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5 reasons why LA Clippers will beat Phoenix Suns in 7 games in Western Conference Finals | 2021 NBA Playoffs

Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers

The LA Clippers won Game 5 against the Phoenix Suns on Monday, avoiding elimination for the second time in the 2021 NBA playoffs. It has certainly lifted their spirits as they head to Staples Center for Game 6 in a bid to force Game 7 and eventually overturn a 1-3 deficit.

After Game 4, many believed that the LA Clippers season would now most certainly come to an end, especially with the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka ruled out. Along with the former Toronto Raptors duo, Ivica Zubac was the latest to be sidelined with an injury just hours before LA took to the court.

Despite all these adversities, the LA Clippers once again showed tremendous grit and determination and managed to live to fight another day.

There are still two games left, but there is a belief within the franchise that they are capable of beating the Phoenix Suns for the next two matches and make their first-ever NBA Finals trip.

On that note, we list five reasons why the LA Clippers do have what it takes to complete the comeback and clinch the series against the Suns.


#5 The LA Clippers resiliency is second to none

The LA Clippers were the first side to make a comeback from being down 0-2 multiple times in a single postseason in NBA playoffs history. They managed to achieve the feat in the toughest circumstances as they continue to show they are a lethal team in the postseason.

Injuries have been a huge problem for almost all the teams in the 2021 NBA playoffs, and the situation with the LA Clippers was no different. Most of the teams, including their city rivals the Los Angeles Lakers, could not deal with injuries to key players, which saw them succumb to an early exit from the 2021 NBA playoffs.

The case was different for the Clippers, though, as even after losing Kawhi Leonard to injury, they still managed to defeat the Utah Jazz and claim the series 4-2.

Even in the series against the Suns, the LA Clippers have never looked like a handicapped side, and all of their games have been close encounters. Not to forget the absence of Serge Ibaka and Ivica Zubac in the recent Game 5 win.

It just goes to show the kind of fighting mentality the team has, which will help them massively in their pursuit of beating the Phoenix Suns in this series.

#4 Various role players stepping up

Terance Mann
Terance Mann

The LA Clippers' squad depth is one of their biggest strengths. All of their players are capable of putting in highly efficient shifts on any given day. Their ability to play as a team due to this has been enhanced, and has been a huge reason behind them scripting so many comeback wins in the 2021 NBA playoffs.

The box score may not reflect their contributions as such, but the fact that Ty Lue has so many players that he can rely on depending on the in-game situation makes it easy for the LA Clippers to contest games without facing much trouble.

From Terance Mann's 39-point closeout game performance against the Utah Jazz to Patrick Beverley's lockdown defense on Devin Booker, the Clippers manage to find a new star with each passing game.

DeMarcus Cousins and Nicolas Batum have been doing a terrific job lately, and it won't be surprising if these two or the rest of the LA Clippers role players prove to play a pivotal role in the next two games.

#3 Head coach Ty Lue's spot-on adjustments

LA Clippers head coach Ty Lue isn't attempting to overturn a 1-3 deficit for the first time in his career. He is the only coach in the history of the league to do it in the NBA Finals in 2016 and is one of the most composed leaders a team can ask for in this kind of situation.

His record while leading teams in elimination games is 10-2, which is a great testament to the fact that he is more suited for this than anyone else.

The LA Clippers players have consistently highlighted how instrumental Lue's adjustments have been in helping them get here in the 2021 NBA playoffs. The former Cleveland Cavaliers coach has been fearless in flipping his lineup depending on the game situation, which has been beneficial in all of their wins so far.

While most coaches prefer a restricted set of players in the playoffs, Lue has been seen using almost all of his players so far, who have also stepped up massively when called upon.

His confidence in each player allows him to be more flexible with his rotations, giving the LA Clippers a dynamic edge in their approach, which opponents have found largely unsettling.

#2 Chris Paul's dip in form

Chris Paul hasn't been the same since his return from the league's health and safety protocols, which has majorly affected the Phoenix Suns in the last three games. The Suns have a 97.7 offensive rating with Paul on the floor and 112.5 when he is off it in the three games he has played so far.

On top of that, he has been shooting only 31% from the floor, which the LA Clippers have benefitted from on in their two wins this series. Apart from Paul, the likes of Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder have also been fairly poor on the offensive end, which the LA Clippers have looked to capitalize on.

Chris Paul's veteran experience may help him find his mojo as early as the next game, though, something the Clippers should be mindful of. However, they can always look to put more pressure on him defensively and give him minimal chances to make an impact early on in the game.

#1 Paul George's resurgence

Paul George in action
Paul George in action

Paul George has arguably been the best player in this series. He has put in the work at both ends of the floor, averaging 30.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game. George has been a much better player since Kawhi got sidelined and has been the driving force for the team in all the wins in Kawhi's absence.

He continues to improve with each match, and if Game 5 was anything to go by, it would be hard to argue why Goerge won't be able to carry the Clippers over the line. His presence and leadership on both ends of the floor will prove to be pivotal in the next two games, which gives the Clippers a healthy chance to topple the Suns.

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Edited by Rohit Mishra
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