This has the makings of a long and entertaining series. You have a stacked Clippers team that barely survived a first-round matchup with the Mavericks taking on the Utah Jazz who had the best record in the entire NBA this season. The Jazz got a wake-up call losing game one against Memphis in the first round, but the Jazz righted the ship and won the next 4 games to coast into this semi-final. Is it better to have the week’s rest or to be battle-tested and riding the momentum of a huge game 7 win?
Can small ball win it for the Clippers
The Clippers biggest adjustment made to finish off Dallas was playing small ball, that decision, in the end, is what won them that series. If the Clippers decide to go small it could make life difficult for two-time Defensive Player of the Year big man Rudy Gobert. To most, I think it would be more likely to match Zubac up against Gobert, but I think the small lineup is what would work best in this series for the Clippers.
Shooting the 3 Ball
Both of these teams are proficient in hitting from long range, the Clippers ranked first and the Jazz ranked 4th, but before you go betting the over in every game of this series remember both of these teams are very good on defense which may make these games lower scoring than one might expect. The team that shoots the ball more consistently from deep will be the team that comes out on top at the end of this series.
Mike Conley’s health
Conley’s hamstring could be an issue and without a healthy Conley this series advantage swings to the Clippers. Conley when healthy takes a lot of pressure off Donovan Mitchell. Conley has the ability to get the ball to the open man and he is strong on the defensive side of the ball.
On talent alone, the easy pick would be the Clippers, but that’s not all that comes into play on who wins in a series like this. The Jazz had the best record in the NBA this season for a reason. The Jazz play like a team and they are more likely to make the extra pass than the Clippers are, and make no mistake the Jazz are a very talented team in their own right. I like the Jazz in a close hard-fought series. Jazz in 7