The LA Clippers take the court Wednesday in Phoenix for the first time since being blown out by the Golden State Warriors. Regaining momentum against the Suns with a win will be key.
The LA Clippers return to action Wednesday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix when they take on the 15-33 Phoenix Suns.
The last time the Clippers were on the court, they absorbed their worst defeat of the season, a 144-98 blowout at Golden State on Saturday that was actually the franchise’s worst loss since a 114-68 pasting at Phoenix on Feb. 2, 2000.
Article continues below ...
Last time they met
In their previous match up on Jan. 2nd, the Clippers defeated the Suns 109-98 at Staples Center. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin both missed this game.
However, almost everyone that played had a great outing. Eight Clippers had nine or more points, and J.J. Redick was 9-of-14 from the floor and finished with 22 points.
This was one of the best team victories of the season, as the whole roster played focused without both of the team’s captains healthy. This performance was a perfect example of what is needed anytime a team is missing players.
Up to this point in the NBA Season…
The Clippers have been riding the “health-roller coaster” lately. Blake finally stepped off of the ride, and returned to our starting lineup on limited minutes. Chris Paul is out after tearing a ligament in his thumb in the game against the Thunder.
Both of these key players on the Clippers‘ roster missed time before their most recent injuries, and apparently too much time to make the NBA’s All-Star lineups this year, but that’s a topic for another article.
With both of the team’s captains missing game time this season, the rest of the team has had to rise to the occasion to produce both offensively and defensively. The active players on the team have done a decent job with this as the Clippers remain in fourth place in the Western Conference.
Phoenix is 15-33, however the Suns can be argued to be in a “rebuilding period” with their bright and young players Devin Booker (20 years of age), Dragan Bender (19), and Marquese Chriss (19). The best of their 2016-17 season has easily been Devin Booker shining game after game.
He is making a run for the Most Improved Player award this season going from averaging 13.8 points per game last season to 20.8 this season. When you combine Booker with former ClipperEric Bledsoe, the Suns backcourt is offensively gifted.
The duo combines for 42 points per game.
Players to watch
Austin Rivers has transformed completely into a higher caliber player with his new starting role. In his past 15 games as a starter he has played more than 34 minutes per game, averaging 17.5 points and four assists. With Paul out, Rivers has become the Clipper to watch each night.
Devin Booker failed to impress in his last game against the Clippers hitting just 4-of-15 shots for 13 points in 33 minutes. Don’t count him out though, in just his second year in the NBA he has already scored 38 or more points four times this season.
If he gets hot, the Clippers will have a much harder time beating the worst team in the West than they expected.
As always, we hope our Clippers win in their game against the Suns. Blake Griffin is finally back, but will most likely play less than 30 minutes, therefore we will be watching for the rest of the roster to put in work, especially the man with the hot hand, Austin Rivers.
The Suns may be struggling this season, but as we have learned so many times before, any NBA team can beat any other NBA team anytime. This is especially true with the backcourt of playmaker Eric Bledsoe and the sharp shooting Devin Booker.