The NBA is set up with another great night of action on June 18. Two games will be up on the board throughout Friday night. One of these matchups will be between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers. These two teams have played a great series so far and will look for a big win in Game 6. This game will tip off at around 10:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
Utah finished out the regular season with a record of 52-20, which had them earn the top spot in the Western Conference. The Jazz were able to eliminate the Memphis Grizzlies in five games in the first round. Utah jumped out to an early 2-0 series lead, but have dropped three in a row. Now the Jazz will look to earn a huge win in Game 6 as they try to avoid elimination.
The Clippers put up a record of 47-25 throughout the regular season, which had them finish in fourth place of the Western Conference. Los Angeles fought back to knock off the Dallas Mavericks in seven games in the first round. The Clippers have battled back in this series and are now one win away from the Conference Finals. Los Angeles will look to earn another big win at home in this one.
These two teams have been strong all season long and I expect it to lead to a great Game 6. Los Angeles is coming off three wins in a row and will look to use that to their advantage in this one. The Clippers have a chance to move on with a win at home and will look to take advantage. The Jazz will look to bounce back though to force a Game 7 back in their home arena.
The Jazz hosted the first two games of this series on June 8 and 10. Donovan Mitchell dropped 45 points in the first meeting, while Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson both finished with 18 points. Utah took Game 1 with a 112-109 win. Mitchell scored 37 points in Game 2 and Jordan Clarkson scored 24 points off the bench as the Jazz went up 2-0 with a 117-111 win.
Los Angeles hosted Game’s 3 and 4 of this series on June 12 and 14. Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points and 12 rebounds in the third game. Paul George added 31 points to help lead the Clippers to a 132-106 win at home. Both George and Leonard finished with 31 points in Game 4, while Marcus Morris scored 24 points to help give Los Angeles a 118-104 win to tie up this series.
The fifth game of this series was in Utah on June 16. Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 32 points on the night. Donovan Mitchell added 21 points, but it was not enough for the Jazz. Paul George dropped 37 points and 16 rebounds. Marcus Morris scored 25 points, while Reggie Jackson put up 22 points. The Clippers were able to hold on for a 119-111 win to take the series lead.
These two teams have gone back and forth throughout this series, but now Los Angeles has a chance to move on. The Clippers pulled off an improbable win without Kawhi Leonard in Game 6 and will look to do so again in this one. Mitchell had a more quiet night in Game 5 and will look to bounce back in this one. If Utah can come out hotter in this one, it could be enough to force a Game 7.
Field Goal Shooting
Utah has been solid shooting the ball throughout this playoff run. The Jazz have made around 47 percent of their shots from the field, which is 5th out of the remaining 7 postseason teams. Utah has shot 40.6 percent from behind the arc, which is 1st in the playoffs. The Jazz have sunk 80.6 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which is 5th in the postseason.
The Clippers have been strong shooting the ball as well in the postseason. Los Angeles has been shooting 48.8 percent from the field, which is 2nd in the playoffs. The Clippers have made 39.1 percent of their shots from deep, which is 4th in the postseason. Los Angeles has drained 84.1 percent of their shots from the free throw line, which is 3rd in the playoffs.
These two teams have been similar shooting the ball throughout this postseason run. The Jazz have been better from behind the arc, but will look to step up in close. Los Angeles will be without Kawhi Leonard in this one again, which could hurt them. If Utah can shut down Paul George, it might be enough for them to take this one over.
Donovan Mitchell has been the leader for the Jazz throughout the postseason. Mitchell has averaged 32.5 points per game. Bojan Bogdanovic is averaging 18.5 points, while Jordan Clarkson has averaged 17 points off the bench. Rudy Gobert is averaging 15 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale round out the lineup, averaging 10.5 points per game.
Paul George will look to continue to step up in Game 6 with Leonard out again. George is averaging 26 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this postseason. Reggie Jackson has averaged 16 points per game. Marcus Morris is averaging 12.5 points per game, while Nicolas Batum has averaged 9.5 points to round out the lineup.
Utah has the edge at depth in this one with Kawhi Leonard out. The Jazz have been missing Mike Conley, who could make his return in this game. Conley was averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 assists per game in the playoffs before going down in the first round. If Utah can have Conley return to the lineup in this one, I think it could propel them to the Game 6 win.
The Jazz are coming off a big loss in Game 5 of this series, but I think that they can force a Game 7 with a win in this one. Utah could get Mike Conley back in this one and with Kawhi Leonard out, I think that they can take advantage. If the Jazz can be more consistent from the field and get the ball in close, I think they can take over early on the road.
BetOnline has Utah listed as a -2 against the spread in this one. This gives a slight edge to the Jazz on the road. I agree with this line as Utah earned the top seed in the Western Conference for a reason. I think that the Jazz will bounce back after Game 5’s shocking loss. If Utah set the pace of play in this one, I think they will be able to win and cover this spread.