Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns Preview
The new-look Los Angeles Clippers have looked unstoppable in their first week of the NBA season going 2-0 against top Western Conference contenders in the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors. As good as they have looked, they’ll be without Paul George, who will still be out a few more weeks.
The Phoenix Suns have looked like a different team with Ricky Rubio at the point, but they received a big hit with the suspension of sophomore center DeAndre Ayton, last year’s number one pick. The Suns have gone 1-1 in the first win of the season so far, and finish the week off by welcoming the Clippers into Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Time: 10 PM ET
Arena: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Channel: NBA TV
Clippers: Rodney McGruder, Amir Coffey, Paul George (O)
Suns: Cameron Johnson, Ty Jerome (O)
LA Clippers Starting Lineup
Adding Kawhi Leonard to your team is sure to boost your defense, but when you add arguably the league’s best perimeter defender to a team that as already solid defensively with one of the better defensive coaches, what you have is the 2019-20 Los Angeles Clippers, who have rolled over the Lakers and Warriors in their first two games.
“We’re scoring points, but we’re getting stops, and that allows to score points,” Rivers said. “Guys are playing inside their roles. They understand who they are.”
Leonard, who is averaging seven assists per game, is redefining exactly who he is with his new team and teammates. With his ability to move the ball around, he was one of seven Clippers to reach double figures against the Warriors.
When the Clippers are able to get so many of their starters scoring, and have Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams and Mo Harkless off the bench also capable of scoring and keeping the defensive intensity, you’ve got the makings of a scary team, who is stil without their second-best player.
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup
The Phoenix Suns look like an improved team with the addition of Ricky Rubio at point guard. The Suns have needed some stability at that position and they get it in the veteran Rubio, who is averaging 10 points and 10 assists in two games.
But as they take on the Clippers tonight, they’ll have to do it without the services of DeAndre Ayton. Aron Baynes, a new member of the Suns, filled in admirably by finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds in a 107-108 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Their big win over the Kings on opening night with new coach Monty Williams at the helm, and ability to hang with a talented contender in the Nuggets is already showing a stark difference in this team. They made smart decisions in the offseason to add around Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre, who are looking great to start the season, and they bave a highly-respected coach in Williams patrolling the sidelines, so the Suns will be a team to keep an eye on this season.
Key Player Matchups
Kawhi Leonard vs. Kelly Oubre Jr.
It’s early but Kawhi Leonard is looking like an early MVP favorite. We knew of his ability to score and defend, but he’s also taken on a role as a distributor But don’t overlook Oubre. It took some time for him to find his place in Phoenix after being traded from the Wizards last year, but he seems to be comfortable and he’s looked very good in the early going.
Landry Shamet vs. Devin Booker
Both players are capable of getting hot from the perimeter, but they play different roles in their respective offenses. Booker is the Suns’ top scoring option and is averaging 22 points per game. He’s also taking on a new role and has been a secondary distributor as he helps run the offense with Rubio.
Patrick Beverley vs. Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio’s impact on the Phoenix Suns has been felt immediately. He’s a skilled playmaker and plays as a true point guard, always looking for the best scoring opportunity instead of looking for his own offense. He’s averaging 10 assists per game due to that. Beverley is a dogged defender, who loves taking on the challenge of defending, and trying to stop, his opponent.
Kawhi Leonard and Devin Booker are your stud picks for this matchup. Leonard’s recent rise in assists has been a welcome addition for his fantasy owners. He is available for $9.8k on FanDuel and he is projected for a big night with 52.1 fantasy points. Like Leonard, Booker too has taken on a new role as a distributor, averaging over 8 assists in the first two games so far. Pick him up for $9.1k on FanDuel, where he is slated for 41.3 points.
If you’re looking for some players who bring value at a lower price tag, go with Clippers sixth man Lou Williams. Williams is a player Doc Rivers likes to use in the Manu Ginobili type of role. He’s a sparkplug off the bench, and you can pick him up for $6.9k with a projection of 37.6 points. Rubio, available for $7k, can boost your assist numbers and provide some scoring and rebounds. He is projected for 37.9 points.
Bet on Matchup
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