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Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers series predictions in first round of 2023 NBA playoffs

Here’s an in-depth look at the matchup between Suns and Clippers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 04: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers defends a shot from Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 04, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The No. 5 seed Los Angeles Clippers (44-38) will travel for Game 1 against the No. 4 seed Phoenix Suns (45-37) to start their first-round playoff series on Sunday. Even though these two sides were just a single game apart in the Western Conference standings, the Suns come in as a heavy favorite to win the best-of-seven series.

Clippers vs. Suns predictions

Odds to win series: Suns -600, Clippers +400
Regular season record: Suns 45-37, Clippers 44-38
Head-to-head record: Tied 2-2

Despite matching up in the final game of the regular season, the Suns and Clips will take a week off before facing off in a seven-game series. In 2022-23, the two split the four regular season meetings with the road team victorious each time. With that said, LA has not seen the Suns with Durant inserted into the lineup, making it twice as wise to sit KD last Sunday. Now in the postseason, the Clips will see a different beast in the Suns this coming Sunday.

Pick: Suns in 5 games

The Clippers and Suns finished just a single game apart, but these sides seem to be trending in different directions. Phoenix is still less than two years removed from playing in the Finals and has since bolstered its roster with more firepower. Naturally, since Durant has arrived (and recovered from an ankle injury), the Suns have seemed quite unbeatable—Phoenix is 8-0 in games that Durant has played. The fit with Chris Paul and Devin Booker has been undeniably cohesive, and this team is the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the West.

I don’t know if the Clippers can match up with this version of the Suns, but my doubts are doubled when I realize that Paul George may not return for Los Angeles this round. He has already been ruled out for the beginning of the series. Without George, we saw the Clips struggle against a Suns team last Sunday that played none of its starters: I’ll take Phoenix in five games, even against Kawhi Leonard and LA’s solid supporting cast.