NBA Predictions: Can the Jazz cover at home vs
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 15, 2017,
Apr 15, 2017, 20:36
When it comes to the playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers' history is short and not at all sweet.
Home-court for the Clippers-Jazz series was the last remaining unknown part of the playoff schedule - and it went to the Clippers, who pulled away in the second half to beat Sacramento and lock up No. 4. The Spurs will host the Memphis Grizzlies for Game 1 Saturday night at 7:00 PM CST.
Neither is the momentum they're riding.
The Clippers start the playoffs as the NBAs hottest team, having won seven in a row and 11 of 13.
Redick's jumper launched a 24-14 run that sent the Clippers into the fourth leading 87-73.
As Hayward, Gobert and the rest duke it out with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan over the next couple weeks, though, Lindsey's case will be obvious - and the vision he had in 2013 will finally play out for the world to see. "They could really do something". However, they both possess the ability to explode to the rim; finishing off alley-oops or pick and roll plays with relative ease.
The Clippers have shown maturity down the stretch, seizing home court after the Jazz put the pressure on by winning on Wednesday night.
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. But Jingles has been more impactful than the other two all season long.
So while the front office might see promise in the young nucleus, National Basketball Association teams with this much youth usually lose a lot more than they win.
"Being from Australia, I love that fans outside of the U.S. are getting more and more live games", he added. It kind of reminds me of San Antonio, Paul said.
And so, the sense of urgency is squarely with the Clippers.
Paul and Griffin are in the final year of their contracts, which include player options for 2017-18.
"I'm just grateful of this moment, grateful for my teammates that have been around me and my coaching staffs that have coached me over the years and allowed me to play the way I have played".
A year ago, the Clippers owned a 2-0 lead against Portland in the first round only to lose in six games after injuries to Paul and Griffin.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way for Sacramento (32-50). The Trail Blazers won the next two games to eliminate Los Angeles in Game 6.
Utah hasn't started the playoffs at home since 2001. "Our bigs are so athletic - I can't think of any team in the league that has more athletic bigs than us", Paul said.
This postseason will be completely different for the first-time All-Star from the four-game, first-round sweep against the Spurs during his second season in the league. "At the end of the day it's got to be a unit and we've all got to be working together on a unit to make it flourish". With the exception of reserve guard Austin Rivers, they have everybody healthy. He could return soon.
"We're ready", Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters.
"Does that mean there's no residual effect?" he asked.
Were peaking at the right time, backup guard Jamal Crawford said. Every other champion of the current millennium failed at least once before raising the Larry O'Brien Trophy and took cues from those prior disappointments to become the team that was ultimately good enough to be the last one standing in June.