NBA Playoffs: Free NBA Picks Today for Monday, June 28th, 2021

NBA Playoffs: Free NBA Picks Today for Monday, June 28th, 2021
Mon 28th June 2021

The Western Conference Finals continue in Phoenix tonight and our free NBA picks have analysed the game to come up with the best predictions, just for you!

Can Chris Paul close out his old side and advance to The NBA Finals for the first time? Will Paul George be able to muster enough strength to carry the Clippers to a Game Six?

We have all of the answers for you below in our NBA picks for tonight’s big clash – Game Five of the Western Conference Finals!

Los Angeles Clippers @ Phoenix Suns (Game 5) – 9pm EDT

The Phoenix Suns return home with a commanding 3-1 series lead and the opportunity to close out the Los Angeles Clippers tonight. The defensive matchup went right down to the wire but ultimately the Suns led at all four main breaks and ended up winning 84-80. 

A quick 14-2 start in the first four minutes set the tone for Phoenix, who never trailed in Saturday night’s clash. All five of the Suns’ starters scored during that opening stretch, highlighting their team-first play and incredible ability to move the ball and find the open man for the right shot. 

At the end of the first quarter, Phoenix held a 29-20 lead and then turned up the defense to extend their lead. The Clippers were held to just 16 points in the second period, trailing the Suns by 14 at the main break. However, with their season essentially on the line, LA came out swinging for the fences in the second half. 

In just the second half alone, Paul George had 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists while Reggie Jackson chipped in 13, with nine of those coming in the third quarter, which LA won 30-19. George ended up with totals of 23 points, 16 rebounds and six assists and Jackson had 20, but ultimately, the Clippers could never get their noses in front. 

It wasn’t as if they didn’t have their chances though, with LA going 0-12 on shots to tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter. Fourth quarter collapses aren’t uncommon for the Clippers and with their two main men combining to shoot 13-44 (29.5%) from the field and 3-18 (16.7%) from deep for the game, it was always going to be tough to win it. 

Phoenix’s defense was the story of the game though, keeping the Clippers to just 14 points in that decisive fourth quarter and just 80 for the game, LA’s second lowest score of the entire season. For the Suns, who ranked fourth for points allowed during the regular season, it was the least amount of points they had allowed in a game and a sign that they are coming together when it matters most, and also that the Clippers are really missing Kawhi Leonard.

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Leonard has already been ruled out of tonight’s clash, his seventh straight game on the sidelines with an undisclosed knee injury. The Clippers are obviously looking long term with this injury and playing safe, which is probably the right option given that they could be eliminated from the playoffs tonight. Phoenix were a tremendous home team during the regular season and have now won five straight games at home this postseason. 

The main driving force behind that is their Big Three of Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, even though Paul missed their last two home games due to COVID-19. Ayton has been the best and most consistent of the three through the first four games, averaging 20.3 points on 69.6% shooting, while adding 13.5 boards and 1.75 blocks. His Game Four performance was a career best night in the biggest game of his career, putting up 19 points, 22 boards and four blocks, helping Phoenix get over the line. 

Booker battled through problems with his protective mask yet again but put up a game high 25 points while Paul seemed in a better shooting rhythm than Game Three and ended up with 18 points and seven assists, with the duo scoring 14 points each in the second half to ensure the Suns got the 3-1 series lead. 

This is the first time during the postseason that Phoenix has had a closeout game at home, finishing off the Lakers and Nuggets in LA and Denver respectively. That is a massive bonus for them, with their crowd making such a difference so far this postseason. However, the Clippers aren’t down and out yet. After falling two games behind Utah, LA went on to win the next four games and win the series, highlighting their ability to adjust and get on a roll. 

This seems different though. Leonard is still sidelined, George is shooting inefficiently from the field and the line and Phoenix just seem to have their number. They are a very young team, but with the veteran leadership and experience of Paul, as well as Jae Crowder, who was in the NBA Finals last season for Miami, this team is heading in the right direction and may just be too good.

NBA Pick – Phoenix Suns (-235)
NBA Spread – Los Angeles Clippers +6 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Under 214 (-110)

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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel

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Image By: Michael Tipton

Tim is a keen follower of all American sports, in particular the NBA and NFL. He has followed both sports for over a decade and would happily sit down and watch every game, regardless of who is playing! No matter the sport, whether it be NFL and NBA or even MLB, NHL, UFC and all sports, Tim covers it from every angle, staying in the loop to bring you the most up-to-date information and the best picks and predictions on the market.