The 2023 NBA playoffs are set to begin on April 16, 2023. The Western Conference has been a tricky place to be this season. However, with the regular season concluded, now the business end of the season begins. The Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers will be locking horns on Sunday night for the first round of the playoffs. This matchup promises to live up to a highly spectacular series without a clear winner in sight.
The Suns walked out with Kevin Durant in the trade. The Suns have a huge impetus for having a seasoned winner. As for the Clippers, they looked to get something out of the trade, and they did find Russell Westbrook. Westbrook has found his form in recent games with the Clippers and will hope to continue it with Paul George out for the Clippers indefinitely. However, either team will be deadlocked if it is to be anything of the past.
In the regular season, the Clippers and the Suns are tied going head-to-head, 2-2. However, the playoffs are a different thing, as a lot is on the line for both teams. The two played against each other in the last game of the regular season. The Clippers won the game against a Suns side, that didn’t play 4 out of their 5 starters with a score of, 119-114. With the Suns finishing above the Clippers it gives them the home-court advantage.
The Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers promise a great spectacle in the first round of the NBA playoffs
Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard have a history of playing against each other, with the former coming out on the top 19 times out of the 24 games they played against each other. KD is tied with Leonard, 7-7 in the regular season, however, he has edged Leonard in the postseason, 12-8. With Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton being huge threats, KD will not be burdened with getting points on the board as compared to Leonard.
Suns vs. Clippers 1st round matchup. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/94aYZ8by6M
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 9, 2023
The Clippers lost out on PG13 with an injury that has kept him unavailable for the Clippers for an indefinite period. However, with the newfound resurgence of Russell Westbrook, things sure look better with him. The Clippers will be going into the game with a 3-game win streak, that is to say, momentum should be behind them once the 7-game series begins.
There is not a lot dividing the teams, and we can expect the series will not end in a sweep. It ought to be an exciting first-round series in the NBA. In the regular season, Booker and Durant outscore Leonard and Westbrook in getting points on the board. All things considered, the Suns will be favored to win the series and expect it to go the distance.