I think every time I have to write about a Utah Jazz / Los Angeles Clippers game I have to preface it with the point that I feel, somehow, that it's hilarious that the Clips are good now. They've been an above .600 team for four straight seasons now. Does it erase their history? I hope not, because that would mean our history of greatness should be erased by the current era as well. This season is no different, where our relative win / loss records are virtual inverses of one another.
The Clippers *are* a good team. They have the 3rd best offense in the league, play at a pretty fast pace, score a lot of points -- and have beaten a number of good teams this year (POR, HOU, NOP, and GSW). Blake Griffin isn't a 20 and 10 guy, but in some ways he's having the best season of his career, by averaging 4.7 apg, and hitting 46.7% from deep. He also has a career high in FT%, and has expanded his range to be comfortable taking and making 20 footers. Chris Paul is still one of the best point guards out there, and gets a lot of respect from the refs on defense. J.J. Redick is almost automatic from anywhere, DeAndre Jordan is pulling down 14 boards a game, and Jamal Crawford is scoring 17 off the bench -- a bench that is probably it's deepest in franchise history.
While they are *only* 6th in the Western conference right now, and 4-6 in their last 10 with a loss in their last game, they are still 12-4 at home, and deadly in their own gym. Even after the decades of futility the Jazz are only 37-48 in LA (as opposed to 61-22 in Utah).
They are nearly at full strength, with only Spencer Hawes being injured, but probable with left knee sprain. On the other side of the court, Alec Burks will be out once again with a left shoulder injury. This means Rodney Hood will get another start, and our bench will once again lack some firepower.
This doesn't mean the game is lost, not by a long shot. It just means that our guys will have to mind their fouls as they bring some physical play to LA. I have no doubt that this game will be a challenge for the Clippers. Even in their blowout wins against the Jazz they didn't come easy. Tonight they will face a Jazz team that is playing their best ball of the season. And they'll want to fight back from their early season losses (107-101 back on the 3rd of November; and 112-96 on the 29th of November).
It should be a fun game if Utah plays with the confidence that we've seen them earn these last few games. It will not be a fun game if all the calls go the way of the home team.
All the calls will go the way of the home team.
Enes Kanter dives for a lose ball into the crowd and falls in love with some lady there. I can't wait for Moni to do that photoshop.
No stats from Amar today because I am feeling sick.