Third game of the month, and third game of the season -- basically an hour away. Yes, and afternoon game on a Sunday. I'm worried. It's the Utah Jazz (1-1) visiting the Los Angeles Clippers (1-0). These two teams tangoed twice in the preseason, splitting both games. Tonight's game actually matters though. A legit playoff team going up against some playoff hopefuls. It'll be a big test for the shorthanded Jazz.
"You know how I know you're a bandwagon fan?"
There just aren't any historical Clippers fans in all these small counties all over USA and Canada. Seriously. This is pretty heinous. Fur trappers in Manitoba aren't Loy Vaught or Charles Smith loyalists. Anyway, fans aside, we're going to have to see a lot of the refs tonight as well. That's just what happens when the star studded guys from Flop City face off against the "eternally always fouling, it's never a miss because of defense" Jazz. I am looking at an O/U on 37.5 FTA for the guys with the roadkill eating carrion bird as their mascot.
In their one game this season the Clippers really took care of the ball, and really got to the line. A lot. 46 times. That's ridiculous. They needed it as they shot a lowly 40.7 FG% and 69.6 FT%. (What up, DeAndre?) Chris Paul and Blake Griffin look to be All-Stars / All-NBA players once again, and DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford do enough with their time on the floor to help them win games. With the small sample size of one game what really pops out was their command of the glass: 48 total rebounds with 15 off the offensive end. Defensively they didn't foul the other team that much and cruised to a solid win against the Portland Trail Blazers -- a team our squad just can't beat.
In two games we've seen the Jazz get to the line quite frequently, currently they are 5th in the NBA in FT/FGA ratio. Sure, the Clippers are first. And after tonight I'm sure the Jazz will be 28th in the NBA. (R-E-S-P-E-C-T is more than just a song) Utah plays slowly, the Clippers want to run up and down the court. The team that gets the most rebounds will decide how that goes.
Los Angeles Clippers Roster:
No Paul Pierce or Brice Johnson so far this season, so their depth chart is a little messed up. We didn't see Brandon Bass last game either, but I guess when you are playing Blake 37 mpg there aren't a lot left to go around. He has expanded his range and is money on the line. I pains me to say it, but one some nights he can be one of the most dominant players on the court. Keeping J.J. Redick bottled up is going to be key. Utah can win a game when two of the other team's best players go off. It's increasingly difficult to win games when everyone on the other team is having a great game.
Also, please don't let Austin Rivers have a good game. I'm fine with losing to the Clippers. But not like this . . . not with Austin Rivers having a good game.
Utah Jazz Roster:
Still no Gordon Hayward or Alec Burks. But having 8 of your top 10 in the line-up is better than having just 7. So thank you Derrick Favors for coming back and playing like a newly escaped tiger from a cage. You completely outworked the Los Angeles Lakers. Favors and Gobert have the length and swagger to match-up against Griffin and Jordan. Will Favors start, or will it still be Boris Diaw? Man, I wouldn't hesitate to make that switch now. Can George Hill do it again, three times in a row? We're hoping so. Early this season he has been one of our Top 3 players every time he steps out on the court. The Western Conference isn't a cakewalk for point guards. Damian Lillard. D'Angelo Russell. Tonight? Chris Paul. Thankfully, I think he can hold his own.
Oh, is anyone going to be able to make a three pointer tonight? Rodney? Rodney? Bueller? Rodney Hood? I know you are streaky AF, but part of being a starter is you eventually start being someone the head coach can rely on. Show me what you got.
- Point Guards: George Hill vs. Chris Paul
- Shooting Guards: Rodney Hood vs. J.J. Redick (Duke vs. Duke)
- Small Forwards: Joe Johnson vs. Luc Richard Mbah Moute
- Power Forwards: Derrick Favors (?) vs. Blake Griffin [Ed. Diaw to start]
- Centers: Rudy Gobert vs. DeAndre Jordan
- Dante Exum vs. Austin Rivers
- Shelvin Mack vs. Raymond Felton
- Joe Ingles vs. Jamal Crawford
- Trey Lyles vs. Brandon Bass
- Boris Diaw vs. Marreese Speights
- Jeff Withey vs. Diamond Stone, only listing this because I think Diamond Stone is like the name of a future adult entertainment performer. (And possibly a future director down the line)
Let's try to get this win on Quin Snyder's birthday!
Thanks for all you do, Coach. Happy Birthday!! pic.twitter.com/ZIRI555uQv— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 30, 2016
GO JAZZ GO!
Who's gonna win tonight?
This poll is closed
Jazz by 11+
Jazz by 6 to 10
Jazz by 1 to 5
Clippers by 1 to 5
Clippers by 6 to 10
Clippers by 11+