Led by a big game from star Paul George, the Clippers avoided elimination on Monday night and now return home looking to pull another upset in Game 6. If they do, that will set up a winner-take-all Game 7 back in Phoenix on Friday night.
Let’s jump into this matchup between Phoenix and Los Angeles with a look at our best Suns vs. Clippers player prop bet prior Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
Suns vs. Clippers Player Prop Bet (Game 6)
Devin Booker Under 4.5 Assists (FanDuel Sportsbook -130)
With Chris Paul knows what it’s like to blow a 3-1 series lead. Back in 2015 when Paul was with the Clippers, his squad failed three straight times to advance past the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals. Looking to avoid the a similar collapse this season, one has to expect the future Hall of Famer to want the ball in his hands as much as possible tonight.
In turn, this will allow him to control the game’s tempo, one that already promises to be defense-centric based on the recent trajectory of the series. Paul will want to penetrate with his dribble and create high-percentage looks for both himself and his teammates on as many trips down the court as possible.
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As such, Devin Booker will likely be the beneficiary of this approach from a scoring standpoint, particularly in Paul can create space for him with dribble penetration. However, we think it may also leave Booker with far fewer chances to deliver helpers of his own.
Simply put, Booker is the only true pure scorer on this Phoenix roster. The Suns will likely need him to tally something close to his 27.3 points per game postseason average in order to win tonight.
He has averaged just 2.7 assists per game in three efforts against the Clippers on the road this season, a theme that has followed him in away games all season. Booker averaged just 4.0 assists per game on the road, compared to 4.7 assists at home.
Moreover, Booker tallied five or more assists in eight of his team’s 15 postseason games thus far, albeit two of those efforts coming with Chris Paul out of the lineup. During the regular season, Booker managed just 30 of 67 games with five or more dimes (44.8%).
Notably, logging more minutes hasn’t been an automatic recipe for more assists for Booker. He will in all likelihood play 40+ minutes this evening and has posted five or more assists in just two of his seven prior postseason games with 40 minutes or more of playing time. Four of his final five 40+ minute regular season games also saw him finish regulation with fewer than five assists. In fact, he had just one 40+ minute regular season game all year long with more than five assists in regulation, which came back in his second game of the calendar year.
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The Suns have made an average of 36.3 field goals per game in the last four games, less than any team in the league averaged this season, and have made 39.8 per game in the entirety of the NBA Playoffs, which would have been the league’s ninth-worst mark. To expect Booker, who averaged one assist in every 10 Phoenix baskets during the regular season, to suddenly shave that to one every seven or eight field goals made is a bit unrealistic, especially if he isn’t seeing the ball until late in the shot clock more often than usual.
Expect Booker’s main offensive contributions tonight to come via scoring, as Paul becomes a rare, but necessary, focal point of this Phoenix offense in hopes of punching the team’s ticket to the NBA Finals tonight.
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