After rebounding to take Game 4 in Los Angeles, the Suns have an opportunity tonight in Game 5 to finish off the Clippers and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in 28 years.
Let’s jump into this matchup between Los Angeles and Phoenix with a look at the best Clippers vs. Suns player prop bet prior Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
Clippers vs. Suns Game 5 Player Prop Bet
Deandre Ayton Under 29.5 Total Points, Rebounds & Assists (DraftKings Sportsbook -110)
This might be a tough one to accept for those who watched Game 4, as Deandre Ayton dominated the Clippers, playing 41 minutes and posting a 19-point, 22-rebound, three-assist statline. However, for as dominant as the Suns’ young center has been at points in this series, that type of game just is not his standard.
Certainly, it will be a tough effort to replicate tonight.
Leading up to this series, Ayton had played five of his previous six games to a lower combined points-rebounds-assists total than the 29.5 this prop allows. Moreover, just 24 of his 69 regular season games saw him reach 30+ combined points, rebounds, and assists.
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Ayton averaged 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game during the regular season, for a sum of just 26.3. Those still hesitant due to the eye test from Game 4 will point out that the big man played nearly five minutes less per game during the regular season than here in the postseason, which is true. However, even with the boost in playing time and the high-profile performances that garnered a lot of media attention (e.g. the game winning alley-oop in Game 2), the fact remains that he still totals 28.9 combined points, rebounds, and assists in the postseason, below this props posted number.
Concerns After Major Minutes
Ayton is coming off 41 minutes of play in Game 4, just the fifth time he has topped 40 minutes all season. In the four previous games following such performances, he averaged 27.5 combined points-rebounds-assists. Of note, he had 22 rebounds in Game 4, his highest total of the season. He had nine other games with 16+ rebounds and averaged just 26.8 combined points, rebounds, and assists in his next outings.
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Ayton’s averages for points, rebounds, and assists all decreased after the All-Star Break, dropping from a combined total of 27.6 down to 25.2 after.
It’s worth considering that he had a monster effort in Game 4 on a night when both teams were abysmal shooting the ball. He is unlikely to get nine offensive rebounds and a lot of the second chance points and assists he collected Saturday night again tonight. We still have questions about Ayton’s fitness late in games, as he is logging major minutes, but has a hard time getting down the court or back into the lane as the fourth quarter drags along.
With Phoenix playing with house money tonight as it holds a 3-1 series lead, we have to wonder if Suns coach Monty Williams might rest Ayton a bit more than he has in hopes of having him in better condition for the game’s all-important final minutes.
Ayton also went 3-3 from the foul line in Game 4, a feat he is unlikely to replicate this evening. After all, he had been just 0-2 in the previous three games of the series combined and remains a 65.5% foul shooter during the postseason.
Better shooting from both teams, coupled with the potential for extra rest in tonight’s game should result in a more normalized output of points, rebounds, and assists for the budding young star in Game 5, helping us cash this prop bet.
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