Kawhi Leonard is out for the Clippers, as they try to avoid a first round exit on the road against the Suns in Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round. The game is expected to tip-off at 10:00 PM ET, Tuesday, April 25th, 2023.
Given the injury to Leonard, it’s no surprise the Clippers are a 12.5 point underdog, with many expecting the Suns to advance into the second-round.
In Game 4 of the playoff series between the Suns and the Clippers, Devin Booker made a crucial pass to Kevin Durant, who effortlessly drained a 3-pointer, giving the Suns a lead they never relinquished.
Durant, who joined the Suns from the Brooklyn Nets in February, has been a key player for Phoenix, helping them to an undefeated record in the regular season and multiple playoff wins.
Alongside Booker’s 30 points and Chris Paul’s 19 points and nine assists, the Suns are looking poised to advance to the second round of the playoffs, likely against the Denver Nuggets.
On the other hand, the Clippers’ path to the next round is uncertain as Leonard, their star player, has been sidelined with a knee injury for two consecutive games and has already been ruled out for Game 5.
This injury brings back memories of last year’s playoffs when Leonard missed eight games due to a knee injury and the Clippers were eliminated by the Suns.
Without Leonard and Paul George, who is also out with a knee injury, the Clippers have been competitive but have struggled to close out games against the Suns.
Russell Westbrook has stepped up as a primary scorer for the Clippers, averaging 31.7 points, 7.0 assists, and 6.3 rebounds over the last three games.
Despite some criticism of Westbrook’s playing style, Durant believes that those who criticize him do not understand basketball and the competitive nature of the playoffs.
As the series moves forward, the Suns look primed to advance while the Clippers face challenges without their injured stars.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
In the upcoming Game 5 between the Suns and the Clippers, the Clippers are expected to face a tough challenge on the road.
Despite this, the Clippers are predicted to cover the spread of +12.5 points, displaying their resilience and determination throughout the series, regardless of injuries to key players such as George and Leonard.
Led by Westbrook, who has been carrying the team with impressive performances, the Clippers have shown great depth and have been able to weather the storm of injuries. Additionally, Norman Powell is a formidable scorer in his own right and capable of taking over a game on any given night.
With their strong depth and the ability of Westbrook and Powell to step up, the Clippers are anticipated to keep the game close and potentially cover the spread in Phoenix.
This would not only give George and Leonard more time to recover for a potential Game 6, but also demonstrate the team’s resilience and determination in the face of challenges.
Considering the point spread, betting on the Clippers +12.5 is the recommended option. But remember, it’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that the Clippers will lift to the occasion as anticipated. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.
Spread: Suns -12.5
Moneyline: Suns -900, Clippers +610
Pick: Clippers +12.5
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