Game 5 is headed back to Utah with the series knotted at 2 wins apiece. Both teams won their home games, and now the Jazz look to move within one win of the Western Conference Finals.
Donovan Mitchell is the clear centerpiece to this team. If he does not continue to play at the level, he has and score 30+ points a night, and this Jazz team has no chance to beat the Clippers. Mitchell has averaged 37.3 points per game in this series, yet the Jazz still find themselves tied 2-2 and lost in blowout fashion in Game 4.
The Jazz don’t have another player who can explode for 30 points on a given night. If Mitchell struggles, the team will struggle. With that being said, this is a solid lineup that has role players that are reliable and going to contribute 10 to 20 points on a nightly basis.
Joe Ingles has played at a high level along with Jordan Clarkson, who is getting more time in the absence of Mike Conley. Ingles, Clarkson, and Bojan Bogdanovic are all averaging above 15 points on better than 40% shooting from three-point range.
The team overall is shooting 41.7% from three. Anyone on the team can shoot the three, which is a huge advantage for this team.
Rudy Gobert, who is a former DPOY, has been a huge help on defense and has been disruptive in the paint. He is averaging a double-double in the series on 11.5 points and 12 rebounds.
In my opinion, this is the most talented team remaining in the West. Yes, I know the Suns are still in the playoffs. This Clippers team has so many pieces and so many guys who can explode on any given night. Marcus Morris, who is averaging just 11.8 points in this series, scored 24 in Game 4 on 5-6 from three-point range.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, when playing at the top of their game, are one of the most unstoppable duos in the NBA. Both of these guys are averaging 27.3 points per game in this series, along with 8 rebounds and 4 assists each. In Game 4, which was a dominant performance, Kawhi and George each scored 31, combining for over half of the team’s points.
Paul George is shooting 44% from three and 90.3% from the line. I would like to see George play a bit more aggressively and take a few more shots per game and drive to the hoop a bit more often.
As for Kawhi, he needs to continue to drive to the basket. He is shooting 56% from inside the arc and just 33.3% from behind it. Kawhi is a dominant force in the paint, and I would like to see him drive more.
Reggie Jackson has really come into his own throughout these playoffs. He is averaging 14.8 points per game in this series on nearly 60% shooting.
This team is missing a true center. Ivica Zubac has started to step into that role, and I am interested to continue watching him match up with Gobert.
Game 5 Outlook
Donovan Mitchell has proved he is a guy who can average over 30 points on a nightly basis. I would like to see Kawhi guard Mitchell more often in Game 5. If the Clippers can hold Mitchell to under 30 points and force other players to make shots, they will be on the road to a win.
Paul George has quietly come back to “Playoff P” form. If he can continue to shoot the three at such a high percentage, I like the Clippers even though they will be on the road.
This Clippers team found themselves in a 2-0 hole in two straight series and have battled back in both. This team can step up and make plays when they need to, especially with a guy like Kawhi, who has championship experience.
- Clippers (+125)
- Paul George over 25.5 points (-115)
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