It’s the last game of the long, 82 game season, and yet, this one is still important. While the Utah Jazz looked like they had all but given up home court advantage to the Los Angeles Clippers by resting Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood, and Derrick Favors against the Warriors, the Jazz somehow managed to pull one over Golden State in Oakland. That means that tonight’s Fan Appreciation Night in a game against the San Antonio Spurs still might allow the Jazz to jump the Clippers in the standings (provided the Clips lose to the Kangz... oh).
On to the starting lineups:
- PG: George Hill vs Tony Parker
- SG: Rodney Hood vs Danny Green
- SF: Gordon Hayward vs Kawhi Leonard
- PF: Derrick Favors vs LaMarcus Aldridge
- C: Rudy Gobert vs Dewayne Dedmon
Expect the Spurs’ starting lineup to play very few minutes, especially Parker, Kawhi and LaMarcus, given a rough-and-tumble 2-7 matchup against the grit and grind Grizzlies in the first round. On the other hand, with home court on the line, George Hill, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rodney Hood will all play, with only Favors having a minutes restriction.
Marquee Matchup: Joel Bolomboy vs Davis Bertans
The Bolom-man was quite effective in 15 limited minutes against the Warriors, with 2 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 block. Expect to see a more of him tonight against the Spurs bench, especially Davis Bertans, a younger, more athletic, and overall better version of Matt Bonner. In a game where the starters probably (hopefully) will play less than 20 minutes each, a fun bench matchup is worth looking out for.
X-Factor: How much do the coaches care?
Honestly? Probably not that much - Quin a little more, because of home court - but rest and prevention of injury is really what’s important here. But they’ll probably react in a similar manner right?
Gregg Popovich and Quin Snyder mirroring each other was weird pic.twitter.com/Wpbo3SPHmt— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) April 2, 2017
Truth be told, the Clips hold their own destiny, with their game starting at 10:30 PM EST, close to the end of the UTA-SAS game that starts at 9:00 PM EST. If Quin tosses in the towel, the Clippers automatically qualify for the fourth seed. All we as Jazz fans can hope for our team to pull out win #51.