Yes, yes. The  Utah Jazz will be facing the  Los Angeles Clippers in the 2017 Western Conference NBA Playoffs. And the first game is tomorrow! Both teams have identical records of 51-31 but the good guys lost the regular season tie-breaker. And thus, start on the road. (And that’s not a bad place for this team, it’s easier to focus when it’s us against them.)
Utah and Los Angeles have not just the same overall record, but both went 31-21 against the Western Conference; both went 29-12 at home; and finished 22-19 on the road. Utah finished with a two game win streak (taking down the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs - the top two teams in the league), and 7-3 in their last 10. Los Angeles finished with a seven game win streak, and 8-2 in their last 10 games.
The Clippers have the 5th best offense by ORTG and 12th best defense by DRTG. The Jazz have the 12th best offense by ORTG and the 3rd best defense by DRTG. Both teams hit threes. Both teams crash the glass. Both teams get to the free throw line.
- PG: George Hill vs. Chris Paul - defense and threes
- SG: Joe Ingles vs. J.J. Redick - threes and under-rated defense
- SF: Gordon Hayward vs. Luc Mbah a Moute - opposites
- PF: Boris Diaw vs. Blake Griffin - savvy vs. strength
- C: Rudy Gobert vs. DeAndre Jordan - defense and rebounding
- PG: Shelvin Mack vs. Raymond Felton
- SG: Dante Exum vs. Jamal Crawford
- SF: Rodney Hood vs. Wesley Johnson
- PF: Joe Johnson vs. Paul Pierce (ha ha, not exactly), Brandon Bass
- C: Derrick Favors vs. Marreese Speights
- PG: Raul Neto vs. Austin Rivers
One deep team against a team of top level stars. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out.
- Game 1: [Sat] Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Clippers 8:30 PM (ESPN)
- Game 2: [Tue] Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Clippers 8:30 PM (TNT)
- Game 3: [Fri] Los Angeles Clippers @ Utah Jazz 8:00 PM (ESPN2)
- Game 4: [Sun] Los Angeles Clippers @ Utah Jazz 7:00 PM (TNT)
- Game 5: [Tue] Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Clippers (TBD)
- Game 6: [Fri] Los Angeles Clippers @ Utah Jazz (TBD)
- Game 7: [Sun] Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Clippers (TBD)
These games are also on ROOT Sports, apparently:
Including the playoffs the New Orleans / Utah Jazz are up 106-79 against the Buffalo / New York Braves / San Diego / Los Angeles Clippers. (And duh, 100-77 in the regular season.)
They’ve faced off in the playoffs before:
- 1992: UTA beats LAC 3-2
- 1997: UTA beats LAC 3-0
Of course, those were very different teams back then. The Jazz went to the Western Conference Finals five times in seven seasons (1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998) during those spans. The Clippers were just happy to be there. Now the Jazz are the new comers, and the Clippers are the established group. Of course, they’ve established themselves as a team that gets to the playoffs but for not for that long. They’ve reached the second round three times in five seasons (2012, 2014, 2015).
We’ll see what happens this year.
The two teams have a number of team connections, via the Media notes from NBA.com :
In his first NBA coaching gig, Utah Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder served as an assistant for the Los Angeles Clippers during the 1992-93 season ... Jazz F Joe Ingles competed for the Clippers during the 2014 preseason, averaging 2.1 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists ... Snyder, Jazz G Rodney Hood, Clippers G J.J. Redick, Clippers G Austin Rivers and Jazz Assistant Coach Antonio Lang all played collegiately at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski ... Jazz C Jeff Withey and Clippers F Paul Pierce played collegiately at Kansas ... Jazz G/F Joe Johnson and Pierce were teammates in Boston (2001-02) and Brooklyn (2013-14) ... Clippers F/G Alan Anderson was also a member of that Nets team ... Johnson and Clippers G Jamal Crawford played two years together in Atlanta (2009-11) ... Jazz C/F Boris Diaw and Clippers G Raymond Felton spent two seasons together in Charlotte (2008-10)
I had forgotten all of the connections between Iso-Joe and The Truth. They’ve also played a lot against one another in the NBA Playoffs:
The Clippers Suck:
The Clippers Suck. And flop. A lot. That’s a cowardly move. They suck, and they are cowards.