NBA Preseason: Los Angeles Clippers (1-0) at Utah Jazz (1-1) Game Preview

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Preseason 2013-2014, Game 3:

Los Angeles Clippers (1-0) at Utah Jazz (1-1)

ClipsNation (SB Nation) -- Behind Enemy Lines (MyLo) -- Preview (Amar) -- Game Thread (Amar)

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The Basics:

Do we hate the Clippers? I think we hate the Clippers and a lot of it has to do with Blake Griffin's flops and Chauncy Billups' FTA in that one game. Anyway, Mr. BigShot isn't on the team anymore. But the Clippers are a freaking armada right now with all the good players they have on the team. We've had our hands full with their current Chris Paul / Blake / Jamal Crawford / Matt Barnes cadre. They've added Darren Collison, Jared Dudley, Antawn Jamison, Byron Mullens, and J.J. Redick. That's a very good team even if they are anchored in the paint by DeAndre Jordan who can't hit a free throw to save his own life. They have a lot of talent and star power. But this is a game in Utah. And no team should feel comfortable playing in Utah.

We lost our last game, a 96-86 defeat up in Boise, Idaho. Revenge should be ours as we'll be bringing back supremo player #1 Richard Jefferson for the second on this back to back. Actually, I don't know if Richard is enough to help us get over the huge talent and star power disparity between these two clubs. How odd it is, that the Clippers look to be way better than us. I guess that means I'm very old and the world I live in today is quite different than the one I was used to.

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Recent History:

Last season the Clippers won every game against the Jazz: (Game 1: 104-105; Game 2: 114-116; Game 3: 96-107; Game 4: 94-107). The games started off close, but were decided by the refs if I remember. The games then no longer remained close and things got bad for us. The year before the Jazz went 1-3 against the Clippers. The year before that we swept them. The tide has changed for sure.

Of course, we're 98-65 against them All-Time. But we're going to need to start winning some of these games soon again.

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Key Match-ups:

Seems like Trey Burke's first season as a pro is going to be a series of Agni Pareekshas, which is the ancient Sanskrit term (2nd Century BCE) that we today know as a "Trial By Fire". Tonight he's up against Chris Paul. I hope he wears nut protectors. The other large Match-up will be the measuring stick of our young studs Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter against Blake Griffin. Blake is well built, but his face up game is rudimentary at best. If Enes can keep knocking down shots from 16-20 feet he's going to be a more dangerous threat in this game.

I'd mention Jamaal Crawford and whomever is our best bench guard as well, but really, the largest disparity appears to be here. No one we have can cause chaos and win games like Crawford can.

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Injuries:

We still have injuries to Brandon Rush and Marvin Williams. Richard Jefferson will play tonight. Perhaps John Lucas III will not. I'm not really worried. Blake Griffin's knee is injured right now, but he'll suit up and play.

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Somewhat bold prediction:

We're going to appreciate actually seeing a game. That's a bold prediction. I also predict we're probably going to lose this one.

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