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Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Three Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

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Jazz lose Game 3 to the Clippers

A really ugly all around for the Jazz

In what was a pretty ugly performance by the Utah Jazz as they lost this one pretty handily to the LA Clippers, 132-106.

The biggest story of this game was the breakout night for Paul George. George scored 31 points and shot 6/10 from 3. That hot shooting also came from different places. Nicolas Batum shot 4/6 from three and Reggie Jackson was on fire again going 5/6 from three and 6/8 from the field.

That type of shooting will sometimes happen but it was clear Utah wasn’t quite as aggressive and lacked the energy they had in Games 1 and 2. Shots also weren’t falling that were in the previous games. Donovan Mitchell, dealing with an ailing ankle again, shot 5/9 from the 3 and 11/24 from the field. There were a bunch of shots that probably should have been kickouts and Mitchell recognized that post game.

Speaking of Mike Conley, the Jazz really missed him tonight. In Games 1 and 2 the Jazz made up for his loss with excellent shotmaking and defense. Those weren’t quite there tonight from guys like Jordan Clarkson who struggled from the field going 5/16. Having Conley back will get the rotations for Utah back in order and can hopefully take some pressure off of Mitchell so that his ankle can hopefully not get worse. And that’s the biggest question of all. How does Mitchell overcome the ankle injury that is obviously causing him a lot of discomfort.

Near the end of the game, Mitchell could be seen in the hallway walking with an obvious limp.

After the game he was asked about it and had an interesting quote.

Mitchell is obviously playing through pain. Will playing through the injury be easier with Conley? The Jazz can hope and hopefully that leads to Mitchell playing off ball more. At least, that’s what Jazz fans are hoping for, but time will tell if Conley plays in Game 4. Him traveling with the team seems like a good sign of him playing, but the Jazz are being very careful with Conley to make sure they don’t aggravate the injury. Perhaps being up 2-1 now will provide more pressure to get him on the floor.

Finally, we need to talk about Rudy Gobert’s minutes. Obviously the Jazz cleared their bench when the game got out of hand, but Rudy Gobert ended with 29 minutes. It’s just unacceptable. This was probably Rudy Gobert’s worst game of the playoffs and it’s still better having him out there than Derrick Favors who has now had 2 incredibly rough games in a row. Rudy Gobert should be playing no less then 36 minutes per game and should really be around 40. It nearly cost the Jazz last game if it weren’t for some incredible shots by Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles when the Jazz were down two with minutes left. What is Quin Snyder waiting for? This is it, there is nothing else to wait for, if you don’t play your best guys now, you may not get a chance in the future. And we’ve seen what happens with this stubbornness in the past to play outside of rote-tations. The Jazz gave up a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets. Gobert has to do his part to be his most effective when he’s on the floor, and he wasn’t good enough tonight, but Quin Snyder also needs to keep him out there longer. Gobert is a future hall of famer, the DPOY, and affects everything. It doesn’t matter how effective your system is, how creative your ATO plays are, if you don’t have your best players on the floor, it makes it all meaningless.

Play Rudy Gobert more!

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