The Phoenix Suns have taken a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Finals. This is a position the Clippers are all too familiar with, as this is the third straight time this postseason LA has fallen in an 0-2 hole. The Clippers have played like the best team in the playoffs so far by winning nine consecutive games. Devin Booker is playing at another level, Deandre Ayton is proving to be a dominant center, and the veteran leadership from Chris Paul is huge, whether he’s on the court or not.
Even though they have a nice lead, the series isn’t over. Their toughest games are likely ahead of them, as the Clippers seem to be at their best with their backs against the wall. We’ve seen them overcome the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz already, so it’s in the realm of possibility the Clippers do it again versus the Suns.
However, Phoenix is built a bit differently compared to the Mavericks and Jazz. Sure, the Suns finished second behind Utah, but they’re rolling and have a more versatile playoff roster on both ends of the court.
Here are two reasons why the Suns won’t blow their 2-0 lead against the Clippers.
1. Solid in every facet of the game
The Suns are legitimatly solid throughout. They can score at all three levels and utilize smooth ball movement to find the open man, while also playing elite defense on the other end. Phoenix doesn’t lack star power either, as both Devin Booker and Chris Paul are All-Stars. On top of that, Deandre Ayton is a rising star himself and has played consistently against some of the best big men in the NBA this postseason.
The supporting cast meshes with the team well, making the Suns an all-around dangerous squad. Someone outside of Booker, Paul, and Ayton always seems to step up. In Game 1, it was Mikal Bridges. Game 2 saw Cameron Payne have a career night. We’ll see how Game 3 goes, but based on how Phoenix plays basketball, we could be witnessing another sweep as the Suns make a trip to the NBA Finals.
2. Chris Paul’s eventual return vs. Kawhi Leonard’s injury
Chris Paul has been out the last two games due to COVID-19 restrictions. Paul has been phenomenal this season for the Suns, serving as the star point guard and veteran leader this young roster needed. He has made such a huge impact that the Suns have played relatively well in his absence. This is bad news for the Clippers, as Paul’s return only makes Phoenix better.
LA is hoping Kawhi Leonard comes back from his knee injury, but it’s unclear if that’s actually going to happen. Even if Leonard does come back, Paul’s presence might be too much for the Clippers to handle. LA is solid with its perimeter defense, but the Suns have attacked the paint efficiently. CP3 is a magician with the ball and knows how to get to his spots or find the open man.
Keep a close tab on Chris Paul right now. If he’s cleared to play in Game 3, this series could be over soon.