If this seems like Déjà vu, well... it pretty much is. For the second time in three nights, the Clippers will host the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. This is one of a handful of times this season the Clippers will face the same opponent back-to-back times, in order to limit travel across the NBA this season.
When: Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. PT
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles
How to watch/listen: Fox Sports Prime Ticket, ESPN, AM 570 Radio
Opposing perspective: SLC Dunk
Projected Starting Lineups:
Clippers (21-9): Patrick Beverley, Reggie Jackson, Lou Williams, Marcus Morris Sr., Serge Ibaka
Jazz (24-5): Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert
Clippers: Kawhi Leonard (left leg contusion), Nicolas Batum (concussion), Paul George (right toe bone edema), Luke Kennard (Sore Right Knee) — QUESTIONABLE
Jazz: Mike Conley (right hamstring) — QUESTIONABLE
As of right now, essentially half of the Clippers’ key pieces are questionable. Hopefully they play, or we can have a repeat of what happened the other night. Through the first three quarters it was actually a competitive game. The Clippers had a lead of five at halftime, and only trailed by six entering the fourth.
Utah knocked down five three-pointers in the final frame, and the Clippers’ offense just lacked their normal firepower to keep up.
Like I mentioned, as of right now it’s uncertain whether or not LA will be short-handed again or if they’ll be getting back some of their top players. This very well could be a playoff matchup, so you’d like to see both of these teams go at it with full strength.
If the Clippers lose this game, they’ll fall 4.5 games out of first place. Still doable with a lot of games to play, that will be a difficult hill to climb if they have any hopes of finishing as the top seed. With a win, they’ll move up to only 2.5 games behind Utah, a very doable mark for the Clips.
Either way, I expect tonight to be another great game. We’ve seen it over the last few weeks, but the Clippers are still a tough win even when they’re short-handed.