The #2 Phoenix Suns became the first team to punch their ticket to a conference finals when they pulled off a four-game sweep against the #3 Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals. Thanks to the impressive sweep, the Suns saw their NBA championship odds jump to +375, according to the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.
The Nuggets were the only team to get swept throughout the first two rounds of the 2021 NBA playoffs.
The Suns locked up a spot in the Western Conference finals and will play the winner of the #1 Utah Jazz and #4 LA Clippers series. The Jazz hold a 2-1 lead over the Clippers, who are seeking to even the series against a banged-up Jazz squad. If the Clippers win Game 4, that series will be guaranteed to last a full seven games. That means a well-rested Suns team will be ready to roll in the West finals.
|2021 NBA Championship Odds
The Suns saw their NBA championship odds vastly improve from +900 last week to +375 this week. At the end of the NBA regular season, the Suns were +1800 odds to win the title. At the start of the season, the Suns were long shots at +5000 odds.
When the Nuggets lost the first two games in Phoenix against the Suns, it was easy to dismiss the deficit. Last season, the Nuggets were comeback kings when they rallied from behind to win seven elimination games in a row to lock up a berth in the Western Conference finals. They ran into LeBron James and the LA Lakers, who eventually went on to win the title.
The Nuggets had high hopes this season, especially with an MVP season from Nikola Jokic and the development of Michael Porter, Jr., but their championship dream was shattered when Jamal Murray blew out his ACL. Without Murray, the Nuggets held their own in the final month of the regular season.
The Nuggets didn’t miss Murray in the first round of the playoffs, either, where they defeated Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers in six games. Operating without Murray finally caught up to them in the West semifinals, however. The Nuggets were desperate to find someone else aside from Joker and MPJ to score against Phoenix’s deceptive defense. They were lost without Murray’s playmaking abilities and needed someone who could go shot-for-shot with hot Phoenix shooters, such as Devin Booker and CP3.
The Suns’ dynamic backcourt, with a rising star and a future Hall of Famer, combined for 71 points in Game 4 to complete the sweep. Paul led all scorers with 37 points. Not bad for an old guy with a bum shoulder, eh?
“It was a great series for him,” said Denver’s Monte Morris. “Salute to Chris Paul. He played amazing.”
“You can ask anybody on this team how has Chris developed your game and everybody’s going to have a lengthy answer because he cares,” said Booker.
Healthy teams win in 2021?
The Phoenix Suns look better with every game they play, especially during the Denver Nuggets series. If Chris Paul remains healthy, they could legit run the table and win a championship. Paul suffered a shoulder injury in the opening game of the playoffs against the LA Lakers and survived a rough couple of games before his shoulder improved. As soon as his health returned, the Suns knocked out the defending champions after Anthony Davis got hurt.
The Jazz’s starting backcourt is all messed up. Donovan “Spida” Mitchell sprained his ankle in the second half of Game 3 against the Clippers. Without Mitchell in the fourth quarter, the Jazz lost in a blowout. They’ve been playing this series without starting point guard Mike Conley, who has a hamstring injury. If the Clippers win Game 4, you should expect to see Conley suit up in Game 5.
The Philadelphia 76ers potentially lost Danny Green for the rest of the playoffs with a calf injury. Meanwhile, big man Joel Embiid tore his meniscus in the first round. The gutsy Embiid has been sucking it up and playing through the pain against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Brooklyn Nets looked like a lock to win the championship, but that was before they lost James Harden to a hamstring injury. Kyrie Irving suffered an injury in Game 4 and left the game early. With only one-third of the Big 3 remaining in action, the Nets lost. The Milwaukee Bucks evened the series at 2-2 after looking horrible in the first two games. Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo and the Bucks smell blood in the water and have the Nets on the ropes.
Check out more gambling coverage of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.