The Los Angeles Clippers visit the Phoenix Suns to open the playoffs. The Clippers beat the Suns in their regular season finale after the Suns rested everyone, while the Clippers were fighting for playoff position. My prediction is that the Phoenix Suns cover the 7-point spread against the Los Angeles Clippers at home. Phoenix might have the best roster in the NBA and they’re healthy and at home, while the Clippers are missing Paul George. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction
The Phoenix Suns are one of the best teams in the NBA and are finally healthy heading into the playoffs.
This team is still lead by Devin Booker, despite Kevin Durant being there too. Booker leads the team in scoring at 28 PPG. Kevin Durant has fit in very well for the Suns because they’re undefeated with him in the lineup. He averages 26 PPG and is second in rebounds at 6 per game. Deandre Ayton is up next in production down low for Phoenix. He’s a force down low and averages 18 PPG and leads the team in rebounding at 10 per game. Chris Paul is next in production as a steady force at point guard. He averages 14 PPG and then leads the team in assists at 9 per game and in steals at 1.5 per game.
The Phoenix Suns have been one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this year. They’re 6th in points allowed at 111.6 PPG, 11th in rebounding at 44.2 per game, 5th in blocks at 5.3 per game, and 7th in defensive rating at 112.3.
On the other side, the Clippers are very deep, but are limping into these playoffs a bit, without Paul George.
Kawhi Leonard makes the Clippers go still. He’s one of the best two-way players in the NBA still too. He leads the team in scoring at 24 PPG and in steals at 1.5 per game. With Paul George out, Norman Powell is in line for an even bigger role. He averages 17 PPG and is the one that needs to step up more. Marcus Morris Sr. and Eric Gordon are also next up in stepping up too. Marcus Morris Sr. averages 11 PPG and Eric Gordon averages 11 PPG too.
The Clippers are solid across the board this year on both ends of the court. They’re 13th in field goal percentage at 47.7%, 12th in points allowed at 113.1, and are 17th in both offensive rating at 114 and defensive rating at 114.
The Phoenix Suns should win and cover. They should pull away in the second half of this game. The Clippers are good, but in Phoenix they’ll pull away because of that crowd more than anything too.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds
The Phoenix Suns are 7-point home favorites and is at -285 on the money line. The over/under is also at 225.5. The Phoenix Suns being favored here makes sense of the fact they’l be at home and because they’re more healthy than the Clippers are. The over/under also makes sense because each team can score, but each team is in the top-12 of points allowed on defense. This spread should stay where it’s at before tip=off too.
Clippers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
Suns are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
Can Norman Powell matchup with Devin Booker? Can Josh Okogie matchup with Kawhi Leonard?
Devin Booker vs. Norman Powell
Devin Booker has been great this year and carried the Suns when needed. Devin Booker averages 28 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against Norman Powell most of the game, who averages 17 points, 2 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. Powell has been solid, but Booker is a different matchup and reason enough for the Suns to cover the 7-point spread at home in Phoenix.
Kawhi Leonard vs. Josh Okogie
Kawhi Leonard has been great this year on both ends of the court. He averages 24 points, 4 assists, and 6.5 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against Josh Okogie most of the game, who averages 7 points, 1.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. Okogie has come on strong late for the Suns, but Leonard is a huge difference maker for the Clippers. The issue is that Leonard might be doing it all on his own because Paul George isn’t there.
Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineups
Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: SF Paul George (Knee) O
Phoenix Suns Injuries: PG Cam Payne (Back) Q