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2017 NBA Playoffs Injury Update: Rudy Gobert “Game-Time Decision” For Clippers-Jazz Game 4

With the Clippers looking to extend their 2-1 series lead, they could face the return of Utah’s best defensive player.

NBA: Playoffs-Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

According to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake City Tribune, Jazz center Rudy Gobert is warming up and will be a game-time decision tonight.

Gobert injured his knee in the opening moments of the series just over a week ago, and has logged just 17 seconds of playing time. After a tremendous season, Gobert is considered among the favorites for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. In his absence, Derrick Favors has started at center for the Jazz while Boris Diaw and Joe Johnson have each seen increased minutes.

For the Clippers, who are now playing without Blake Griffin, the return of Gobert may present a silver lining—Utah could play bigger lineups with two traditional bigs, allowing Doc Rivers more situations in which he can play Marreese Speights and DeAndre Jordan together. Speights’ three-point shooting has made those lineups very effective offensively, but his defensive limitations only make the pairing tenable against certain match-ups.

On the other hand, if Gobert is fully healthy, his defensive impact could be enough to curb the effectiveness of the lethal Chris Paul-DeAndre Jordan pick-and-roll, which has shredded Utah’s defense in the last two contests.