Clippers beat Kings, clinch No. 4 seed in playoffsBy Kelly Sanders Apr 15, 2017
The Utah Jazz will open the 2017 NBA Playoffs against the LA Clippers on Sat, April 15 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
However, the Utah Jazz have proven all season long that they have the firepower and potential to compete with the best of the best. Utah embarked on a slow rebuild under general manager Dennis Lindsey and Snyder and watched the wins increase from 25 to 38 to 40 and now 51 since the 2013-14 season. Or is this the team in between that has been injured throughout significant periods of the season, seemingly disinterested and average? However, the Clippers' recent hot streak suggests that are peaking at the ideal time.
Perhaps the biggest question for the Clippers is whether or not they can stay healthy.
After years of disappointment underscored by last year's post-season cut short due to injury, the Clippers look to prove they can hang with the top teams out west.
Of all eight first-round matchups in the playoff picture, none harder to call than the No. 4 vs.
Utah will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the opening round of the playoffs. Filling out that roster is the French maestro Rudy Gobert, who leads the National Basketball Association in just about every defensive statistical category, yet will likely lose out on Defensive Player of the Year. Jamal Crawford is a crafty, clutch player with big games and game winners in his belt.
Highlights: The Jazz and Clippers bring tough, physical defense and some explosive playmakers.
"The group of guys that we have, especially going into the playoffs - we've got to make sure we come ready to play, because we know they're (Houston) going to be ready", he said.
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Still, things can change, and if Hayward and the Jazz go on an extended playoff run, then perhaps he may think more about staying on the team and continuing to help build something potentially great in Salt Lake City. The Jazz do have something to play for and should leave it all on the floor. But even the Clippers center wasn't this good this early.
Gordon Hayward can already feel the difference. After a grueling 82 game season, it all comes down to this.
The Jazz chew up most of the shot clock on offense. Coach Popovich called a timeout after that play, just 45 seconds into the game.
He's facing another player who gets triple-doubles in bunches.
With the Jazz's first postseason game since 2012 set for Saturday night (8:30 p.m. MT) against the L.A. Clippers on the road, what's been Johnson's sage advice to the squad? But the Timberwolves again struggled to get stops down the stretch and Wiggins missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as they lost their fifth straight game. Primary defensive credit and responsibility goes to forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who has the size and skill to slow down a player as talented as Hayward. Utah also needs the Los Angeles Clippers to lose to Sacramento.
"We would love home-court", Rivers said prior to the game, "we've played for it all year, we have a chance to get it". The Clippers have the tiebreaker over the Jazz.
Based off of predictions everywhere, a lot of people are taking the LA Clippers.
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