NBA Playoff Picks - Clippers vs. Jazz
Each team has fired its opening salvo, and as expected, this seems primed to be a great series.
The Clippers took control early in Game 1, limiting the Jazz to nothing but looks behind the arc, and the Jazz didn’t convert their first 2-point field goal until nearly two minutes into the second quarter.
But they weathered that storm well enough, and when they finally made that first shot inside the arc, they were only down by seven points. Utah stayed within striking distance from there, and eventually took control in the fourth quarter, with a late Clipper rally falling short.
The big question comes down to the effort the Jazz needed from Donovan Mitchell to emerge with this victory, and what happens if they don’t get another 45 points from their star guard next time out. Utah took their usual massive allotment of threes, firing away 50 times from behind the 3-point line, and making a respectable 17 of those attempts. They played their way, and still needed a superhuman performance from Mitchell to get the win.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, still has another level or two to reach. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Marcus Morris were a combined 17-for-50 for 52 points. That will improve, most especially Morris, who was just 1-for-9 from deep.
LA has also rediscovered Luke Kennard, who was a key figure at the end of the Dallas series that carried over his success here, garnering 18 points on just nine shots.
So far this postseason, every time the Clippers have absolutely needed a win, they’ve gotten it. They know they can’t go down 0-2 to a team as good as this. They’ll be ready to punch back on Thursday.
Clippers vs. Jazz Pick
The Pick: Clippers +3.5 @ -109
Expert Clippers vs. Jazz Predictions
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