Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns 5/23/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns Matchup Preview

This is a tough draw for the #2 seeded Phoenix Suns. The Suns had their best regular season in 10 years and had to wait for their opponent with the new playoff format. What they got was only the defending finals champs in Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were one of the top seeds in the West but became the #7 seed due to a losing skid they had when Lebron James and Anthony Davis were sidelined with injuries. The Lakers then had to beat the Golden State Warriors for the coveted seventh seed with the new play-in tournament. This matchup is filled with star talent as Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Lebron James, and Anthony Davis will all be on the court in what should be a fun and intense series. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Los Angeles Lakers At Phoenix Suns Matchup Page.

TV Schedule

Date: 5/23/21
Time: 3:30 PM ET
Arena: Talking Stick Arena – Phoenix, AZ
Channel: ESPN

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Lakers Starting 5

PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: LeBron James
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Andre Drummond

Lakers Analysis

los angeles lakersIt’s unfair that the Suns have to play the Lakers in the first round because this might be the scariest #7 seed ever. The Lakers have two of the best players in basketball in Lebron James and Anthony Davis, and have one of the best defenses in the league. When people think of the Lakers, they think about “King James” and “The Brow,” but they don’t think about how the Lakers only allow 106.8 PPG, which ranks top 2 in the league trailing only the New York Knicks. Frank Vogel has his team buying into his offensive and defensive philosophies. The Lakers are a top-heavy scoring team as Lebron James averages 25 PPG and Anthony Davis averages 21.8 PPG. They also get valuable scoring contributions from Dennis Schroeder, Kyle Kuzma, and Montrez Harrell, all of who average double-digit points per game. The issue with the Lakers is their perimeter play. They struggle to shoot the 3 as they only shoot 35.4% as a team and only two players on their roster shoot the 3 above 40% in Kendavious Caldwell Pope and Alex Caruso. But make no mistake about it, this Lakers team has plenty of playoff experience and will be a nightmare for any time that comes in between them and the Finals.

Suns Starting 5

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Deandre Ayton

Suns Analysis

phoenix sunsThe Suns are the #2 for a reason. This team has everything necessary to win a championship. They have the offensive firepower in Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and Jay Crowder, all of whom average double-digit PPG and Booker averaging a team-high 25.6 PPG. They have the defensive ability as they only allow 109.5 PPG, which is top 10 in the league. They shoot the three incredibly well as they shoot it at 37.8%, which is also top 10 in the league. This team can also pass the ball as they average 26.9 assists per game and are led by a prolific passer in Chris Paul, who averages 8.9 APG. Monty Williams has his team firing on all cylinders, and this young, hungry Suns team is looking to make noise in the playoffs. The only issue with the Suns is that they are not very big. Deandre Ayton is the only center listed on their roster, and their other forwards play more like stretch forwards instead of low post players. Good thing they only have to play an All-Pro Center Anthony Davis and one of the best rim attackers ever in Lebron James.

Lakers & Suns DFS Angle

This series has plenty of star players and valuable sleepers to offer. Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Devin Booker are three of the premier scorers in the league and have all shown that they can score in the playoffs. While expensive, these guys are worth the investment as they are all must start, don’t worry. They will get their numbers players. Chris Paul has also shown he can elevate his game in the playoffs but is more of a second-tier player compared to all of the great playoff players, like Durant, Doncic, Embiid, and Jokic. Some great value players to keep your eye on are Dennis Schroder, Kendavious Caldwell Pope, Alex Caruso, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton, and Jae Crowder. While not household names, these guys affect the game in many different ways and will have plenty of playing time to get you the numbers you need.

Lakers vs. Suns Betting Odds

Lakers Spread: +2.5
Lakers Moneyline: +120
Suns Spread: -2.5
Suns Moneyline: -140
Over/Under Points Total: 212.5

This is unique series to bet on because this is the first time a #7 seed has been favored over a #2 seed in NBA playoffs history. Over the past three meetings between these teams, the Suns are 2-1 and have covered the spread in 2 out of 3 games. Throughout the season, the Lakers are 31-17 against the spread while the Suns are 43-16 against the spread. Both teams struggle to cover the over as the Lakers are 25-45 and the Suns are 36-33. The scoring range for this game is awkward because, for games scored between 208 ½ – 215 points, the Lakers are 3-4 and 1-4 on the road while the Suns are 6-0 and 4-0 at home. For Game 1, I like the Suns and the Under. The Suns are a very talented and underrated bunch but have not played a game in a week. They can cause problems for the Lakers with their stellar guard play and their great rim protector in Deandre Ayton. The Lakers are also not playing their best basketball as they barely beat the Golden State Warriors. The Under is a good bet for this game because both teams like to slow down the pace of the game and rely on their defense to win. I think the Suns will be rusty at the start of the game, but then turn it on and overpower the Lakers with their better overall team at the end in a game where I also see the total points scored being very close to the Vegas line.

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Currently a junior at Trinity College looking to complete a mathematics major. Grew up in New Jersey but is in love with the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, and Boston Red Sox. Chris is also a Tom Brady and Gardner Minshew super fan, plays club basketball at Trinity, and enjoys watching the NFL, NBA, CFB, and CBB.

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