The LA Clippers will face elimination once again on Wednesday night, welcoming the Phoenix Suns to Staples Center for Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, in which they trail 3-2.
Kawhi Leonard has once again been ruled out, as he is still recovering from his “right knee sprain” as the Clippers organization has labeled it. Ivica Zubac, on the other hand, has been deemed “questionable” to play with a right MCL sprain that kept him out of Game 5. Playing armchair physician, MCL sprains typically take weeks to heal, though the severity of the sprain is a huge factor in terms of recovery time.
With Leonard continuing to miss time, the onus once again falls on Paul George to deliver tough-shot making against a gritty Phoenix defense. He was other-worldly in Game 5, dropping a postseason-high 41 points to go along with 13 rebounds and six assists. Look for the Suns to try to take away George by sending two defenders to the ball and forcing the rest of the Clippers’ shorthanded roster to beat them.
Defensively, the Clippers surprised the Suns in Game 5 with a zone defense. The Suns were unable to capitalize, hitting just nine of their 26 three-point attempts. Look for Head Coach Monty Williams to adjust by emphasizing the pick-and-roll even more with his two dynamic ball-handlers and Deandre Ayton.
If Zubac is out, look for the same starting lineup as Game 5 for LA. Marcus Morris Sr. will once again be an offensive focal point in the halfcourt. He had his best game of the series in Game 5, going for 22 points and setting the tone early, hitting his first six shots.
Wednesday night could very well be the last night of the Clippers’ season. If that is the case, it will no-doubt be remembered as their best season in franchise history, as well as a missed opportunity for a championship given Leonard’s injury. That being said, it is entirely possible that the Clippers somehow pull out a win and force a Game 7.
How to Watch
Matchup: LA Clippers (2-3) vs. Phoenix Suns (3-2)
Date: Wednesday, June 30
Time: 6:00 p.m. PT
Venue: Staples Center
Spread: Suns -1
Moneyline: Clippers -102, Suns -116
Point Total: O/U 215
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook