Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers Game 1 Prediction and Odds: 2023 NBA Playoffs

The Phoenix Suns have the best NBA playoff odds of any team in the Western Conference to win the championship this season. But they will have to stay healthy and overcome some bad playoff history with their first test coming from Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers.

These odds from William Hill were correct at the time of writing.

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers Prediction
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
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Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers – Game Predictions

Only one game separated the Suns (45-37) and Clippers (44-38) in the regular season to make this the No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup, but there is a lot more talent and optimism on the side of the Suns going into Game 1.

Prediction 1: Los Angeles Clippers to Cover the Spread (+7.5)

With no timetable for the return of Paul George (knee), many are writing off the Clippers. But they are 6-3 since the George injury, and they finally have Kawhi Leonard back for the playoffs, his first in two years. Unfortunately, the Suns are 8-0 with Kevin Durant in the lineup, and the Clippers are 0-13 SU as an underdog of more than 4 points this season, but they are 4-5 ATS as an underdog of 7-plus points. With Leonard missing 30 games and George missing 26 games, it would be fair to say the Clippers are a better team than their stats show and can keep it close.

Prediction 2: Suns Over 116.5 Points

The Suns have the firepower and rest to perform exceptionally well on offense in this game. The Clippers are just No. 18 in Defensive Rating after ranking No. 8 or higher in the previous three seasons. The Suns are +8.9 in Offensive Rating with Kevin Durant on the court this season since the trade happened. While Chris Paul is not what he used to be, that duo of Durant and Devin Booker should prove deadly for the Suns this postseason as you can count on at least one to be hot in each game. Look for the Suns to put up a decent scoring number in Game 1.

Suns vs Clippers Preview – Is Durant the Missing Piece?

The Suns hope the third time is the charm after blowing 2-0 leads in the last two postseasons. The addition of Durant and subtraction of Paul George for the Clippers certainly gives the Suns a big advantage heading into Game 1 of the first round.

Phoenix Suns

It has only been eight games, but the Suns have not lost with Durant in the lineup so far. He has been searching for the right super team since leaving Golden State to get back to the Finals. Brooklyn did not work out, but Phoenix is a good fit for him with Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton providing a strong foundation for coach Monty Williams. But the Suns will have to overcome some lousy playoff history of blowing leads in series, which has been a huge problem for teams led by Paul throughout his career.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers (44-38) finished with the No. 5 seed despite rarely putting their two best players, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, on the court together for injury and load management reasons. The Clippers will likely go this whole series without George as he recovers from his knee injury. But Leonard is a clutch playoff performer and gives the team a fighting chance in any series. The Clippers are 11-5 over their last 16 games with veteran Russell Westbrook finding a decent role for himself after a bad experience with the Lakers.

Suns vs Clippers Head to Head Record In 2023

These teams split the series 2-2 against each other this season, though the last meeting a week ago to end the regular season saw the Suns rest their studs while Leonard and Westbrook both scored 25 points for the Clippers in a 119-114 win. The Clippers actually lost both of their home games to Phoenix earlier in the season by scores of 112-95 and 111-95.

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers Game Details

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers Prediction

  • Date & Time: Sunday, April 16, 2023, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Footprint Center – Phoenix, Arizona
  • Where to watch match in UK: Sky Sports (TV), fuboTV, or other live stream

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