The Clippers have started the season well, winning both of their opening games. However, these games have been against the Lakers and Phoenix Suns, who are not the strongest in the conference. The Utah Jazz provide their first real test of the season, as fans determine whether the Clippers are still a top team in the West. Still, the Clippers couldn’t have played any better in the first two games, and find themselves in the top five in the league in points scored, assists, rebounds and opponents points scored. Blake Griffin has responded well early on to his new role as leader of the team; the question remains whether he can keep it up. Milos Teodosic is out with a left foot injury, but the team has plenty of talent to get the win.
The Jazz come into this one off the back of an impressive win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, holding the team to only 87 points, including a measly six points from Russell Westbrook. They, too, are in the top five in the league in points allowed, and look to put their defense to the test in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Ricky Rubio has been impressive in his first couple of games for his new team and the Jazz don’t look to have rusted with the departure of Gordon Hayward to the Celtics.
Keys to the Game
Defense – With two top-five defenses clashing in this one, expect a hard-fought matchup between two strong Western Conference opponents.
Offensive boards – With Rudy Gobert on one side of the ball and DeAndre Jordan on the other, we could see a high amount of the second chance points due to offensive boards. If the numbers sway too heavily in one team’s favor, the other will struggle.
Can Utah keep up? We know Utah is a defensive team, but if the game becomes a shootout, are they capable of keeping up with a Clippers team that has a bevy of weapons?
Matchup to Watch
DeAndre Jordan vs Rudy Gobert – Expect a tough battle in the post in this one between two of the premier big men in the game.
Utah Jazz Projected Lineup
PG – Ricky Rubio | SG – Donovan Mitchell | SF – Joe Ingles | PF – Derrick Favors | C – Rudy Gobert
Los Angeles Clippers Projected Lineup
PG – Patrick Beverley | SG – Austin Rivers | SF – Danilo Gallinari | PF – Blake Griffin | C – DeAndre Jordan
Blake Griffin has been unstoppable so far, and he’ll keep that momentum going against the Jazz.
The Clippers are a 4.5-point favorite here, but the Jazz have shown they can thwart a premier offense when they stopped the Thunder. Utah at the line seems like a safe play.
It would be huge for the Jazz to get a road win against this Clippers side, but the Clippers won’t let this one slip at home. Los Angeles take it in a close, low-scoring affair, 93-90
The game will be covered on local AT&T Sportsnet and Fox channels. Tip off is at 10:30 pm ET.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?