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Game Preview: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers

The Utah Jazz return to Staples Center for first time since clinching playoff series

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Jazz played the Clippers, things were much different. The stakes were much higher, in a game seven of a tough playoff series to advance to the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

Both the Jazz and the Clippers underwent major changes during the off-season, including the departures of Gordon Hayward and Chris Paul. Both teams feature new-look squads, and both appear to not want anything to do with falling from grace and missing the playoffs.

Jazz-Clippers was a dog fight in the playoffs last season, and even though there are some new faces, don’t expect this match-up to be any different.

Game Info

When: Tuesday, October 24th, 8:30 PM MST

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

Radio: 1280 or 97.5 The Zone.

Television: AT&T SportsNet

Streaming: lol.


Utah Jazz:

Dante Exum - OUT (shoulder)

Rodney Hood - OUT (left calf strain)

Joe Ingles - PROBABLE (G.I. Distress)

Los Angeles Clippers:

Milos Teodosic - OUT (foot)

What to Watch For

Slowing Blake Griffin Down

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Griffin is off to a terrific start in two games this season. He has dropped 29 points in back-to-back games while shooting 53 percent from the field. He is the focal point of the Clippers offense this season, and looks as healthy as ever throwing down disrespectful dunks like the old days.

It will be interesting to see how the Jazz choose to defend Griffin, with Derrick Favors taking the match-up most of the night. Favors has his work cut out for him tonight, but we’ve seen him defend Griffin very well in the past when 100% healthy.

Rudy Gobert vs. DeAndre Jordan

NBA: Playoffs-Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

If you like to see very big dudes battle in the paint, then Clippers-Jazz is the game for you. It’s one of my favorite matchups in the NBA when Rudy and DAJ go at it for 48 minutes. They usually neutralize each other with their elite defense, so we shouldn’t expect too much production offensively from either of these basketball beasts.

The battle of Gobert and Jordan usually is dictated in the rebounding game. Both are excellent rebounders and can make the difference on the offensive glass. As Rudy and DeAndre go at it again tonight, I’d suggest you tune in.

Can Donovan Mitchell find his Rhythm?

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Two games into his NBA career, Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell is yet to find his scoring groove. He is shooting a mere 20 percent from the field, including 0-7 from three on the year. He is still awaiting his first NBA three-pointer (first of many hopefully), and will look to break this little slump that he has started out in.

Depending on how Mitchell lands in tonight’s rotation, he may find himself being hounded by defensive specialist Patrick Beverly. Beverly recently made headlines after straight-up abusing Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball on the court, while stifling him offensively and appearing to get in his head mentally.

An offensive outburst from Donovan Mitchell would be enough to make the difference in tonight’s game, and would provide even more meaning for the rookie in his confidence and rhythm moving forward throughout the season.

Most Likely Jazz Killer

Lou Williams has killed the Jazz before, and he could tonight as well. In fact, in his last two games against the Jazz in the Staples Center, Lou Williams has scored a combined 60 points. Of course this was done in a Lakers uniform, but that does not discount Sweet Lou’s scoring ability and his odds at dropping 25+ on the Jazz tonight.