The 2022-23 NBA regular season has officially come to an end, with the focus now shifting to the NBA playoffs, with a few intriguing first-round matchups ready to get underway.
One of the most intriguing matchups in the Western Conference is the Los Angeles Clippers going up against the division rival Phoenix Suns.
The Suns are now at full strength with Kevin Durant healthy and ready for the postseason, while the Clippers are without Paul George, who doesn’t have a timetable to return yet.
Despite likely not having George for this first-round matchup, ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins is taking the Clippers to beat the Suns in this playoffs series.
"I got the Clippers beating the Suns. It don't get no spicier than that."
—@KendrickPerkins on his hot take for the first round 😳 🌶️ pic.twitter.com/b6Vszb4nq1
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 10, 2023
This is a bold prediction, to say the least, as the Suns haven’t missed a beat since Durant returned from injury, and many believe that Phoenix could be the team to beat heading into the playoffs.
However, the Suns flamed out last year in the playoffs after being arguably the team to beat in the West, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that it happens again.
As for the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard is playing at an elite level again, while Russell Westbrook has helped fill the void left by George’s absence.
The real question moving forward is whether Leonard can sustain that level of play and if Westbrook can keep himself under control, especially with the added drama that will come with facing Durant in a seven-game series.
Regardless of the outcome, this first-round matchup will be must-see TV for NBA fans, as both teams have something to prove.NEXT: NBA Insider Provides Telling Update On Paul George's Injury