The NBA playoffs are officially underway, with every postseason-bound team getting ready for their respective matchups.
One of the most intriguing first-round matchups in the NBA this year will be the Los Angeles Clippers going up against the Kevin Durant-led Phoenix Suns in a Pacific Division showdown.
Although the Suns are expected to come out on top in this first-round series, with the Clippers likely without Paul George, Los Angeles still has one of the best players in the world in the form of superstar forward Kawhi Leonard.
The two-time NBA champion has returned to form this season and will be crucial to the Clippers’ success in the playoffs, and he’s already got the confidence of the recently acquired Bones Hyland.
Bones Hyland said “Playoff Kawhi” is different. pic.twitter.com/TLdofIpcWW
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) April 11, 2023
Few players in the playoffs have as much experience and success in the playoffs as Leonard, and that will prove crucial for the Clippers as they try to advance against one of the most talented teams in the league.
The absence of George will be costly, but the recent acquisition of star guard Russell Westbrook has paid off thus far and will be leaned on during this first-round series as the team awaits the return of their star forward.
The battle between Durant and Leonard will be must-see TV for basketball fans, as it is arguably the two best forwards in the game going head-to-head in a seven-game series.
Despite the Clippers being underdogs without George in the fold, this first-round matchup could be one of the most entertaining, and the winner could be the team to beat in the Western Conference moving forward.NEXT: Stat Proves Russell Westbrook's Incredible Impact Off The Bench