The Phoenix Suns will need a win tonight to extend their season as they find themselves down 3-2. We’ll preview tonight’s game before going over my best prop play for the action.
In order for the Nuggets to close out the series tonight, they will need to be the first team to win a game on the road. Both teams have defended their home courts up to this point, and the two games that the Suns looked the best came at home. The bad news for the Suns, however, is they will be without Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton tonight, as the big man is said to be out with a rib contusion.
The injuries put even more workload on Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. The two stars are putting up one of the best playoff series between two teammates in history, but they are now without their third and fourth leading scorers this postseason. Role players like Landry Shamet, Terrance Ross, and Jock Landale will also need to step up, as they will undoubtedly see an increase in their usage rates tonight.
Phoenix has gotten better production from their bench unit this series, as they have put up a (1.7) NET rating as opposed to the Nuggets bench and their (-5.6) rating. As I mentioned before, both teams have been phenomenal at home, including the benches, as the Suns' bench has a NET rating of (10) in their two home games.
With Ayton off the floor, the attention on Durant and Booker will be even greater, so Phoenix will need this high level of production in order to send this series to game seven. They might be able to get offensive production, but the question tonight will be on defense.
Phoenix has allowed the second-highest field goal percentage on shots in the paint, not including the restricted area, over the past five games among active playoff teams. If Phoenix can’t adjust on defense, they could end their impressive streak of play at home.
For my prop play, I’ll be targeting Devin Booker to go over his rebounding total of 5.5, currently priced at (-105). Booker has arguably been the best player in this series and has exceeded this total in three straight games. Those numbers came with Ayton on the floor, so Booker will need to step up even more on the boards to make up for the average of 8.2 rebounds per game that Ayton was supplying this series.
Booker was getting an average of 9.6 rebounding chances per game, but that number will be higher tonight. Ayton was getting an average of 11.2 rebounding chances per game, so all those opportunities will need to be taken advantage of by Booker, Durant, and Landale.
In the eight games Booker played without Ayton this season, he pulled down six or more rebounds in four of them. With their backs against the wall, I expect Phoenix to do whatever it takes to keep this series going, and Booker being more active on the boards will likely be a part of that.
Devin Booker Over 5.5 Rebounds (-105)