- Utah Jazz lead 1-0
- Game 2 is in Utah, Thursday, June 10th, 2021 at 7PM Pacific
- Mike Conley is out for the Jazz
- Serge Ibaka is doubtful for the Clippers
- According to LandofBasketball only 6.5% pf teams come back to win a series after being down 2-0
- The Los Angeles Clippers are counted in that 6.5% of teams to come back to win a series after being down 2-0
The Clippers led the Association in 3 point percentage. The Utah Jazz led the Association in 3 pointers made and attempted. This is todays NBA. This is the 3 point shooting series! While the Clippers are most often mentioned as a good 3 point shooting team because they led in percentage, the Jazz rely on the long shot more than the Clippers do. In fact, 43% of the Jazz’s total scoring output comes from 3’s compared to 38% for the Clippers. In short, the Jazz live and die by the 3.
State of the Clippers
Despite the loss in Game 1 the Los Angeles Clippers are no doubt feeling good about their chances in the series with the Utah Jazz. While it is never good to be down in a series, Game 1 for the Clippers was a feeling out process. That is a boxing term that essentially means to be patient and take your time when the fight begins. The feeling out process is about gathering data as you observe your opponent. The Clippers were coming off an emotional and hard fought Game 7 victory and needed Game 1 of this series to gather data. Now, of course, they would have liked to have won, but the primary focus was to rest players and gather data. That is why you saw players who got no run against the Mavericks in the game against the Jazz. To lose a game by 3 points coming off an emotional series, playing players who hadn’t played much to that point and without normal offensive output from your stars has the Clippers feeling OK.
The Clippers shot 38.1% from 3 point range in game 1. If they would have made just one of those shots they missed from distance their percentage would have been 40%. Their league leading percentage was 41.1% this season. One more made 3 would have tied the game. All that despite below average games from their two superstars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
State of the Jazz
The Jazz have the current Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year runner up. Their coach finished 3rd in the Coach of the Year voting. On top of all that, they have a very real home court advantage with attendance at 18,007 out of 18,306 available seats. The Clippers will continue to be cheered on by cardboard cutouts in the series until June 15th. The Jazz have a lot going right for them! On top of all that Donovan Mitchell went off for 45 points while shooting 6-15 from 3. He was joined by Jordan Clarkson who shot 6-14 from 3 and chipped in 18 points. Mitchell was heard on the National telecast cheering on his team by pointing out how tired the Clippers likely were after their recent Game 7. His Jazz took note and wore down the Clippers in the final quarter. Leading 1-0 is better than being down 0-1, but the Jazz know their work is not yet complete. They have one more game in front of their great fans Thursday and they plan to take advantage.
While Mitchell, Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic combined to shoot 43% from deep the rest of the Jazz only managed 2 of 15, or 13%. The Jazz played a very good game to take the first game of the series, but they know they have to be better to beat a very good Los Angeles Clippers team.
Keys for the Clippers
- Games more in line with their averages or better from Kawi Leonard and Paul George
- Defend Donovan Mitchell with elite defenders. More Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and less of Luke Kennard and Reggie Jackson.
- Less tentative around the rim. The best way to play an elite rim defender like Gobert is to go at him.
Keys for the Jazz
- Avoid long dry spells. In Game 1 they missed 20 straight shots. That cannot happen again!
- Aggressively take away the 3 point and mid range shot; make the Clippers drive to Gobert
- Without Mike Conley again everyone has to step up offensively
Feeling confident about your teams chances tonight? Check out Dimers.com 2021 NBA Playoffs – LA Clippers @ Utah Jazz Game 2: Best Betting Picks, Props and Parlay, Thursday June 10, 2021
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Jose has written for Bleacher Report, Clipperholics, OC Weekly and wrote a series of articles covering the 2010 NBA Finals for the LA Times. He lives in Southern California and is excited to watch thePeachBasket grow!