Clippers vs Suns odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Be up to date NBA odds here.|
The Los Angeles Clippers will make the short trip to Phoenix to face the Suns in a Western Conference battle on Thursday night.
After making the NBA Finals last season, the Suns picked up where they left off and appear more dominant than ever, entering this game as the second seed in the West with a record 29. -8. On the flip side, Los Angeles has faced some adversity and, as a result, are a .500 team at this point in the season.
COVID-19 and injuries are affecting both teams for this game, meaning they will be shorthanded like much of the NBA has been recently. Which team will be able to weather the storm and win?
Clippers struggling with defensive injuries
Not much has happened in the direction of the Clippers recently. They have lost seven of their last 10 games and have been hit hard by injuries to some key players in the rotation lately.
Paul George remains on the sidelines with an elbow injury, and LA will likely be without Luke Kennard, Ivica Zubac, Isaiah Hartenstein, and potentially Nicolas Batum and Brandon Boston as well.
The brunt of those injuries was certainly felt in the Clippers’ last 10-game streak. As a unit, LA has an offensive rating of just 105.7 during that span, the fourth-lowest in the NBA. The Clippers have also scored the third lowest points per game in the NBA in their last 10 games, averaging just 103.4 points per game, 2.1 points lower than their season average of 105, 5.
The loss of Paul George will clearly affect LA’s offensive production, but his absence is arguably more felt on the defensive end of the floor, with Zubac and Hartenstein absent.
With Zubac and Hartenstein absent, we rely a lot on Serge Ibaka to defend the painting, which is a difficult job for one man to do. This has been evident recently, as the Clippers are averaging 54 points per game in paint in their last 10 games, the second most in the NBA.
In addition, according to NBA Advanced Statistics, the Clippers’ defensive rating has jumped to 111.5 in their last 10 games from their overall rating this season of 106.4, another indication that this team is struggling with their current roster.
Recent Obstacles Can’t Faze Suns
The Suns are once again a problem, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The Suns have been excellent on both sides of the court this season, posting a net overall rating of 7.5 according to NBA Advanced Statistics, the third best net score in the NBA. However, in their last 10 games, Phoenix’s net odds have jumped to 12.3, further illustrating their dominance throughout the field recently.
This team is full of talent, and not only can they field some huge numbers, the Suns have been able to score basketball with incredible efficiency. As a team, Phoenix leads the NBA in field goal percentage, shooting just over 47% from the field, while also managing to shoot 37% from behind the arc.
The Suns have managed to do most of that while dealing with plenty of injuries and also having multiple players in health and safety protocols. Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, Landry Shamet, JaVale McGee and Abdel Nader are still in the protocols and will miss this game, but as seen above, Phoenix was able to find production from several other players.
Some of those players obviously include Devin Booker and Chris Paul, both of whom are shooting over 45 percent from the field this season. The contributions of sniper Cam Johnson, Cameron Payne and Mikal Bridges have also helped them stay afloat, all of whom have played a big part in the Suns’ recent game streak.
The two teams are by no means at full strength for Thursday’s game, but one team had much more success with many of their players out of sight.
As previously mentioned, LA has won just three of its last 10 games, but the Suns have managed to grab seven wins in their last 10 while mostly shorthanded. They’ve won many of those games in a dominant fashion as well, averaging 20.85 points over those seven wins.
Plus, the Clippers are just 7-8 on the road this season, while Phoenix is an incredible 16-4 on home turf. My mode makes the Suns win by 13, and I’m okay with the Suns staying warm and taking advantage of a shorthanded Clippers team on Thursday.
Take: Phoenix Suns -11 (-110)