The Clippers and Suns will face off on Wednesday night, giving us a potential playoff matchup. Entering the contest, LA trails Phoenix by one game for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Who would have thought I’d be saying those words at the start of the season?
This will be the third and final matchup of the season between the two teams, with the Clippers having won the first two, meaning they own the tiebreaker. Obviously there is a lot of time left in the season to move up, but if the Clippers have any hopes of having the No. 2 seed or even moving up and getting the No. 1 seed, they’ll need a victory tonight.
When: Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. PT
Where: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
How to watch/listen: Bally Sports SoCal
Opposing perspective: Bright Side of the Sun
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers (43-20): Reggie Jackson, Terance Mann, Paul George, Ivica Zubac, Marcus Morris Sr.
Suns (43-18): Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Torrey Craig, Deandre Ayton
Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Serge Ibaka — OUT / Kawhi Leonard — DOUBTFUL / Nicolas Batum, Amir Coffey — QUESTIONABLE
Suns: Jae Crowder, Dario Saric — QUESTIONABLE
The Clippers are coming off a very forgettable loss on the road against the Pelicans. It was only their third loss of April, and only their second since they lost to the Nuggets all the way back at the start of the month. Some games you simply don’t have it, and that was the case for LA the other day.
Luckily for them, they return home where they’ve been great all season. They will still be missing some key pieces, but what else is new? The Clippers have rarely been fully healthy all season, so this shouldn’t be difficult. They’ll have their hands full though with Phoenix, who has been the most surprising team in the NBA this season. Yes, they’ve already beaten them twice, but beating a playoff team three straight times is difficult, regardless of health.
The Suns are having a bit of a down stretch, as they’re 3-3 over their last six games and have lost two of their last three games. They could be riding an eight-game losing streak, but it wouldn’t matter with Chris Paul coming to town. You know he’s hungry every time he faces off against his former team, and he’ll do whatever he can to guide his team to a win.
As I mentioned earlier, this very well could be a second-round matchup if these two teams finish at No. 2 and No. 3 in the standings, which seems likely. This is their final matchup of the regular season, meaning the Clippers have one final chance to get a look at their potential opponent.