Team: Utah Jazz (10-11) at Los Angeles Clippers (8-11)
Time: Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 10:30pm ET (Staples Center)
Two of the league’s most injured teams meet head-to-head tonight at Staples Center. Despite playing different styles, the Jazz and the Clippers have had similar stories this season. Both Utah & Los Angeles are on a 3 game winning streak after a big losing streak, and are missing multiple key players. The last time these teams met, the Clippers dominated the Jazz 102-84. The teams look vastly different this time around.
The Clippers will be missing 4 starters: Blake Griffin, Miloš Teodosić, Danilo Gallinari, and Patrick Beverley
The Jazz will be missing: Rudy Gobert, Joe Johnson, and Dante Exum. Rodney Hood and Raul Neto are questionable.
The Jazz are an elite defensive team, but they do have some major flaws in their game. Here are the tips before tipoff.
Control the Ball
The Clippers need to be incredibly smart with the ball against the Jazz; Utah is a top 5 defensive team, holding opponents to only 99.3 PPG. They’re also 2nd best team in the NBA at forcing steals (9.6 SPG), and 2nd best at forcing turnovers (17 TOVPG). Utah is going to force LA into shooting bad shots like this one.
While Lou Williams is capable of making these shots, the Clippers will need to cut to the basket a lot. In their previous encounter, the Clippers had 21 assists and 13 turnovers against the Jazz. The same amount of ball movement and control will be required in order to beat the Jazz again.
Rebound the Ball
Utah’s biggest weakness is their offensive game. Utah is 25th in the league at scoring (101.5 PPG), and 27th in rebounding (40.3 RPG). The Clippers need to grab every rebound, and take any second chance point that they can get. Utah won’t allow easy baskets, so the Clippers need exploit their rebounding advantage for easy baskets. Deandre Jordan needs to feast on the boards and grab at least 16 rebounds tonight. Every Clipper player will need to do a job on the boards in order for the team to win tonight.
Bold Prediction: No team will score over 100 points.