Two 3-1 teams in the Western Conference will cap off an ESPN double-header on Tuesday night. The Los Angeles Clippers will be on the road taking on the Utah Jazz.
Both sides are coming off a win in their previous game. The Clippers bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 111-96 win over the Charlotte Hornets. The Jazz squeaked out a one point win over the Phoenix Suns in their last game.
Clippers vs. Jazz Preview
George has yet to step on the floor this season but Leonard has picked up the slack averaging 27 points per game. Lou Williams will be an x-factor for this team all season, especially come the post season. Williams is the face of the sixth man in the NBA. so far this season, he is scoring 22.3 points per game while shooting 45.8% from the field.
The Jazz are the league’s best defensive team through four games. They are allowing 91.5 points per game which is 5.8 points better than the second place team. Utah has not allowed an opponent to score 100 points in a game yet this season. The Clippers were supposed to be the defensive juggernaut but they are 20th in the league allowing 112.5 points per contest.
Donovan Mitchell is averaging 24 points per game to lead the Jazz once again. Utah is looking to take the next step in the Western Conference and solidify themselves as legitimate championship contenders. With most teams improving, it will not be easy but anything is possible if they can play defense like they have been.
Clippers vs. Jazz Pick & Prediction
On paper, the Clippers are the better team. They hit the jackpot in the offseason and turned into immediate title favorites. So far this season, George has not played and their defense has not played up to expectations. This does not mean that it will be like this for the rest of the season.
The Jazz are 5.5-point favorites in this game because they are home and Leonard is sitting out for load management. Another reason is because their defense has been playing out of their minds. Utah not allowing a team to score 100 points yet this season is an incredible stat given the nature of the current NBA where points are king.
The Clippers came out on opening night and won the battle of Los Angeles over the Lakers. They have had secondary players step up in the absence of George and they will need to once again on the road against the Jazz.
The o/u in this game is set at 216.5. The Jazz have been playing unders but the same cannot be said for the Clippers. Their defense will come together at some point this season. George will certainly make an impact on both ends for Los Angeles. This is an extremely intriguing game to watch tonight.
PICK: Jazz -5.5
SCORE PREDICTION: Jazz 105, Clippers 99