The Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers will meet each other in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs in a Pacific division showdown. The Suns are hoping their big splash at the trade deadline will help them win it all, while the Clippers look for some level of success after landing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in free agency back in 2019.
No. 4 Suns vs. No. 5 Clippers
Head-to-head record: Tied 2-2
Overall record: Suns 45-37, Clippers 44-38
Leading scorer on Suns: Devin Booker
Leading scorer on Clippers: Paul George
Odds to win series: Suns -600, Clippers +400
The Suns entered this season reeling from a Game 7 loss on their home floor in the West semifinals, determined to make another run at the title. They were in the middle of the pack for most of the year but managed to swing the trade of the year by landing Kevin Durant at the trade deadline. Durant elevates this group to title contender status immediately, and his championship experience will be important for Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton to grow. The Suns are a dangerous group when healthy, but they might have depth issues since their roster is top-heavy with Chris Paul, Durant, Booker and Ayton all commanding big salaries.
The Clippers defeated a backup Suns team in the final game of the regular season to clinch the No. 5 seed and will now have to take on the real roster. Leonard is playing as well as ever, but the real question will be the status of George. He’s still out indefinitely, and the Clippers will need him to be able to take out what many feel is the best team in the Western Conference.