Yikes, a tough game tonight as the Utah Jazz (34-21) host the Los Angeles Clippers (33-21). This is the four and five seed of the West tipping off for what looks like a tough finishing stretch, starting with tonight. (After tonight these two teams will play another two more times -- twice in March.) Gotta get it.
The Clippers are hanging in there without Chris Paul. The Jazz are, well, unpredictable -- even now when mostly healthy. These two clubs are deliberate with their offensive attacks that rely on pick and rolls, and ball sharing. Defensively both are anchored in the middle by tremendous bigmen, and are capable of going with bigmen at both the 4 and the 5 at the same time. And will. Utah has historically dominated this match-up, 99-75 overall and 61-25 at home; however in recent memory things have not gone towards these outcomes.
In fact last season was a success for the Jazz who were able to actually BEAT the Clippers once, losing the season series 1-2. Many of these games are close, a few go to overtime. Almost all of them have gone to the Clippers who do something wily to win the day. Utah's youth and lack of star power has been a problem for a while. Will the tables turn tonight?
For the sanity of Jazz fans, I hope so. A loss here puts Los Angeles ahead in the standings and in the driver's seat for any potential tie-breaks. And worse in the short term, has the Jazz losing three games in a row, and liming into the All-Star Break.
Raise your hand if you knew the Clippers were this "popular" . . .
- PG: Austin Rivers vs. George Hill
- SG: J.J. Redick vs. Joe Ingles
- SF: Luc Mbah A Moute vs. Gordon Hayward
- PF: Blake Griffin vs. Derrick Favors
- C: DeAndre Jordan vs. Rudy Gobert
Injuries / Absences:
- PG: Chris Paul (LAC, OUT)
- SG: Rodney Hood (UTA, OUT)
- PF: Bryce Johnson (LAC, OUT), Joel Bolomboy (UTA, NBADL)
GO JAZZ GO!
Who's going to win tonight?
This poll is closed
UTA by 11+ points
UTA by 6-10
UTA by 1-5
LAC by 1-5
LAC by 6-10
LAC by 11+