Feb 1, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers small forward Matt Barnes (22) defends Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Clippers : Game Preview


 

Utah Jazz (22-43, 14-18 home) vs Los Angeles Clippers (46-20, 18-15 road)

Tip Off @ 7:00 p.m. MST

Regular Season Series Game 3 of 3 (Clippers 2-0)

Overview

The Jazz come into tonight’s game having lost seven of their last eight games. The Clippers on the other hand, come into tonight having won nine in a row. Don’t expect much of a game here. The Jazz in their last two games have played decent and nearly won. However, they weren’t going up against teams as talented as the Clippers.

The Clippers probably have the deepest team of any team in the NBA. They have added depth to their bench this season via trades and players getting picked up after being waived by their former team. Their bench unit of Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Jared Dudley, Willie Green, Hedo Turkoglu, and Danny Granger could possibly beat most team’s starters. When you put that into perspective, the Clippers are going to be scary good come playoff time.

As for the Jazz, after falling at home to the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks, they see themselves heading into a rough stretch next week. After tonight against the Clippers, the Jazz will travel to take on the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and Memphis Grizzlies. Tough road ahead for a team that could use a win.

Key Matchup: Stopping Blake Griffin

There is really too many key things that the Jazz would have to do to win tonight’s game. However, one of the things that could focus on to help try and give themselves a chance is to try and slow down a guy who is on a roll right now and is putting together a legitimate MVP season.

Blake Griffin is ranking fourth in the league with 28.8 points per game since February 3rd, while shooting 55.9 percent. He’s scored at least 20 points in 24 consecutive games. In the two games against the Jazz this season, Griffin has totaled 65 points and in the last three games in Utah, Griffin has averaged 27.7 points per game and 12.7 rebounds while shooting 67.3 percent.

The last game against the Clippers, Marvin Williams started off on Griffin. Griffin really wasn’t being slowed much by Williams. Later in the game, the Jazz went with the Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter lineup and put a bigger defender on Griffin. This is something the Jazz should look into doing again tonight because with the bigger defender on him, Griffin wasn’t as effective as he was earlier in the game. That is one thing that the Jazz can look at, but there is still many other ways that the Clippers can beat you.

Conclusion

You can look at this game and think to yourself that since the Jazz are playing at home, that they will make it a closer game than most people think. I don’t necessarily see that happening tonight. The Clippers are a much better team than the Jazz are and it will be shown tonight. In the first two matchups against the Jazz this season, the Clippers bench wasn’t nearly as deep as it is now. With the additions that they have added, they have the pieces to make a deep run into the postseason.

As mentioned earlier, the Jazz are in the midst of a tough stretch of games. After tonight they face the best team in the NBA record wise in the Spurs. When the Jazz head into their March 22nd game against the Orlando Magic, they could be looking at heading into the game on a six game losing streak. As for tonight, the Jazz will most likely drop this game, but let’s hope they don’t lose like the Lakers did to the Clippers last week when they got routed 142-94.

Clippers 114, Jazz 96

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