In what will be an exciting matchup between two top NBA Western Conference teams, the Utah Jazz and the LA Clippers will face each other at Staples Center on Wednesday. This game will be the first of a two-game mini-series. The LA Clippers' are cementing their status as contenders and enter this matchup on a four-game winning streak.
As far as winning streaks are concerned, no team can match the Utah Jazz right now, as they have won their last eight in a row and look to continue their dominance.
This is the second time these two teams are meeting this season. The first encounter saw the Utah Jazz emerge victorious behind a 33-point performance by Mike Conley.
Fixture: Utah Jazz vs LA Clippers | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Wednesday, February 17th; 10 PM ET (Thursday, February 18th, 8:30 AM IST).
Venue: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
LA Clippers Preview
After last season's early playoff exit, the LA Clippers look determined to redeem themselves this season. Ty Lue's side are currently running the 4th-best offense and the 5th-best defense in the league.
Their star players, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, are averaging MVP caliber numbers and their new acquisitions, Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum, have slotted in seamlessly.
Four of the five bonafide starters didn't play on Monday against the Heat, yet the LA Clippers got away with a victory behind a 32-point game by Marcus Morris Sr. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Nicolas Batum, and Patrick Beverly were all ruled out with injuries, although Beverly and Leonard are expected to return against the Jazz.
Key Player - Kawhi Leonard
Star forward Kawhi Leonard is making a case for his first MVP award this season. He leads the team in points, assists, steals and minutes played. Leonard has the highest PER (Player Efficiency Rating) on his team and the LA Clippers often struggle with him off the floor.
With Paul George unlikely to play, the burden of the team's scoring will on Kawhi Leonard. Given the difficulty of this matchup, Leonard will be expected to make crucial and timely shots late in the game.
LA Clippers Predicted Lineup
G Patrick Beverly, G Luke Kennard, F Kawhi Leonard, F Nicolas Batum, C Serge Ibaka.
Utah Jazz Preview
When the season began, none of the predicted rankings had the Utah Jazz on top of the charts. Quin Snyder's team have shocked and impressed everyone around the league this season. They are leading the competitive Western Conference and are on an eight-game winning streak.
The Utah Jazz's excellent ball movement and high-volume three-point shooting have blown away opposition defenses. The Jazz players are constantly in motion around the three-point line, while having a great low-post player like Rudy Gobert helps them in pick-and-rolls.
Key Player - Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell having the best season of his career. Although his numbers are similar to last year, he has improved his shot selection and court awareness, while leading the team to the best record in the league so far.
Donovan Mitchell leads the team in minutes played and points, and is clearly the Jazz's most valuable player. After his impressive playoff performances in the Orlando Bubble, he is now making a name for himself as one of the league's top shooting guards.
Utah Jazz Predicted Lineup
G Joe Ingles, G Donovan Mitchell, F Bojan Bogdanovic, F Royce O'Neale, C Rudy Gobert.
Jazz vs Clippers Match Prediction
This game is evenly matched on paper as both teams boast impressive rosters. However, with Paul George reportedly questionable for the game, the odds are tipped in the Utah Jazz's favor.
The Jazz are on a tear right now, terrorizing defenses with their spacing and shooting from deep. The Western Conference's top seed look set to continue their winning streak.
Although the LA Clippers are running the third-best offense in the league, they could suffer in the absence of Paul George and his lockdown perimeter defense. The Clippers will need to match the Jazz's threes with timely threes of their own or the game could get out of hand quickly.
Where to watch Jazz vs Clippers?
The Utah Jazz vs LA Clippers game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Prime Ticket and AT&T Sportsnet - Rocky Mountain in the US. The game can also be live-streamed on the NBA League Pass.