Jazz Face Necessary Adjustments Ahead Of Clippers Game Five

Jun 15, 2021, 7:09 PM
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz find themselves in near must-win territory as they prepare to face the Los Angeles Clippers in game five.

After winning games one and two by narrow margins in Salt Lake City, the Jazz were blown out in games three and four in Los Angeles.

Now, they must find the winning formula in game five, or risk heading back to L.A. with their season on the line.

Jazz Prepare Adjustments For Game Five

It would be inaccurate to say the Jazz haven’t made adjustments throughout the series already, as coach Quin Snyder has toyed with the team’s offensive and defensive schemes, and even lower his rotation from nine-men to eight in the team’s game four loss.

But, even with the series knotted up at 2-2, Snyder said he recognized more aggressive adjustments will be required for the Jazz ahead of game five.

“The playoffs are about adjusting,” Snyder said, “and not just adjusting from game to game but also on a larger scale to a team that you’re playing.”

The Clippers have flustered the Jazz offensive attack over the last two games, using their length and athleticism to keep the guards out of paint, and forcing hurried looks late in the shot clock.

“There are ways that we have to attack them that are different than we’ve had to attack certain teams or different than we’ve had to even attack them say during the regular season,” Snyder said.

Outside of Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles who have played and shot the ball well over each of the four games to start the series, the Jazz are getting less than familiar contributions from other starters and role players against the Clippers.

If Snyder fails to push the right buttons for the Jazz in game five, they face a one-game elimination in game six on Friday night.

Clippers In Catbird Seat Ahead Of Game Five

Though the series remains even, the Clippers clearly have the upper hand in the series, finding an equation that works against the Jazz on both ends of the floor.

While the Clippers will be without Serge Ibaka for the rest of the season, the injury to Mike Conley for the Jazz has played a significantly larger role. Now, L.A. finds itself waiting for the Jazz to make counter moves in game five.

“You don’t really want to be the counter puncher; you want to be the aggressor,” Tyronn Lue said before game four.

The Clippers followed a similar path in their series opener, losing games one and two at home, winning games three and four, before losing again in game five.

“It’s not something you want to get used to, digging yourself holes,” Lue added.

The Clippers won games six and seven with their backs against the wall versus Dallas but could avoid facing two must-win games and put more pressure on the Jazz with a win at Vivint Arena on Wednesday.

Key Matchup

The key matchup in game five will pit Jazz center Rudy Gobert against the Clippers Marcus Morris.

Morris saw a significant improvement returning to Staples Center in games three and four, upping his averages from 8.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while just 32 percent from the floor and seven percent from the three-point line to 15.0 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 56 percent from the floor and 62 percent from the three.

Gobert meanwhile has seen a sizable drop in his contributions for the team’s opening-round series win over the Memphis Grizzlies to his performance against the Clippers.

After averaging 17.4 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 3.2 games over the first five games of the playoffs, Gobert is averaging just 11.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in round two.

Jazz And Clippers Game Five Broadcast

Game five between the Jazz and Clippers will tip-off at 8 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on TNT.

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Jazz Face Necessary Adjustments Ahead Of Clippers Game Five