Los Angeles Clippers vs Phoenix Suns: Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds (4/18/23)

The Los Angeles Clippers visit the Phoenix Suns in Game 2 of the opening round of the Western Conference Playoffs. The Clippers are coming off stealing Game 1 against the Suns on the road. My prediction is that the Suns cover the 7.5-point spread at home in a bounce back game. The Suns need to get back on track at home and the Clippers’ level play is bound to dip after being as high as it was last game. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction

Something seemed off about the Phoenix Suns in their firs playoff game against the Clippers and it lead to a close loss at home.

The Suns still go as Devin Booker goes in the playoffs. Booker leads the team in scoring at 28 PPG. However, the biggest key for the Suns in this series is Kevin Durant. He almost had a triple-double in Game 1, but he needs to be more aggressive in the second half, after not taking a shot in the third quarter. He’s behind Booker in scoring at 26 PPG, but is the x-factor because of the trade that brought him over. Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul round out that core group of four players. Ayton averages 18 PPG and leads the team in rebounding at 10 per game, while Paul averages 14 PPG and leads the team in assists at 9 per game and in steals at 1.5 per game.

The Phoenix Suns are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this season. They’re 6th in points allowed at 111.6 per game, 7th in defensive rating at 112.3, 11th in rebounds at 44.2, and 5th in blocks at 5.3 per game. On offense, they’re 9th in point differential at +2.

On the other side, the Clippers have weathered the loss of Paul George about as well as they could, and it showed in Game 1 when they won.

The Clippers’ success in this series starts and ends with Kawhi Leonard. He leads the team in scoring at 24 PPG and is tied for the lead in steals at 1.5 per game. With Paul George out, Norman Powell and Russell Westbrook are in line for big roles this series. Powell averages 17 PPG off the bench, while Westbrook averages 16 PPG as the starting point guard. He also can do everything on the court like we saw against the Suns where he rebounded and passed very well despite having a rough shooting night in Game 1. Marcus Morris Sr. is another key forward for the Clippers. He averages 11 PPG.

Stats say the Clippers are solid across the board. They’re 12th in field goal percentage at 44.1% and 6th in point differential at +6.  They’re also 12th in points allowed 113.1.

The Suns came out slow and never recovered completely against the Clippers in Game 1. The Suns should have a great bounce back game here. Expect a close game, where Phoenix pulls away late and covers at home.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds

The Phoenix Suns are 7.5-point home favorites against the Los Angeles Clippers and are -345 on the money line. The over/under is also listed at 225.5. Phoenix being favored by this much makes sense because it’s a great bounce back spot for them after a disappointing Game 1, plus it helps they’re at home. The over/under makes sense too because each team is very good on defense this year. Expect this spread to stay where it’s at before tip-off.

Betting Trends

Clippers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.

Suns are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS loss.

Key Matchups

Can Nicolas Batum matchup with Kevin Durant? Can Torrey Craig matchup with Kawhi Leonard?

Kevin Durant vs. Nicolas Batum

Kevin Durant has bee great since joining the Suns. He averages 29 points, 5 assists, and 7 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against Nicolas Batum most of the game, who averages 6 points, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds per game. Batum is solid, but Durant should win this matchup easily and should be the biggest reason the Suns cover 7.5-points at home.

Kawhi Leonard vs. Torrey Craig

Kawhi Leonard has been very good this season. He averages 24 points, 4 assists, and 6.5 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against Torrey Craig most of the game, who averages 7 points, 1.5 assists, and 5 rebounds per game. Craig has been solid, but Leonard is better, still the Suns should win and cover.

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Eric Gordon
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Nicolas Batum
C: Ivica Zubac

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineups

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Torrey Craig
C: Deandre Ayton

Key Injuries

Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: SF Paul George (Knee) O

Phoenix Suns Injuries: PG Cam Payne (Back) Q

Jake Faigus, graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minored in sports management. He wrote for The Daily Wildcat, as well as the Arizona Fansided blog, Zona Zealots. He currently writes for Aaron Torres Media and runs social media for BracketFanatics.

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