With the Lakers out of the picture, and Lebron’s shadow no longer hovering over the playoffs, you’d think the other LA time can finally shine.
After the superstar pairings were finalized two years ago, it has been a foregone conclusion that the Clipper and Lakers would clash.
That inevitable fight for NBA supremacy has turned into…well nothing very impressive at all.
The Lakers have an asterisk bubble championship, sure, but the Clippers have nothing.
And they never faced off in the playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Clips, a new juggernaught has risen.
Enter the Utah Jazz.
Here are two simple reasons why the Clippers have no shot against Utah.
Gobert was supposed to be unplayable in the playoffs.
The French giant was too slow to face the ultra-switchy wing and guard lineups.
It was better to have a smaller big who can switch and shoot.
Post Warriors, this was the conventional wisdom.
However, the defensive stalwart has proven this theory to be small minded.
On the back of his historic defensive and hyper efficient offense, the Jazz other players have thrived.
Rudy is not going to make a play on offense, but he will alter a shot to ignite a fast break.
Gobert will not make the key pass for an assist, but he will set a screen and roll dangerously to the hoop for a hyper efficient shot, or leave a mismatch on the outside.
On defense, Gobert changes the gravity of the court, like Curry on offense. He allows his teammates to make plays around him. He changes the whole game.
Plus, good luck driving on him for a good shot at the hoop.
The Clippers have some of the best depth in the league.
Against most any other opponent, their depth would be an advantage.
The Jazz may the only opponent where this may not be the case.
The Jazz have two 6th men-of-the-year types in Clarkson and Ingles.
Clarkson represents the Lou Williams type sparkplug, and Ingles is the do everything well type of guy.
Both are efficient and do a lot for the Jazz.
Both are better than any bench player on the Clippers.
Those bench units, being able to have those secondary guys, could make the difference in this series.
When benches shorten to 8, and things get tight, you need extra guys to step up to win in the NBA.
The Jazz have two of the best in the league to do it. The Clips are about as close as any other team is.
But they are not quite there.
Los Angeles looks the part in what we think of as a contender. But they have never played like it.
Playoff P is here, and ready to miss shots.
Kawhi is he terminator, but he can win a game or two max.
This is not the Mavs where he can steal a few games. The Jazz are too good and play too well.
Utah has one of the best coaches in the league, they can weather nay storm.
The Utah Jazz will always make the right plays when it matters and have Mitchell to bail them out; or veteran Conley even.
The Jazz should scare the Clippers more than this Mav’s team ever could, and they still barely escaped in 7.
This series will go 6, but it won’t be a close six.