NBA Late Night Western Conference Action: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers
Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada
The Utah Jazz are just 9-23 on the season but came away with a victory over the L.A. Lakers at home 105-103 on Friday night. In the victory, Gordon Hayward led the team with 24 points and nine assists. The swingman is emerging as a No. 1 option on a depleted Jazz team that lost its frontline of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap in free agency over the summer. The Jazz have a method to its madness, though, with its eyes firmly set on a high pick in the loaded 2014 NBA draft. That said, NBA oddsmakers at Bovada are not giving the Jazz much of a chance against tonight’s opponent, the L.A. Clippers, setting the line 14.5 points in favor of the home team LAC.
The Jazz are banking on continued development from Favors who is averaging 13.6 points and 9.2 rebounds on the year. Favors was the main chip that the Jazz received in exchange for Deron Williams, whose career has declined markedly since leaving Utah. Favors was expected to pair nicely with Enes Kanter, but Kanter has struggled some this year and is posting a PER of just 12.3. Kanter has soft touch and good instincts, but is slow on rotations and has been a defensively liability at times.
Rudy Gobert is an enormous specimen who can grab the rim without jumping, but Gobert has seen just 10.7 minutes over 17 contests, and clearly isn’t ready to contribute at an NBA level. The “not ready” label applies to Kanter, Gobert, and even to rookie point guard Trey Burke, so this team has a long ways to go before it has to be taken seriously. Burke is averaging 13.5 points and 5.1 assists per game and has an above-average PER of 15.8, so at this point the Jazz are relatively pleased with the diminutive playmaker, but he has a lot to learn as most NBA rookie point guards do.
Doc Rivers has done just what he intended to in strengthening the Los Angeles Clippers’ “D.” The team ranks 12th in points allowed, surrendering 99.8 per game to opponents. The offense will almost produce itself with the collection of talent on the Clippers squad, most notably Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The Clips rank 5th in scoring, averaging 105.2 points per game, and with two All-Stars and a number of role players that can put it in the basket (Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick), the Clips should be able to keep up with teams like Houston and Oklahoma City.
Griffin is averaging 21.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per game while posting a PER of 21.2 and Chris Paul is posting high numbers in assists as he did in New Orleans, averaging 11.5 per game to go with 19.9 points per game. When Griffin was ejected on Christmas day, Paul took the team on his back offensively and got very aggressive, but it wasn’t enough to overcome David Lee and the Warriors, who triumphed 105-103. Redick is currently out for at least another month, but prior to injury he had fit seamlessly with the starting five and was averaging 15.8 points and two assists per game.
Utah Trends: UNDER 4-0 in last 4 after scoring 100 or more in previous game; 0-5 ATS in last 5 vs teams with winning pct over .600; OVER 10-1 in last 11 vs teams with winning SU record
LAC Trends: 4-0 ATS in last 4 following SU loss; 4-0 ATS in last 4 after allowing 100 or more in previous game; 5-0 ATS in last 5 on 1 days rest.
Head-to-head: OVER 16-5 in last 21 meetings in LA; Jazz 13-5 ATS in last 18 meetings; OVER 20-8 in last 28 meetings.