LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns Odds: KD Ready to Lead the Way

Suns Open as Overwhleming Favorites

Clippers Leaning on Kawhi Masterclass

The LA Clippers will need the best version of Kawhi Leonard if they’re to pull off an upset over the Phoenix Suns in their first-round playoff series. Let’s take a look at the LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns Odds and see how these teams project to match up over a best-of-seven series.

The Clippers will almost certainly be without Paul George for the entirety of the series regardless of how many games it goes, which means the pressure now sits on the shoulders of Kawhi Leonard. During his last playoff run with the team he was playing at a level reminiscent of his title run in Toronto and since the All-Star break, he’s been averaging 27 points per game while shooting 47% from beyond the arc.

More important will be how he defends his opponent – Kevin Durant. The Suns are yet to lose a game when KD is in the starting lineup and his efficiency as a scorer this season has been historically good. He’s the first player in NBA history to record a 55/40/90 season (Field Goal percentage/3-point percentage/Free Throw percentage).

Both these teams underperformed by their standards last season and there’s an expectation on both front offices to make a run this season given the team circumstances. The Suns are currently -470 to win this series, with the -2.5 game series handicap sitting at +110 in their favor.3

Clippers logoLA Clippers vs Phoenix SunsSuns logo

Location: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ

Suns Core A Different Beast

The Suns starting lineup is undoubtedly the most intimidating and versatile offense in the Western Conference right now.

Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Josh Okogie, Durant, and Deandre Ayton have shared the floor for 258 possessions. In that period the team owns a +15.5 differential; they average 120.2 points per 100 possessions and are holding opponents to just 104.6 points per 100 possessions on the other end of the floor.

That five-man lineup ranks in the 92nd percentile for opponent ‘Effective Field Goal’ percentage (47.9%) and is in the 82nd percentile in offensive EFG percentage (60.3%). Monty Williams has a treasure chest of halfcourt sets that are tailor made for Durant’s skillset and having someone like Ayton that can provide vertical spacing is a large part of why they are heavy favorites for this series.

As good as the Clippers defense can be, they are 24th in opponent midrange frequency and while a lot of that is by design it’s also a reflection of how they best defend pick-and-roll action. LA’s drop coverage and insistence on man-to-man defense will play into Phoenix’s hands in this series and if the adjustments come too late from Ty Lue it might already be curtains given how the Suns defense can lock down when playing from in front.

That said, despite the clear on-court advantages for this starting lineup it’s fair to ask questions over the legitimacy of their pricing in the market given their schedule of games when KD has played. The only playoff calibre opponent they’ve faced using their preferred starting five was the Denver Nuggets twice, and both times the number one seed was severely understrength and missing multiple starters.

The Clippers coaching staff is very adept at throwing different lineups and schemes at teams to alter their offense and when you have someone of Leonard’s calibre on the floor there’s every reason to believe they can stretch this series far longer than the implied market probability will have you believe.

Clippers Experience Could Prove Vital

Say what you will about some of their roster acquisitions the fact remains that they are stacked with veteran leadership and that could be what helps tip things in their favor in this matchup.

Russell Westbrook has integrated himself into the lineup far better than he ever did at the Lakers and the addition of Mason Plumlee and Eric Gordon gives them stability and offensive playmaking in the second unit that could be pivotal against a weak Suns bench.

The Clippers are accustomed to playing slow, halfcourt basketball but this is a matchup where it might be in their best interest to try and have Westbrook push pace and attack this team in the transition while spacing the floor. We’ve seen what this Clippers team can do when they catch fire from deep and running a four-out offense that pushes pace figures to be the best way to attack this Phoenix team.

While the Clippers have been a poor NBA spreads team all season, seeing them catch +7.5-points for these opening two road games could be a great bit of value to attack, especially in Game 2 if they are beaten convincingly in Game 1.

Trusting Ty Lue’s game-to-game adjustments and knowing they have a significant bench advantage means their starters would simply need to hang around to cover numbers in this series. We’re almost certain to get at least one or two Kawhi Leonard masterclasses on offense to match and if this series goes to six or seven games there’s no reason why the underdog Clippers couldn’t pull off one of the biggest upsets of the first-round.

That’s all for our LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns Odds preview. Be sure to keep up with all the NBA latest scores and analysis of these playoffs at

Follow us on Twitter

Can’t get enough? Here’s more!

Back to top button

Bet like a PRO!

Subscribe now and get Weekly Expert Free Picks