The Utah Jazz are doing everything they can to solidify their spot in the 4-seed as they inch toward the playoffs. That 4-seed is looking tougher with the list of players out against the Los Angeles Clippers tonight growing by the hour.
Jazz announce Trent Forrest has been declared out for tonight’s game vs. LAC. Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Danuel House, and Udoka Azubuike also all out.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 18, 2022
Donovan Mitchell has been spectacular since returning from a couple weeks out dealing with his concussion and back issues. Without his play, the remaining players will need to step their game up to get this win. That means a big night from Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert is vital to get a win tonight.
The Clippers are 36-36 this season but have proven to be a tough team with a lot of grit. Multiple times this season they’ve come back from big deficits to get late wins. It’s also a team the Jazz are very familiar with in terms of making comebacks. With Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic out, the Jazz will have to be at the top of their game to get this win.
The good news for the Jazz is they’ve had two nice nights in a row from Mike Conley. When the Jazz were going through rough stretches in January, they asked a lot of Mike Conley and it might have negatively affected him this season. Since January 1, Conley is averaging about 36% from the field. Can they depend on him tonight but get the best version of him in a month?
To make that happen the Jazz will need some contributions from Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jared Butler tonight. NAW had his best game for the Jazz on Wednesday against the Bulls. He scored 16 points on nice efficiency while using his length and athleticism to affect DeMar DeRozan on the defensive end. Are we seeing the beginning of a trend or was that an outlier performance? This is also a chance for Jared Butler to have some strong minutes. Can he come in with the bench and run the show? He’s shown a great ability to playmake for others while on the floor. Can he combine some shotmaking efficiency with that while running the offense? It could be vital if the Jazz want to win this one.
The Jazz are favored in this one at -5.5. That may adjust as the game gets closer with Donovan Mitchell out, but there’s not a ton of reasons to be too optimistic for the Jazz in this one. Utah has had some real disappointing losses this season and the Clippers have shown every ability to beat the Jazz. But maybe the Jazz get a big performance from their young guns ready to break into the rotation.
When: 7:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
TV: AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain
Radio: 95.9/1280 The Zone, Utah Jazz App