Jazz vs. Clippers Game 2 preview: A rested Kawhi Leonard, open looks and lineup changes — what to watch for tonight
Jazz aim to hold serve against Clippers as the two teams resume series in Salt Lake City
Here are three things the Jazz should watch out for in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.
A rested Kawhi Leonard
After playing a grueling seven-game first-round series against Dallas with Game 7 taking place last Sunday, the Clippers had to travel to Salt Lake City on Monday and play at altitude in Game 1 on Tuesday. Needless to say they didn’t really have a lot left in the tank.
Kawhi Leonard was slow to get involved on the offensive end and didn’t show much aggression on the defensive end. But, Leonard is not going to be sluggish in every game and I’d expect him to come out well rested and ready to put up more of a fight in Game 2.
The Jazz had a really uncharacteristic first quarter on Tuesday, missing 21 consecutive shots and shooting 17.9% from the field. The Jazz were generating a lot of open looks and getting good shots, they just weren’t falling.
It is not likely that they have consecutive performances of that nature and the Clippers aren’t going to want the Jazz to have as many open looks either, so they’ll probably clamp down on their perimeter defense, which means open shots will be an even hotter commodity than they were in Game 1. The Jazz need to take the shots when they are there and avoid hesitating.
Ty Lue was doing a bit of rotation experimentation in Game 1, but will probably have a bit more of a plan for Game 2. The Jazz need to be prepared and ready to adapt and adjust because Lue is not the type of coach that likes to keep things consistent.
The Clippers might throw a number of different lineups and coverages at the Jazz and the Jazz need to be ready to make their own changes on the fly to counter the punches the Clippers throw.
Game 2 between the Jazz and Clippers tips off at Vivint Arena at 8 p.m. MDT on ESPN.