Clippers clinch No. 4 playoff seed with 115-95 rout of Kings
Apr 15 2017 by Bridget Leonard
They have played a total of 880 minutes together and helped their team rank fourth in the league in offensive efficiency.
Los Angeles Clippers' JJ Redick yells to his teammate during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Los Angeles.
"We've been waiting a long time for this", said Jamal Crawford, three-time Sixth Man of the Year. The Jazz start third-year guard Rodney Hood next to Hill, but the former Duke star's productivity slipped this season and he shoots just 37 percent from the arc. If Luc Mbah a Moute can contain Hayward (well within his capabilities), and DeAndre Jordan is able to match Gobert nearly blow for blow, the rest of the Clippers' roster should easily outweigh the their counterparts on the Jazz. On the flip-side, he is going to be harassed by Luc Mbah a Moute.
Like the Clippers, the Jazz face significant consequences based on how their postseason plays out. However, with the Clippers hitting their stride, and Griffin playing particularly well, it may be hard for the Jazz to keep pace with Los Angeles. The difference this year is the addition of a 3-point shot.
One of the most interesting things to watch in this series will be the matchup of centers, DeAndre Jordan and Rudy Gobert.
There will be some intriguing personnel matchups in this series. Jordan has a year remaining, with a player option for 2018-19. "Maybe more than any other season that we have had here". Los Angeles has scored at least 112 points five times during its six-game winning streak, although the run began after one of the team's worst losses of the season.
"Honestly, as I know and you know, it still starts all over, whether you're playing well or not", Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
The Clippers finished the regular season with a record of 51-31, an identical mark as the Jazz, but L.A. holds the tiebreaker by winning the season series with Utah 3-1.
Highlights: The Jazz and Clippers bring tough, physical defense and some explosive playmakers.
Ingles, who had nine points against the Spurs, and Exum, two points and three assists, joined the Jazz in 2014 and have become important pieces in the team's return to the playoffs.
If the Pacers beat the Atlanta Hawks and the Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets they make the playoffs.
In nearly any other realistic matchup, the Jazz would be a trendy pick to advance.
Now, however, Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert and the rest of Utah's young core will be in for the biggest challenge that they have faced yet - a first-round match-up against the formidable Los Angeles Clippers. With questions about their will, chemistry and offseason plans, the Clippers are desperate to move on.
The season series was certainly competitive from a physicality standpoint.