Saturday, October 12, 2013

Utah Jazz vs. LA Clippers Preview

  The Jazz have their first back to back of the season tonight against the Clippers.  Granted the Jazz get this one at home, but the Jazz get an improved Clipper team.  The Clippers have a number of new additions to their roster but none more important than JJ Reddick and Jared Dudley.  This will be a good chance to see how the Jazz bounce back from a tough road loss.  Lets take a look at some of the keys....

  Ty went with a different starting lineup last night.  He started Burke, Burks, Hayward, Evans and Favors.  The only player that had a solid game was Gordon.  He played 26 minutes, went 5-11 from the field, 8-11 from the line, scoring 20 points.  He was effective getting to the basket and drawing contact.  The rest of his game was not as solid as the first preseason game.  He only had 2 rebounds and 1 assist.  The Jazz will need a better all around effort from their leader if they want to get a win.  This will also be a big bounce back game for Favors.  He had 3 offensive fouls on moving screens.  This really hurt his effectiveness in the game.  He as never able to get into the flow of the game.  It will be interesting to see if Ty goes back to Kanter and Jefferson in the starting lineup with Evans and Burks coming off the bench.

  There are number of them to watch.  The one that I will be watching the closest will be Trey Burke vs. Chris Paul.  Burke struggled from the field last night and was also taken to school by the athletic Damian Lillard.  This is the kind of game that we will have the chance to see what Trey is made of and how he bounces back.  I also look for him to watch Paul closely and attempt to learn some of the leagues best point guards tricks.  Blake Griffin is questionable for tonight's game after suffering a bone bruise.  With Griffin out the Jazz need to focus on getting the ball down low to Favors and Kanter.  DeAndre Jordan is foul prone which can play in the Jazz's favor.

  Early against the Blazers the Jazz executed very well.  They were crisp running their offensive sets, as well as their defensive rotations.  When they fell behind, they started to press a little, causing their play to become sloppy.  They also struggled on the pick and roll defense.  If they had a hard time with the Blazers, it could be a long night as they go against the best pick and roll point guard in the game.  Look for Jazz bigs to hedge hard and get the ball out of Paul's hands.  The Clippers will counter with the addition of the two stretch 4's Antwan Jamison and Byron Mullens.  If Griffin does not play, look for the Clips to run a lot of pick and pop, as both players can shoot the ball from deep.  This will be the first real test for Jazz bigs against some effective stretch bigs.

  In the off-season the Clippers brought in arguably the best coach in the league, Doc Rivers.  He has already changed the atmosphere and attitude of this team.  Less clowning around by the likes of Jordan and Griffin and a lot more leadership with Dudley and Paul.  This team very likely could be the team to come out of the west.

  It will be good for the Jazz to be back home and have the crowd behind them.  Back to backs are always tough be the second of a back to back will be a little easier for this young team having it on their home court.  Look for Jazz to push tempo again and get the crowd in the game early.  No TV again tonight, but you can get David Locke and the radio broadcast at 1280 The Zone AM or 97.5 FM.  Here's to wishing I had some tickets for tonight's game!  Lets go Jazz!

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