Suns' lack of inside presence led to Game 5 downfall

Published June 30, 2021, 4:34 PMRenee Ticzon

The LA Clippers dominated the Phoenix Suns in the shaded area, 58-32.

The Phoenix Suns need one more win to make it to the NBA Finals. They could have sent the Clippers home in Game 5, but strangely enough, the Suns looked like they were playing just another regular season game. It felt like the exhausted and handicapped Clippers had more energy than them.

Looking back at the game, Phoenix played passive, like constantly waiting for a game-changing moment that never really came. After leading the entire time in Game 4, the team only led once in Game 5.

Interestingly, the Suns had relatively the same number of rebounds, assists, and steals in Games 4 and 5. But if you look closer, the key difference was their production in the paint.

LA only made 10 of their 30 attempts from distance -- four of which came from just one player, Reggie Jackson. The Clippers knew they were having another rough shooting night, so the team had to adjust quickly if they wanted to keep their season alive.

The Clippers dominated the paint, 58-32. Marcus Morris produced 22 points, while DeMarcus Cousins filled in for Ivica Zubac with 15. Both players shot above 55% from the field. 

Coming out of halftime, the Clippers consistently played at a high level, kept their composure when the Suns were inching closer, and didn’t slack off when they led by a mile. 

The Clippers were playing with a lot of desperation, making the most out of scrappy plays. They also played with high energy, getting fastbreak opportunities left and right. When the Clippers get momentum, they can be tough to stop, and it could turn out to be a season-ending mistake if the Suns get complacent.

If the Suns want to advance to the finals, they need players to step up and provide presence inside the shaded area. Their frontcourt guys can’t be outplayed by their Clippers counterparts because relying on guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker isn’t enough to win games.

Preferably, that person should be either Deandre Ayton or Jae Crowder since they’re on the floor most of the time. However, anyone can provide a spark off the bench. Bottomline, it doesn’t matter who that game-changer is going to be, it just has to happen.


Double Data is back on Prepaid Home WiFi! Enjoy 140GB double data for all sites with FamLoad 999, best value for 30 days! Exclusive offer on the GigaLife app. Download now