When the Utah Jazz face off against the LA Clippers Tuesday night in Salt Lake City in the Western Conference semifinals, all eyes will be on the visitors’ stars, and rightfully so.

Even the most casual of NBA fans have heard of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who arrived in Los Angeles together last season with the goal of winning an NBA title, if not more than one. And yet, two players don’t make a team and the Clippers have one of the most talented teams in the NBA.

Who do they have besides Leonard and George?

It is time to get to know the opposition.

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The starters

Leonard and George are only two of the Clippers’ regular starters. Who are the other three? As it turns out, there are actually four other regular starters for LA, depending on the matchup, as shown in the Clippers’ first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks. Let’s begin with the constants, though.

Marcus Morris Sr.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. (8) shoots and sinks a 3-point basket in the second half in Game 4 of an NBA first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Sunday, May 30, 2021. | Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press
  • Forward.
  • 6-foot-8, 218 pounds.
  • 13.4 points per game.
  • 4.1 rebounds per game.

If the the Clippers were to have a “Big 3,” Morris would likely have the best argument to be included. A versatile defender who is called upon to defend nearly every position, Morris has legitimate 3-point range — he shot 47.3% from being the arc this season — and the ability, when absolutely necessary, to become a primary offensive option. A nine-year pro out of Kansas, Morris didn’t have the best series against the Mavericks, but he is a key cog in what the Clippers do.


Reggie Jackson

Los Angeles Clippers’ Reggie Jackson (1) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers’ Ben McLemore (7) during an NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers, Thursday, May 6, 2021, in Los Angeles. | Ringo H.W. Chiu, Associated Press
  • Guard.
  • 6-foot-2, 208 pounds.
  • 10.7 points per game.
  • 3.1 assists per game.

Now the Clippers’ starting point guard — he was a reserve as recently as Game 2 of the Dallas series — Jackson was a pickup on the buyout market (during the 2020 season) who has become an integral part of LA’s success. Jackson played in 67 games during the regular season and shot a career-best 43.3% from 3-point range. A one-time max player with the Detroit Pistons, Jackson was excellent against the Mavericks, averaging 15.4 points a game, and could be a wild card against the Jazz.


Nicolas Batum

Los Angeles Clippers’ Nicolas Batum (33) goes to the basket against Indiana Pacers’ Goga Bitadze (88) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Indianapolis. | Darron Cummings, Associated Press
  • Forward.
  • 6-foot-8, 230 pounds.
  • 8.1 points per game.
  • 4.7 rebounds per game.

This is where the line between starter and reserve begins to blur a little. For much of the season, Batum was the Clippers’ sixth man, but he shifted into the starting lineup against the Mavericks after LA fell behind in the series. A 12-year pro out of France, Batum has been a key piece on a good Portland Trail Blazers team, an overpaid disaster on a horrible Charlotte Hornets team, and now a solid-to-good forward on the Clippers. Like Morris and Jackson, Batum shot well from behind the arc during the regular season (40.4%), but dropped off a bit in the series against the Mavericks. His all-around versatile game and ability to guard every position makes him a plug and play type of player.


Ivica Zubac

Los Angeles Clippers’ Ivica Zubac shoots free throw in Game 4 of an NBA first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Sunday, May 30, 2021. | Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press
  • Center.
  • 7-foot-0, 240 pounds.
  • 9.0 points per game.
  • 7.2 rebounds per game.

For much of the season, Zubac was the Clippers’ starting center and a good one at that. The four-year pro out of Croatia played in all 72 regular season games and was largely the Clippers’ main option in the paint. He started the first three games of the Dallas series, before the adjustment was made to shift him to the bench. Against the Jazz and Rudy Gobert, though, Zubac will likely have to make a significant reappearance (he played only three minutes in the Clippers’ Game 7 win over the Mavs).

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The reserves

This won’t be a listing of every other player on the Clippers’ roster. In the playoffs, rotations tighten and lineups shorten, usually to about seven or eight players. Against the Mavericks, the Clippers and head coach Tyronn Lue largely settled on a lineup of eight or nine players, with a little fluctuation.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann (14) shoots against Dallas Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic (51) during Game 7 of an NBA first-round playoff series Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Los Angeles, Calif. | Ashley Landis, Associated Press

Terance Mann

  • A 6-foot-5 forward out of Florida State, Mann has become one of the Clippers’ most relied-upon reserves this postseason thanks to his defensive versatility. By the end of the Dallas series, Mann was LA’s most consistent bench player.

Patrick Beverley

  • One of the best defensive guards in the NBA, Beverley was a starter much of the year, but was moved to the bench early on during the Dallas series as the Clippers needed more offense.
Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) shoots against Los Angeles Clippers guard Luke Kennard (5) during the first quarter of Game 7 of an NBA first-round playoff series Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Los Angeles, Calif. | Ashley Landis, Associated Press

Luke Kennard

  • A 3-point sharpshooter out of Duke, the 6-foot-5 Kennard shot nearly 46% (45.6) from 3-point range during the regular season, but is only shooting 33% from behind the arc during the playoffs.

Rajon Rondo

  • The former Boston Celtic and Los Angeles Laker, not to mention multitime NBA champion, was brought in to provide stability at the point guard position, arguably LA’s greatest weakness. Against the Mavs, Rondo’s minutes fluctuated significantly, but he will likely be relied upon when games are on the line.

The wild cards

These players have names that fans will recognize, but due to injuries they likely won’t make much of an impact in the series.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, left, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers center Serge Ibaka defends during the second half in Game 1 of an NBA first-round playoff series Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Los Angeles. | Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Serge Ibaka

  • Ibaka has starred for the Oklahoma City Thunder and was a vital piece in the Toronto Raptors’ NBA title run, but a back injury early this season has left him a shell of his former self. At least for now.

DeMarcus Cousins

  • The former Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans star has bounced around the NBA in recent seasons, after injuries upended what was once one of the most promising careers. Cousins could see spot minutes if the Clippers decide to go big as an answer to Gobert, but he didn’t play a single minute against the Mavericks.