A pair of Pacific Division rivals square off on Tuesday night when the Phoenix Suns take on the host LA Clippers.
It has been a very weird season for the Suns, who have been up and been down, playing the last 25 games without 2018 No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton, who took an illegal substance. He returns for this game to try and give them a boost, allowing Aron Baynes to now bring energy off the bench and try to bolster the second unit. Frank Kaminsky’s role likely takes a hit with this news, but it is the best thing for this Suns team that lost a nailbiter Monday night.
The Clippers, on the other hand, come in off a surprising loss to the Bulls on Saturday. At 20-8, they are second in the West behind the Lakers, with the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George duo looking fantastic in the games they play in. The Clippers finally got Landry Shamet back and healthy, his shooting and defense something to bolster them. Patrick Beverley is currently dealing with a concussion, though, and is considered questionable. All of the team’s injuries have allowed various guys to step in and get starting experience.
The Clippers find themselves as 12.5-point favorites for this game, with the over/under set at 226.5 points.
Ayton Looks To Give Phoenix A Boost
Has it been 25 games already? It sure has, and Ayton is finally set to return for the Suns. In another year, losing a starting center would have crushed this team. But the offseason additions of Baynes, Kaminsky and Cheick Diallo all proved worthwhile with their strong performances in his absence.
The fact that the Suns were merely 20 seconds from beating Portland without Devin Booker Monday night is telling of how far this team has come under Monty Williams. Yes, they are four games under .500 now, but they have spent many years at the bottom of the West. You have to start somewhere.
This will be a tough game for Phoenix to win if Booker can’t play, and Ayton would also be more dangerous if playing with Booker. We’ll see how they do against a conference elite.
Clippers Try To Get It Going Again
Fresh off a shocking loss to Chicago, Doc Rivers’ squad will be looking to bounce back in this one. Whether or not Beverley plays should not affect the Clippers’ odds too much. If Leonard suits up, it’s an easy win, as he and George combined for nearly 90 when they last played together.
This is a deep team with the top two reserves in the league at its disposal in Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams, both of whom were acquired when the team sent Chris Paul to Houston a few years ago. That trade has paid some serious (surprising) dividends for the Clippers.
This is just another game for Los Angeles, and if it can get it done, it will give Phoenix something to think about.
Clippers Win A Close One
This will be no blowout, so the spread is surprisingly misleading. This will end up a tight win for the Clippers. Bet them straight up if you want sure-thing cash.
Free Play: PHX +12.5
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