Los Angeles Clippers vs Utah Jazz 12/15/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz Matchup Preview (12/15/21)
After battling the Phoenix Suns at home, the Los Angeles Clippers will hop on a quick flight to take on the Jazz in Utah. For the past three games, the Clippers have been without their star forward, Paul George. Surprisingly, they have had pretty terrific results despite missing his leadership, experience, scoring, and perimeter defense. Tremendous performances recently from role players Brandon Boston Jr (27 points against the Boston Celtics) and Luke Kennard (23 points against the Orlando Magic) have propelled this Clippers team to new heights. They never really have had defensive problems this season; it has always been offensive shortcomings that have caused inconsistent performances. The Clippers rank seventh in opponent points per game and opponent eFG% (effective field goal percentage) and fourth in defensive efficiency. Still, their offensive successes in December are the reasons for their tremendous play. Utah has won seven straight basketball games and eight of its last nine. The only loss was a bad one-point loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. What is most impressive about the Jazz is their discipline. After that bad loss to the Pels, they rattled off seven straight, with only one of those being close. This should be a tight game, so look at further analysis below.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz Betting Odds
The Clippers have had an impressive past few games despite not having Paul George on the floor. Several role players have stepped up and put together some big games, including Luke Kennard, Brandon Boston Jr, and Marcus Morris Sr. It will be challenging for the Clippers to keep up with the Jazz solely because of how many points they can put up. Utah is second in the NBA in points per game and fourth in opponent points per game. Virtually, it would require the Clippers to put up 115 points against a top-ranked defense for them to have a chance. While you could make the argument that their game against the Suns proved they are capable, Phoenix was without two of its three best players in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. It was also a home game for the Clippers, whereas this is an away game. I like the Jazz against the spread because they are one of the hottest teams in basketball.
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Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Vivint Arena – Salt Lake City, UT
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Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Clippers Analysis
It has been an impressive December so far for the Los Angeles Clippers, despite missing Paul George for several games. The fact that players on the Clippers can step up offensively when needed is a good sign for their eventual playoff hopes and could make them a real problem later in the season, especially if Kawhi Leonard comes back at some point. The Clippers’ most recent win came against the Phoenix Suns, who they demolished at home by 16 points. It is easy to look at this at face value and think that they could threaten the Utah Jazz in their matchup; however, consider that Phoenix was without Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. Those two players are imperative to the Suns’ success, so it is less surprising that Los Angeles was able to come away with a win. It will be challenging for the Clippers to grab a road win against one of the best teams in basketball that is fully healthy and not missing any key players.
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
Utah Jazz Analysis
As always, the Utah Jazz continues to fly under the NBA radar. The lack of appreciation and acknowledgment for this team after last season, and the start of this season, is unprecedented. While the Jazz have had a few bad losses this season, they always seem to bounce back and rattle off several wins, similar to what they are doing now. They have won seven straight, most of which convincingly. It certainly helps that Rudy Gobert and Bojan Bogdanovic are having the best seasons in their careers and the Jazz are one of the deepest teams in the NBA. Utah can win this game simply by being as effective on offense as it has been all season. The Clippers don’t have enough firepower without George to keep up.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz Daily Fantasy Picks
It is no surprise that the Los Angeles Clippers struggle with scoring at times. They rank 19th in the NBA in points per game and don’t have many pure scorers outside of Paul George and Reggie Jackson. Paul George has been out for two games due to an elbow injury and may be out for this matchup against the Jazz as well. Since George has been out in the past two games, Jackson has stepped up. While he has struggled with efficiency at times, which is not unknown for Jackson, he still has averaged 21 points, five assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game. Jackson is still putting up some impressive numbers on the season, but he becomes even more dangerous when he is the primary scorer. He will take plenty of shots, so as long as he has a remotely good game, then he is a terrific DFS play.
Even when Rudy Gobert is not having a productive offensive night, he can still be a valuable player in DFS. For instance, Gobert finished with merely six points against the Cleveland Cavaliers but tacked on 20 rebounds, five blocks, three assists, and one steal onto his stat line. He averages 15.1 points, 14.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, and just shy of one steal and one assist on the season.