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Clippers look to earn back winning record against Jazz

Just when you were getting used to reading tales of the Clippers demise, they go and get win against a team they were supposed to beat. They'll try to string two of those games together tonight against a motivated Jazz team.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

2015-16 NBA Regular Season
Utah Jazz (6-7)

Los Angeles Clippers (7-7)
November 25, 2015 — 7:30 PM PT
STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, California)
Fox Sports West, The Beast 980 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Win-Loss Breakdown ('15-'16)
6-7 Record 7-7
4-4 East 1-1
2-3 West 6-6
1-2 Division 3-3
2-2 Home 5-3
4-5 Road 2-4
4-5 .500+ 4-5
2-2 .500– 3-2
0-0 OT 0-0
4-6 L10 4-6
Projected Starters
Raul Neto PG Chris Paul
Rodney Hood SG J.J. Redick
Gordon Hayward SF Wesley Johnson
Derrick Favors PF Blake Griffin
Rudy Gobert C DeAndre Jordan
Efficiency Stats ('14-'15)
94.91 (29th) Pace 99.7 (12th)
99.5 (22nd) OffRtg 103.9 (5th)
99.1 (24th) DefRtg 104.3 (22nd)
0.4 (13th) NetRtg -0.4 (19th)
Injury Report

Rudy Gobert (tailbone) Probable

Dante Exum (ACL tear) Out

Are we panicking? We're still panicking, right?

The Clippers had an 18 point lead late in the fourth quarter last night in Denver, which was horrifying. They won, but goodness gracious. Can't cut it that close again, for the sake of my health. Am I right? It should go without saying that any Clippers-fan-slash-blogger doesn't have anything too nice to say about the Clips at this point, and while Tuesday's win in Denver offered some solace, we are talking about a frickin' .500 team here, guys. This supposed "championship" team with their "players" and "coaches" and their "goals." Allegedly. Scandalous rumors of expletives being uttered--NAY, SHOUTED--in the locker room, in an NBA locker room, of all places...! J.J. Redick getting TATTOOED during the season? Well, I never. We are Clippers fans, and we have expectations, dammit! Legitimate ones, for once! We demand wins, and tattoo-less shooting guards! Don't we?

It should be noted, of course, that the previous paragraph should be read in jest. In-jested, if you will (happy Thanksgiving, by the way!). But don't get me wrong, there are plenty of legitimate gripes and sour grapes to suck on regarding the Clippers--and that statement is jest-less (di-jested?)--but being the optimistic naive sadistic Clippers fan that I am, I believe early struggles mean early adjustments. And if I'm wrong, whatever--it's just another offseason of pain, suffering, judgement, questioning the existence of a God or any kind of moral justice in the universe before I fall right back into this foolish black hole of optimism. Normal Clipper fan stuff.

It should be noted, dear reader, that this is my first game preview of the season, and I apparently have a lot of blogging kinks to work out. Sorry about things getting weird, but these are weird times.

The Young and the Jazzy

The Jazz are a team that has fascinated me in recent seasons. Though gone are the days of Jerry Sloan, a keenness for fundamental basketball and a can-do spirit remain with the Utah Jazz. Kind of refreshing when you consider the current state of the Clippers, don't ya think? Tired of being a team billed as "having a lot of promise," the Jazz are looking forward to taking that leap from a team that will try hard, but you're going to beat anyway to Actual NBA Playoff Team (TM). Quin Snyder ain't no slouch, either, and he won't allow his team to be. While their name might not strike fear into your heart just yet, they'll slug ya right in the mouth if you're not ready for them. Keep in mind that these dudes have forged a 6-7 record, the same stat your Los Angeles Clippers had yesterday, while playing a whopping nine games on the road already this season. So...go Jazz? I mean, do I like the Jazz? I feel like I have a lot of nice things to say about them...perhaps too many nice things. Taking that into consideration, I would like to take this opportunity to insult Gordon Hayward. He's so pale, right? So pale, you guys. None of the Clippers are that pale, so there's that. Way to tan, fellas, way to tan!

Mail's here! And it's covered in red hair and freckles

I guess Blake Griffin is okay. He briefly left Friday's game against the Raptors with a non-contact knee injury, which is enough to make any seasoned Clipper fan panic (more than usual).  But the Flyin' Lion put up 18, 10 and 4 last night against Denver and didn't look hindered at all. But more importantly, how about that jumper, right guys? He's shooting 45% from beyond 15 feet this season (and, wait for it--40% from 3-point range!). Griffin's nuanced, technical, expertly-learned jumpshot has been smoother, more reliable, and better integrated into his natural game than ever this season, harkening memories of another straight-shooting yet powerful power forward who once played for the Jazz. The subtitle of this section was supposed to be a play on Blake Griffin as the new Mailman, by the way. Perhaps I should also mention the player I'm comparing him to in order to bring our younger and dumber readers into the loop, and also for SEO reasons. So, Karl Malone.

The Stifle Tower

Rudy Gobert knows nothing except: PROTECT THE RIM, and make opposing players look stupid for even trying. The 7'1" youngster is averaging 11 rebounds and a stifling three blocks per game. Deandre Jordan has a great opportunity to exercise some of his "I'm a superstar-level free agent now, apparently" post moves out on this big French lug. It's pronounced Go-bear, people.

That small forward thing

Okay guys, Doc finally said it: He likes Wesley Johnson "the most." There, the conundrum at the 3-spot is settled! The--wait, no?  "We're just gonna keep moving it around," is how the coach finished that thought. Can you--how 'bout--what if, not that? Wes had his best game of the season in his first start in Denver, scoring 11 points in 23 minutes while hitting 3-4 from deep. I mean, I'm sold. After having six different starting lineups in six straight games, maybe Doc will offer some consistency on this front. He's listed as starting in the Clips Nation game preview, Doc, so don't make a liar of me!

Fun Fact

Joe Ingles is Australian and was a Clipper through training camp last season. In his brief time with LAC, he became a fan favorite of sorts, even if his popularity was merely a novelty due to his luxurious, yet slightly annoying Aussie cadence. After the Clips cut him last season, Utah picked him up and he's actually still doing NBA player things. He's averaging 4 points in 13 minutes so far this season, so, good on ya, mate!