Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Clippers Prediction & Preview – Live NBA Streams

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All the pressure is back on the Utah Jazz in Wednesday’s expected return to the Vivint Smart Home Arena for Game 5 of their playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers. After losing consecutive skewed losses along the way, the Jazz desperately need a spark performance to avoid a potentially final game in Los Angeles. They have only lost five times at home through the regular season.

Leonard is the best on the floor

All the momentum is swung back in Clippers favor after managing their business and winning back-to-back games along the way. They did not just beat the Jazz in these games.

They knocked them down.

All the praise being put on Donovan Mitchell must have awakened the monster who slept in Kawhi Leonard. The man was an absolute assassin on the floor and luckily ruined Jazz without a hint of emotion in his face. Utah should be very, very scared right now.

Who wouldn’t be when the guy laughs like that?

Leonard is clearly the best player on the floor in this series and that should continue to be the case on Wednesday night. Yes, Mitchell is a superstar. I do not go back from that after his shining performances early in the series.

But Leonard is on par with LeBron James and Kevin Durant when locked inside. He is to well.

So it hurts even more for the Clippers to learn that they could be without him for the rest of the series. The two-time NBA Finals MVP suffered a knee injury that keeps him sidelined for Game 5 via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

The Clippers have scored 118 plus points against the Jazz in the last two games. Their ability to pile on the scoreboard is a big reason for their success. It has been nothing short of impressive to come up against a Jazz team that ranks fourth in the league in defensive efficiency. The key to Los Angeles has been Paul George’s uptick in offensive production. “Playoff P” has scored 31 points in consecutive games.

But can he keep it going?

George can at best look like a superstar or a little above average. The extreme swing has plagued him throughout his career. No matter what version of George we see in Game 5, this game decides without Leonard on the floor.

(edit: Kawhi Leonard will miss the game and the series with a knee injury).

Home can make the difference for Jazz

Home rule advantage can actually save Jazz in this series.

The Clippers could have settled things, but if they have any hope of advancing, they still have to steal at least one game in Utah.

And it has not been easy to do for anyone.

Jazz is the best home team in basketball with only five losses at Vivint Smart Home Arena this season. The Memphis Grizzlies stole Game 1 in the opening playoff series against them, but Donovan Mitchell did not play in that game.

Utah has to make a home state against the Clippers. A good start would be to avoid the big early deficits that give the Clippers a chance to be frontrunners. All that does is push Paul George and other players to strike down shots.

The jazz needs to be better at both ends of the floor to at least keep the game competitive in the first half.

They are without a doubt the best two-way team in basketball. Although the Clippers are so talented, there are no excuses for the Jazz being blown out in back-to-back games. One of the shocking state lines is that they lose on the boards. Rudy Gobert needs to take over the game down and remind people why the Jazz were the No. 3 ranked rebound team through the regular season. This is the time for them to show some toughness and Mitchell to really give the Clippers something to laugh about.

My mom used to say the last thing to me before spankings. So the Jazz have to get into this game with the same energy.

Mike Conley is listed as questionable for this game. So the Jazz could potentially be at full strength against a Clippers team playing without Kawhi Leonard.

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