The Clippers and Suns are set to face off in the opening round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs
The Clippers and Suns are two of the league’s best teams. Players such as Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul are all ready to leave it all out on the floor in pursuit of an NBA championship.
In what should be a highly-anticipated series, let’s go ahead and predict the outcome of this matchup.
The Phoenix Suns put the rest of the league on notice when they decided to acquire superstar wing Kevin Durant prior to this year’s NBA Trade Deadline. While they certainly gave up a massive haul to get Durant, they received one of the greatest players of all time in return.
Kevin Durant makes history
Throughout the course of a regular season, Durant put up extraordinary efficiency while being able to average 29.1 points per game. It reminds us why the Suns had to pay the price they paid to acquire his services.
Can’t forget about Booker
In addition to Durant, Phoenix has arguably the NBA’s best shooting guard in Devin Booker. Booker averaged 27.8 points per game to go along with four rebounds and five assists per game while also maintaining incredible efficiency.
The Suns are 8-0 in the eight games that Kevin Durant has played in. Albeit a small sample size, it is a notable one nonetheless. The concern for the Suns is whether or not this team has had enough time to mesh with Durant.
Kawhi Leonard is one of just three players ever to win Finals MVP with multiple franchises. He is the type of player who can individually propel a team to a series victory. A known playoff performer, Leonard has also been playing arguably the best basketball of his career in recent months.
No Paul George for L.A.
The Clippers co-star is expected to be held out through the duration of the series. It’s a tough blow for the Clips and the timing couldn’t be much worse. Russell Westbrook has done an admirable job stepping up as the team’s second option since joining the team, averaging 15.8 points per game with eight assists and five rebounds per game.
Clippers are deep
Los Angeles has been able to weather the storm of the Paul George injury as well as various other injuries they faced throughout the season thanks to their incredible depth. With players such as Norman Powell, Eric Gordon, Terance Mann, Mason Plumlee, Nicolas Batum, and more, they finished third in average bench scoring.
Tyronn Lue Effect
Lue is one of the best coaches in the NBA. He has become known for his ability to make in-game adjustments and his steady demeanor. No moment is too big or too small for Lue and he always has his teams prepared with that same mindset.
While the Suns have their superstar duo intact, the Clippers do not. As a result, this will most certainly be an uphill battle for the Clippers to win this series. Phoenix is -500 to win the series via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kawhi Leonard is going to have to be the best player on the floor every night. With that being said, Leonard is capable of doing so. Phoenix gutted their roster and depleted their bench to bring in Durant. The Clippers bench should be able to take full advantage. The bench play, combined with the coaching advantage, and the otherworldly play of Leonard should be enough for L.A. to pull off the upset.
Prediction: Clippers defeat Suns in six games.
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Lior Lampert is a Sports and Betting Content Writer for Fantom Sports Industries. Follow him on Twitter for more @LiorLampert1
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