Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns entered Game 2 with a strong mindset, especially as they try to bounce back from their blowout Game 1 loss to the Denver Nuggets. And for much of Game 2, it seemed like the hard-fought battle between two Western Conference titans could go either way. However, the Suns seemed to lose all steam by the end of the fourth quarter as the Nuggets pulled away for a 97-87 victory to take a 2-0 series lead.
While a 2-0 series deficit isn’t the end of the world for a Suns team boasting the services of both Booker and Kevin Durant, two of the best three-level scorers in today’s game, their Game 2 loss doesn’t bode well for the franchise, historically speaking.
According to SportsCenter, the Suns have a 0-13 all-time record in the playoffs in seven-game series they lost the first two games of.
Of course, past performance isn’t necessarily indicative of future outcomes, especially when the Suns roster of today is different from that of those teams that lost before. But in the NBA, the history of a franchise seems to haunt it unceasingly, with the Los Angeles Clippers being the prime example.
Even then, with the series heading back to the Valley for Game 3, the Suns will essentially be playing for their playoff lives in front of a packed crowd that’s desperate to witness its NBA franchise win its first-ever championship. But it definitely won’t be easy, given how well the Nuggets, specifically Nikola Jokic, have been playing.
To make matters even more difficult for the Suns, they recently lost Chris Paul to a groin injury, the severity of which remains unclear at the moment. Paul doesn’t have the cleanest bill of health, and at 37 years old, missing the Suns’ most crucial games of the season certainly looms as a huge possibility.
Even then, with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant leading the way, the Suns always have a chance to win. What the Suns will need to avoid an insurmountable 3-0 deficit, however, is for their role players, such as Deandre Ayton, Torrey Craig, Josh Okogie, and Damion Lee, to step up.