Coming off a disappointing home loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Clippers look to regroup and get things clicking, the right way, as they host the Utah Jazz on Monday evening.
Currently, the Clippers are ranked 30th, out of 30 teams, when it comes to rebounding, at a meager 34.7 per outing. That isn't the worst part, as the Clippers also are dead last when it comes to rebounding differential, at an astoudning -9.6. To put that into perspective, the 29th ranked team is at -6.7.
DeAndre Jordan is doing well, at 10.7, good for 10th in the league, but he has no help. Griffin only chipping in with 7.3, and then the list drops to Spencer Hawes at 4 a night. A recipe for disaster, especially since the team is missing every jumper in sight, ranking them 27th in the league in field goal percentage and 23rd in 3-point percentage. In comparison, Utah is coming into the game at 46% from the field, good for 12th in the league.
Defensively, they aren't doing anything to counter their own shooting woes, allowing their three opponents, to this point, to shoot 48.4% from the field, ranking as the seventh worst in the league. Thankfully, for the Clippers, they are facing one of the teams behind them on this list, who are giving up 49.4% per night.
Opportunities are there for the Clippers to use this game as a springboard before a difficult five game stretch (@ Warriors, v Spurs, v Blazers, v Suns, v Bulls) followed by a seven game roadie.
Utah, however, is coming into the game with all types of momentum, following a 118-91 victory over the Phoenix Suns. To use the word dominating for that outing would be an understatement. The Jazz backourt shutdown the three point guard trio of Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic, holding them to a combined 30 points on 11-35 shooting. Thomas', himself, was averaging 23 a night coming in.
In a season, where they are, again, expected to compete for the top pick in the draft lottery, Utah is a formidable side that should not be underestimated, though, the Clippers are vastly superior, on paper. The game will come down to if we see a new Clipper team, or the same as the first three of the year. I'm expecting the latter and a nice 15 plus point victory for the Paul led side.