Phoenix Suns vs LA Clippers
Time and Date: Friday, June 25, 2021 9AM IST
Venue: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
Prediction: Phoenix Suns
The LA Clippers are hoping to recover from a 0-2 hole when they face the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center on their match.
Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals will be a hotly contested match, with the LA Clippers looking to avoid digging themselves into a deeper hole from which no team in league history has ever come back.
The Phoenix Suns could have just as easily lost Game 2 but were able to outlast the LA Clippers 104-103 with a last-second alley-oop dunk by Deandre Ayton.
After going down 0-2 in the first two rounds of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, the LA Clippers are in familiar territory and will be confident heading into Game 3 when they finally play in front of friendly fans.
The Phoenix Suns are riding high on their latest win, their second straight in the series without their fearless leader, Chris Paul. The Game 2 win was their ninth in a row in the 2021 NBA Playoffs after winning the last three games of the first round against the LA Lakers and sweeping the Denver Nuggets in the semifinals.
According to a report from ESPN, the Phoenix Suns are optimistic that Chris Paul will be back for Game 3. If he does make his return and Kawhi Leonard doesn’t for the LA Clippers, it will be a huge boost for the Suns, who have confidently grown as a unit during the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Paul’s presence would open up the floor for the Suns’ shooters and also for Ayton, who thrives on passes near the rim from the all-time great point guard. It should also free up Devin Booker from playmaking duties and focus more on scoring.
The LA Clippers will have to show their resilience in the 2021 NBA Playoffs once more if they hope to reach their first NBA Finals. Even without Kawhi Leonard for the second time in the series and Serge Ibaka out for the rest of the postseason, they fought against all odds and nearly got a crucial win on the road.
The LA Clippers are in desperation mode again, but they are going to be calmer this time around. With the crowd behind them, they should be able to start the game with a lot of energy and execute their offense more smoothly.
But the Phoenix Suns are probably just as determined to get off on the right foot from the beginning. With Paul’s potential return, this will be a more organized team on offense and will have a stronger perimeter defense.
Both coaches have been on point in making adjustments on the fly and it will be up to the players to execute their game plan well. However, Paul’s presence could be the major difference here. Expect the Phoenix Suns to go 3-0 up against the LA Clippers, who will miss Leonard more than they think they will. But if Paul is out, give this game to the Clippers.