The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs in seven games, including three road victories. The Utah Jazz, on the other hand, struggled early without Donovan Mitchell before going on to win four straight games against the Memphis Grizzlies in their first-round series. The Clippers and Jazz meet in Salt Lake City on Tuesday evening for Game 1 of a highly anticipated clash that features star power, fascinating stylistic approaches, and plenty of drama.
The Jazz are considered minor favorites in the series because to their No. 1 seed and a comfortable first-round victory. Utah had the finest regular season in the NBA this year, dominating on offense while employing an artistically stunning style that included ball movement, high-end shooting, and unselfish play. Rudy Gobert, the likely Defensive Player of the Year, led Utah’s defense at an outstanding level, and the Jazz operate with their A-plus rim protector in mind.
However, the Jazz had some defensive issues against Memphis, particularly when it came to dealing with Ja Morant. In the series, Utah allowed 1.15 points per possession, and their offense, rather than their defense, was the main force behind their success. The Jazz may have their hands full with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, despite the fact that the matchup is entirely different.
Leonard was electrifying in leading the Clippers to victory against the Mavericks, and George had some great moments in that series as well. While neither player matches Morant’s offensive style, one of Utah’s recognized flaws is the lack of large, two-way wings, with only Royce O’Neale approaching the “wing stopper” archetype that so many teams seek. Furthermore, Mitchell will be under pressure to live up to Leonard’s status as the series’ No. 1 creator, and some of the questions on both sides should be resolved with Game 1.
Game 1 TV Info
Tip Time: Tuesday, June 8; 10 p.m. ET
TV Network: TNT
Game 1 Betting Lines (via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Series Prices: Jazz (-130), Clippers (+105)
Spread: Jazz -4 (-112), Clippers +4 (-109)
Total: Over 220 (-112), Under 220 (-109)
Money Line: Jazz (-165), Clippers (+138)