Jazz-Clippers Preview: The Bounce Back Game



The Clippers haven’t been good through three games. There, I said it. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s focus on more important things.

Enter the Utah Jazz.

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  • It may have been in the cards delivered by the basketball Gods, but this is the perfect opportunity for Los Angeles to kick start an early season turn around. The Jazz aren’t really a good team. They have good pieces, fun pieces, and pieces that could evolve into superstardom, but there time is not now meaning there’s little reason why the Clippers shouldn’t take advantage of this.

    Of course, the last three teams they’ve faced weren’t good either: Oklahoma City had no Kevin Durant and played 3/4ths of the game without Russell Westbrook, the Los Angeles Lakers are who were believed them to be coming into the season, and the Sacramento Kings, while looking impressive, can still finish as a bottom-10 team come the end of the season. But the difference between those games and this one is the added sense of urgency or “man we gotta get our ish together” factor that often pushes teams closer to their projected potential than just getting bye.

    We’ll see what Doc Rivers can get this group to do.

    Three Things to Watch:

    1) The Emergence of Derrick Favors

    The Quin Snyder experiment in Utah is already a success. How when they’re currently 1-2? He’s got Favors looking like the player Utah expected to be getting when they traded Deron Williams some years back. Against the Phoenix Suns, Favors DOMINATED, notching 32 points and 9 rebounds. After seeing DeMarcus Cousins eviscerate any Clippers frontcourt who stepped in his path, you’ve gotta be a bit worried. Fortunately, Favors doesn’t possess the bulk that Cousins has, but if the player we’ve seen average 21.7 points per game shows up the the arena, the Clippers ‘may’ be in trouble.

    2) And you missed a shot! And you missed a shot! And you missed a shot!

    When J.J. Redick missed that open three with a little over a minute left in the Kings game to try and take the lead, you just knew it wasn’t meant to happen for LA. And that’s kind of been the feel for this offense through these first three games.

    All eyes are now on the Clippers shooters from this point on. I highlighted their inability to knock down open 3-point attempts prior to the Kings game, and the issue still exists, mainly that of J.J. Redick who is arguably the teams most reliable shooter. On the season, Redick is shooting 8% on what SportsVU describes as wide-open three attempts.



    That’s… that’s awful.

    Against the Kings, the Clippers shot 5-of-16 on wide open threes (closest defender 6+ feet away) and 2-of-9 on open threes (closest defender 4 to 6 feet away). Not ideal and hopefully the team catches rhythm because they’ll need it against a busy Jazz team.


    Are you excited? If not, you should.

    Of the top-10 picks of the 2014 NBA Draft, none intrigued more than Dante Exum (Joel Embiid fails as a qualifier because #injury). In the preseason, Exum showed a lot of good things, especially when running the pick-and-roll with Rudy Gobert, a set we should keep an eye out on tonight.

    At 6’6, the sky is the limit for this kid. He’s only 18, knows what to do with the ball in his hands (I’d prefer to see him in p’n’r’s every possession), will be hell for defenses because of his size and speed, AND HAS A TON OF POTENTIAL.

    At some point, I hope we get to see some Chris Paul versus Exum. After these last three games, we deserve something entertaining.

    4th (and a quicky) — if Joe Ingles, formerly of Los Angeles, outplays the Clippers small forwards tonight, be prepared for a recap filled with kermit memes.


    I’d like to see this Clippers team come out with some fire against some Western Conference fluff, so I’m gonna bet on it. Clippers win by a decent margin, 113-100.