It’s a Game 6 and the Utah Jazz are facing elimination against the Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams are dealing with injuries. The Jazz have been without Mike Conley the entire series and Donovan Mitchell is playing with a bad ankle. The Clippers are playing without Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka.
Despite the Kawhi Leonard injury, the Clippers went looked like the more athletic, longer team in Game 5. Even with incredible shooting in the first half, the Jazz were not able to get enough stops to slow down the Clippers who are getting big nights from Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson the last three games.
There’s also not a lot of good news for the Jazz. It hasn’t been confirmed yet who is playing, but both Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley have been listed as questionable for this one.
Mike Conley is questionable for tomorrow’s game (mild right hamstring strain).— utahjazz (@utahjazz) June 18, 2021
Donovan Mitchell is also questionable (right ankle soreness).
There was some news this morning from Adrian Wojnarowski about the injuries.
For the Jazz in Game 6 tonight in LA: Donovan Mitchell (ankle) is progressing to be a game-time decision, and Mike Conley Jr., (hamstring) is working toward a return to the lineup, sources tell ESPN. Jazz trail Clippers, 3-2, in Western Conference Semifinal series.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2021
Take that for what it’s worth on Conley, but Donovan Mitchell did his customary “Let’s Go!” tweet before this one. One has to assume that if he can go, Mitchell will go. Mitchell has been playing through pain for most of the series. He’s been a warrior. If he ends up not playing, you can’t say he didn’t give everything he had.
LETS GO!— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) June 18, 2021
When: 8:00PM MDT
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: KZNS/KTUB, KEIB-AM/KWKW-LAC
What to watch for
Can the Jazz defend?
Rudy Gobert mentioned after Game 5 that he felt like the Jazz didn’t come out with urgency to defend. It’s hard to disagree. As hot of shooting the Jazz had in the first half, especially from Bojan Bogdanovic, they didn’t have much of a lead going into halftime. In the second half, when the Jazz only hit three 3s, the Clippers took a lead with relative ease until the Jazz cranked up the intensity in the 4th quarter.
Can the Jazz defend for four quarters this game? Or will they only bring the intensity at the end of the game?
Does Quin Snyder play Rudy Gobert more minutes again?
For the first time this series, Gobert finally played big minutes. In Game 5 Gobert played 41 minutes, which should have been the norm for the entire series. Will Gobert get those minutes again? Derrick Favors has been dreadful this series, likely dealing with his own injuries. Snyder has also been playing Georges Niang who has as many points (5) as he does turnovers (5) in the series.
Sometimes certain players don’t work against certain teams. Georges Niang can be a very helpful player with his shooting against many teams. Against the Clippers who are filled with a ton of athletes, he’s really struggled. Will we see the coach try different players that can bring something other than shooting?
Everything’s on the line and it’s time to find out what the Jazz have left.