At this point, two months before the start of the new NBA season, the Golden State Warriors are widely regarded as the preseason favorites to win the Western Conference and perhaps even the NBA Finals.
Phoenix and Los Angeles are the other two Western Conference clubs with championship hopes.
There are some concerns about both the Clippers and the Suns, although the former is generally seen as less serious.
Therefore, many current power rankings, including those used by oddsmakers in Las Vegas, have the Clippers ranked higher than Phoenix.
What about next summer? Are the Clippers truly more likely than the Suns to win the championship?
Examining the current positions of both teams reveals that this is a debatable topic.
The Clippers Have A Strong Squad, But They Have Red Flags Too
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are two of the best players in the NBA, so any squad that includes them will have a good shot at the championship.
Both of them can effectively provide 25 points per game and shut down the opposition’s forwards and wings defensively.
Robert Covington’s acquisition as a 3-and-D forward with length and the ability to control opposing elite players was crucial last season.
L.A. now has a lethal scorer in the backcourt thanks to the addition of Norman Powell, who was also acquired in a trade last season.
The Clippers also brought in former All-Star point guard John Wall this offseason, and this is where the doubts start to arise.
Before breaking his Achilles a few years back, Wall was a lightning-quick threat who could attack the basket and get help from his teammates.
His Achilles tear may prevent him from ever playing at his previous level again, as guards have a poor track record of recovering from such injuries and he shot just 40.4% overall and 31.7% from 3-point range in his final season to date (2020-21).
On the other hand, Leonard has recently recovered from a serious injury of his own, a partial ACL tear suffered in the spring of 2021, and he has many additional persistent injury issues.
- Tensions rise between the LA Times and its billionaire owner
- how to cancel youtube tv on Any device Easily?
Not only has George not been very durable, but he has only played in 133 of a possible 226 games throughout his three seasons with the Clippers.
The Suns Are Proven But Haven’t Gotten Over The Hump
The Suns are there if you need something that will last and is almost guaranteed to be available during the regular season.
Despite Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton missing a combined total of 24 games from the 2018–19 NBA season due to injury, neither Leonard nor George pose anywhere near the same risk of missing significant time due to illness or misfortune.
Many experts predicted that the 2021-22 Phoenix Suns will triumph in the NBA Finals since they had the most victories (64) and were ranked in the top 4 in both offensive and defensive ratings.
In the second round of the playoffs, they were up 2-0 on the lesser Dallas Mavericks before everything went apart and the Mavericks won Games 6 and 7 by lopsided scores.
The NBA Championship odds have not moved much since free agency died down🏆
Boston Celtics: +450
Milwaukee Bucks: +550
Golden State Warriors: +650
Los Angeles Clippers: +700
Phoenix Suns: +1000 pic.twitter.com/RxMIRwhvYL
— ClutchPoints Betting (@CPBetting) August 13, 2022
In one of the most shocking NBA finals, the Suns lost Game 7 at home, 123-90.
Even though Paul is now 37 years old, the Clippers still have a good chance of winning more regular season games than the Suns if they can stay somewhat healthy.
But the Clippers have only shown one thing when it comes to the playoffs: that they can’t handle the pressure of the biggest games and end up falling short of everyone’s expectations.