Phoenix Suns: 3 Most Important Matchups vs Los Angeles Clippers

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
1 of 4

The Phoenix Suns formerly spent their summers either praying for ping pong balls to fall their way, or signing frustrating point guards only for them to eventually reveal that they “don’t wanna be here.” But things are different this year. Now, they own a Western Conference Finals date with the Los Angeles Clippers, set to tip off Sunday, June 20.

Oddly enough, both the Suns and Clippers enter this grand stage unbeknownst to its bright lights and increased intensity. An 11-year drought previously stood between Phoenix and the Conference finals, only broken about a week ago. Los Angeles however makes its Conference Finals debut Sunday afternoon.

We know how Phoenix got here, having earned several days off to reflect on their resilient six-game series victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, and then onslaught upon the Denver Nuggets. The Clippers though took a far more alternative path.

After falling back 0-2 against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks during the postseason’s first round, many began to quit on the Clippers early with their disappointing playoff run from last year still fresh in everyone’s mind. Some fans already started to call for head coach Tyronn Lue’s head, who only moved into the position a few months ago.

The Clippers fought back though behind another brilliant playoff run from Kawhi Leonard, who averaged 31.6 points per game across LA’s next contests, helping them to force a Game 7 which they emerged victorious from. Against the top seeded Utah Jazz though, Paul George (29.0 PPG) and Reggie Jackson (18.0 PPG) pushed the Clippers onto the next round, with Leonard unable to play past Game 4 due to a knee injury. Also as the NBA postseason’s most unlikely hero thus far, Terance Mann played big to finish out the series, scoring 39 points while going 7-10 from deep during Game 6.

Now things kick up a notch though. A chance to represent the Western Conference and play for an NBA Championship awaits only one team. Likely to go down like a dog fight, expect this series to go much further than Phoenix’s last one. If Suns want to stay alive though, winning these three matchups against the Clippers seems like a good place to start.