Catch this game live on Sunday, June 13, at 8:30 AM Manila time.
HOME TEAM: LA Clippers (0-2, 0-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Reggie Jackson
- SG: Paul George
- SF: Kawhi Leonard
- PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
- C: Ivica Zubac
Man, the Clippers show a lot of fight in both of their away games in Utah, but ultimately came up short. They’re learning that the Jazz aren’t there to mess around, and they need to get more out of their stars.
Paul George is leading the team in scoring this series with 23.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 4.0 APG but he’s shooting horribly at 34.3 FG% and 35.7 3P%. He’s had large stretches where it looked like he couldn’t buy a bucket, and the Clippers need a lot more from him if they’re going to win this series. One of the positives for him, though, is how often he’s been getting to the line. He’s currently averaging 9.5 free throws and has a 94.7 FT%.
Kawhi Leonard, is still being consistent with 22.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG 4.0 APG and 1.5 SPG, but the two of them combined are barely outscoring Donovan Mitchell so far. That’s simply not good enough, especially since Mitchell isn’t the only capable and consistent scorer on his team.
Reggie Jackson (19 PPG, 53.8 3P%) and Luke Kennard (10.5 PPG, 71.4 3P%) are the only other Clippers averaging double figures in the series so far, and the Clippers will be hoping to see continued great shooting from them as the series shifts to LA for two games.
They’ll be glad to be playing in front of their fans, and they did show flashes of hard defense against Mitchell. If they want to keep this series within reach, they’ll have to double down and go hard at the Spida for the entire game instead of just in the second half.
The Clippers are 16-13 ATS after a loss and 19-17 ATS as a home favorite.
ROAD TEAM: Utah Jazz (2-0, 0-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Donovan Mitchell (Mike Conley questionable)
- SG: Joe Ingles
- SF: Bojan Bogdanovic
- PF: Royce O’Neale
- C: Rudy Gobert
It’s hard to come up with enough praise for Donovan Mitchell, who’s been playing at a level that screams future MVP. He’s averaging an astonishing 41 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.5 APG on 52.5/44.4/80.0 shooting splits. The only answer that the Clippers have for him is to start picking him up from half court, and that did work in spurts, but is hard to sustain throughout an entire game.
However, even as defenders focus on Mitchell, they still have to contend with the sweet shooting of Jordan Clarkson (21.0 PPG, 52.2 3P%) and Bojan Bogdanovic (17 PPG, 54.5 3P%). That’s not even mentioning the solid effort from Joe Ingles who is averaging 13.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 5.5 APG this series.
The newly-crowned Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, is also making sure to average double figures with 11.5 PPG, 16.0 RPG and 2.5 BPG. His inside presence and ability to cut off passing lanes and vacuum up rebounds has been instrumental to Utah’s success, and he’s been proving to doubters that he was worth his max extension.
The Jazz are firing on all cylinders right now, and are brimming with confidence and trust in each other. The only worry they have right now is health, as it looked like Mitchell may have aggravated an injury after colliding with Paul George at the end of Game 2, and Mike Conley is still listed as questionable due to his hamstring problem.
Utah are 36-21 ATS after a win and 1-3 ATS as a road underdog.
Spread: I think the Clippers can do enough to win the game, but I like the Jazz to cover +5.
Over/Under: The back-and-forth battling on offense should continue into Game 3, and I see the over 223 hitting.