowd yelled "Suns in four".
"They are playing better than us. They are making shots, being more aggressive, finding the open man. It looks real bad out there," Jokic said, recently becoming the first Nuggets player to win the MVP honour. "We need to change everything".