New Playoffs, Same Problems For The Clippers

Summary: After a disheartening injury to Rudy Gobert on the first play of the game, the Jazz showed remarkable heart and resiliency capping it off with Joe Johnson game victor to take Game 1 of the first round playoff series with the Clippers.

Game 1 was 17 seconds long for Gobert, as in the first possession of his playoff career, he banged knees with Luc Mbah a Moute and needed to be carried off the court.

There was no immediate word on his status. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul combined for 51 in a losing effort.

You can see in the video that Griffin makes no attempt to get back into the play. It would make me sad if the last image that Clippers fans have of Blake is him shooting a twenty-foot jumper over James Michael McAdoo, down 20 in the fourth quarter to the Warriors.

"It ain't great, obviously", said Paul, who scored 12 points in the final period, of the loss. Despite his lingering knee issues, Derrick Favors helped bear the burden down low in Gobert's absence. You might, to inflict maximum pain, wait until the team had made the playoffs for the first time in many seasons, and then injure that team's best player. The Clippers went 2 of 10 from 3-point range in the second half. Unfortunately for both these teams (more so for the Clippers, who I think are legal property of the Warriors at this point), the reward for winning this series is a second-round matchup with top-seeded Golden State. Mike Conley was the only other Grizzlies player in double figures, finishing with 13. Game 4, which the Clippers won, was played at the Anaheim Convention Center for precautionary reasons.

When I say no one got injured I meant no Clippers were injured.

Enter Joe Johnson; the seven-time All-Star and Iso Joe of yore.

It's not over for the Clippers, especially with Rudy Gobert questionable for the rest of the series.

Utah outscored the Clippers 16-10 to open the third before Crawford's jumper put Los Angeles ahead 70-68. I don't think so - at least I'm hoping it can't. Paul and Griffin each missed 21 games with an assortment of dents and scrapes.

Get scoring updates and the live box score from Game 1 between the Clippers and Jazz above.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Toronto. If Gobert can get out onto the court, the Jazz are all of a sudden favorites to win the series, but if he doesn't, their lack of interior defense might prove too much to overcome, despite the early 1-0 series lead.

In game two, Griffin and Paul must play TWO strong halves and the supporting players have to support.

  • Julie Sanders