Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers Preview (12/15/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Phoenix Suns will look to stop their recent five-game landslide when they travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers. Check out the entire analysis below, which includes my game prediction, projected starting lineups, up-to-date odds for both teams, and injury reports.

Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Betting Odds

The Phoenix Suns are two-point road underdogs against the streaking Los Angeles Clippers. Los Angeles will be without Norman Powell, while the status of John Wall and Ivica Zubac is unknown. Cameron Johnson is out for the Suns, as well as Cam Payne, Duane Washington Jr, and Jae Crowder. Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are questionable heading into Thursday night.

Phoenix Suns Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction

Los Angeles has thrived with Kawhi Leonard on the floor, even when he isn’t super effective on offense. When Leonard plays, the Clippers have an 8-2 record; the first loss came to Phoenix early in the season, with Leonard logging just 20 minutes, and the second one was against Orlando in an overtime game that should have never gone to overtime.

When Leonard is unavailable, the Clippers boast a net rating of -3.6; however, when he’s on the floor for Los Angeles, its net rating jumps up to +5.9. Any player that can make nearly ten points difference in a team’s net rating is invaluable, and Leonard is just that. For that reason, his occasional offensive struggles are not important to me.

Coming into the season, concerns were expressed about the Phoenix Suns’ lack of bench depth. Cameron Johnson’s injury has only expedited those concerns. Unfortunately, Phoenix has had a few other nagging injuries, and those put its back up against the wall. The Suns are riding a five-game losing streak, and while it has indeed been a difficult stretch of games, they shouldn’t have dropped all of them.

Similar to the Heat versus Rockets game, I want to wait until I know a bit more about Devin Booker’s availability before pulling the trigger on a bet. If Booker is unavailable for the third-straight game, I will be hammering the Clippers against the spread, as Phoenix likely won’t eclipse 90 points.

Betting Trends

  • Phoenix is 5-8 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Los Angeles is 6-8 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 24-32-1 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

It should come as no surprise what the key matchup is for this bout between the Suns and Clippers: Kawhi Leonard versus Mikal Bridges. Leonard and Bridges are two of the best wing defenders in the NBA and will go head-to-head in this Western Conference showdown. Check out below which player I believe will put together a better performance!

Kawhi Leonard vs. Mikal Bridges

How good is Mikal Bridges on the defensive end of the floor? Let’s just start by saying that the Phoenix Suns allow the fewest points and third-fewest three-pointers to opposing small forwards in the NBA. It’s not a coincidence that Bridges plays the small forward position. Bridges is heralded for his lateral quickness, lighting-fast hands, and overall defensive IQ, but there are certain matchups that could be a bit more challenging.

Had this matchup occurred a year and a half ago, it would be a no-brainer which player would have the advantage; however, it’s the 2022-23 season and Kawhi Leonard is still finding his rhythm. Leonard did post a 25-point night against the Boston Celtics on just 12 shots a few days ago, which was promising, but he’s still not quite there offensively yet. Relative to expected output, Mikal Bridges has the advantage. Advantage: Bridges.

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Landry Shamet
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Torrey Craig
C: Deandre Ayton

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineups

PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Paul George
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Marcus Morris Sr
C: Ivica Zubac

Key Injuries

Phoenix Suns Injuries: Jae Crowder (Out), Cameron Johnson (Out), Cam Payne (Out), Devin Booker (Q), Deandre Ayton (Q), Duane Washington Jr (Out)

Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: Norman Powell (Out), John Wall (Out), Ivica Zubac (Q)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

Hot NBA Matchup Previews Stories