Clippers vs Suns – NBA Pick for March 28th
The Clippers’ playoff hopes looked dead in the water as recently as 5 days ago, but they’re not dead yet. They have closed the gap on the Minnesota Timberwolves, who now sit just a game and a half ahead of LAC for the final Western Conference playoff spot. The Nuggets have stumbled recently, while the Pelicans and Spurs also lost on Tuesday night.
The Clippers, meanwhile, disposed of the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center last night to inch closer. With 8 games left to play, that should be enough time for them to overtake at least one of the other teams struggling down the stretch.
L.A. didn’t play all that well on Tuesday, but blistering hot long-range shooting helped them rally to a win. The Clips knocked down 15 of their 28 looks from beyond the arc (53.6%) to help eliminate a deficit entering the fourth quarter.
DeAndre Jordan led the charge, finishing with 12 points and 16 rebounds in the win. He’s been excellent down the stretch, as he’s averaged 15.6 points and 15 rebounds along with just under a block per game over his last 5. Doc Rivers also now has the option to put Ty Wallace and or CJ Williams back into the rotation after both returned to the team following the conclusion of the G League season. Wallace logged 13 minutes last night.
As for the Suns, it’s safe to say they’ve established themselves as the league’s worst team. They’ve won exactly one game since the calendar flipped to February, which was a victory over a similarly miserable Memphis outfit. Phoenix is riding a 12-game losing streak, and, at 19-56, they own the league’s worst record.
The team’s tanking effort has been fueled by a couple of big injuries. Both Devin Booker and TJ Warren have missed the last several games, and they’re both listed as doubtful to play again tonight. One wonders if these guys are really as hurt as they seem. They’re really the only reason this team has managed to win 19 games in the first place, and without them the roster barely looks like one that belongs in the NBA.
One bright spot amid a season lacking bright spots for Phoenix has been the play of Josh Jackson. The rookie looked lost for much of the season, but over the last month or so he’s found his way. Jackson scored a team-high 23 points last time out against the Celtics and shot 9-15 from the field. He’s now averaging nearly 22 points per game over his last 5 outings.
The Suns also got Alan Williams back from his injury last time out. Williams has missed the entire season after undergoing offseason meniscus surgery, but he returned the other night and played 16 minutes off the bench. Williams was outstanding down the stretch of last season, and it’s good to see him back out there.
While the Suns did manage to “only” lose by 8 to Boston last time out, we know the Celtics are also short-handed without Kyrie Irving. Tonight, they’ll host a Clippers team boasting nearly a full complement of players. There’s even an outside chance Danilo Gallinari returns to the fold for LAC.
The Clips played a tough game last night, but Phoenix is so atrocious that a 10-point spread isn’t even all that daunting. The Clippers are trying to win at all costs, while the Suns are doing the opposite. This is an easy pick, especially if Booker and Warren sit out, as expected. Take the Clippers -10. You can also hit the over on 223 points here.
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