Las Vegas has always been a city dominated by luck, or lack thereof. The latter fate has befallen this Clippers summer league team, as they lost each of their first three games in Vegas.
Their 0-3 record can’t all be blamed on luck, though. The Clippers are shooting a meager 37.5 percent from the field and 25.3 percent from behind the arc. Their shooting struggles have continued behind the charity stripe as they are shooting an abysmal 55.6 percent from the line. Their ball movement could use some work as well; in additional to their poor shooting, they are averaging a dreadful 17 turnovers per game.
That is not to say the Clippers are incapable of putting up a fight and securing a win, either. Setting aside their 20-point loss on Tuesday against the Blazers, their other two games came down to the final seconds of play — they lost to the Bucks and Lakers by three and two points, respectively. In those two nail-biter games, Jay Scrubb proved he could find the bottom of the basket from all over the hardwood. He capitalized off of open 3-point looks, blew by defenders in transition, and resorted to his stepbacks against heavy defensive pressure. Fellow second-year Clipper Daniel Oturu also looks more comfortable near the rim, averaging an impressive 3.7 blocks and 10.3 boards per contest.
The first-year Clippers, too, have shown promise in different moments. Point guard Jason Preston showed flashes of his play-making and scoring prowess — namely, in the final minutes of Friday’s game against the Lakers, he drove into the lane and finished with an impressive acrobatic and-one.
Keon Johnson’s freakish athleticism and Brandon Boston Jr.’s high ceiling (he was once projected to be a lottery pick after all) could also be on full display this Sunday. Surely, the Clippers will need this from them — perhaps even more — if they want to come out on top after 40 minutes of play.
Their matchup against the Utah Jazz won’t be a walk in the park, however. Led by Trent Forrest and Udoka Azubuike, the Jazz seek to extend their three-game winning streak while the Clippers look to hit the jackpot and clinch their first win of their summer league season.
When: Sunday, August 15, 2 p.m. PT
Where: Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
How to watch/listen: ESPN 2
Opposing Perspective: SLC Dunk