Depending on the outcome of Monday’s Rockets/Thunder showdown, it’s possible we’ll still get one more Game 7 in the first round of the NBA’s 2020 postseason. For now though, Jazz/Nuggets is the only series guaranteed to go the full seven, with the deciding contest scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
The series between two Northwest rivals has been a back-and-forth affair, with Denver taking a 1-0 lead, Utah winning three consecutive games, and Denver clawing back to make it 3-3.
The first-round matchup has also served as a coming-out party for two of the NBA’s most promising young guards. Donovan Mitchell, a first-time All-Star earlier this year, has taken his game to another level this postseason as he has assumed an even greater share of the Jazz’s offensive responsibilities, averaging an eye-popping 38.7 PPG to go along with 5.5 APG on .548/.554/.946 shooting in six games vs. Denver.
However, Jamal Murray has matched him nearly every step of the way, proving that the Nuggets weren’t wrong to sign him to a five-year, maximum-salary extension a year ago. After pouring in 50 points on Sunday for the second time in three games, Murray is now averaging 34.0 PPG and 6.7 APG on .585/.574/.913 shooting for the series.
The Nuggets and Jazz will do all they can in Game 7 to slow down the opposing team’s top scorer, but the outcome may ultimately come down to which club’s other stars and role players step up. In Game 6, Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant came up big for Denver. The Nuggets also got a boost from Gary Harris‘ return following a lengthy absence due to a hip injury.
Mike Conley (22.8 PPG on .569/.607/.889 shooting) has had a strong series and Rudy Gobert has been solid, but the Jazz may need contributions from complementary players like Joe Ingles, Jordan Clarkson, and Royce O’Neale to slow the Nuggets’ momentum in Game 7.
What do you think? Are you taking either the Nuggets or the Jazz in Game 7? And which team do you think would match up better in the second round against the Clippers?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!
Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.