When Jazz coach Quin Snyder was asked late last week if he saw the Clippers as "sleeping giants" when he was an assistant for L.A. (1992-93), he said, "I would say an awakened giant, in my mind".
The two-time reigning NBA MVP sprained the MCL in his right knee when he slipped on a wet spot just before halftime of a Game 4 win at Houston in the first round of the 2016 playoffs. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul led the Clippers in scoring with 26 and 25 points.
Johnson led the Jazz with 21 points.
It's not over for the Clippers, especially with Rudy Gobert questionable for the rest of the series. "They switched it, and we got him with eight seconds to go with an iso".
Gobert, one of the Jazz's two best players and a front-runner for NBA Defensive Player of the Year, crumpled to the ground holding his knee only moments into Game 1 on Saturday. Los Angeles is somewhat handicapped offensively with Luc Richard Mbah a Moute on the floor, but his presence is a necessity defensively against Gordon Hayward, without Austin Rivers. Gobert immediately had to helped to the locker room and the series already looked to have shifted before it ever even started.
"I think we felt and knew that a lot of people probably were counting us out when he went down, but man, we stuck together, fought hard for 48 minutes, we had ups and downs, but at the end of the day we came out with a win.""But we'll find out". Then, he missed seven more games, then came back after the All-Star break.
"I remember Joe Ingles setting a pick, got Jamal Crawford on me, and I just seen the clock going down", Johnson said. We feel like we've got smart enough players to get a good shot off without calling one. But Johnson lost the ball and Hill fouled Griffin, who made both free throws to get the Clippers to 94-93 with 23 seconds left. There is every reason to believe that the Clippers can bounce back in Game 2 and tie the series up at one. On/off numbers can serve as a helpful stat, painting a picture of how teams perform with players on the court and when they sit. Jordan had five straight double-doubles to finish the regular season but he was limited to an average of nine points in four meetings with Utah while shooting 51.6 percent, the lowest mark he had against any opponent other than Portland (50 percent).
It may not have been the smartest question in the world, but it certainly wasn't completely silly, either and it's clear that Doc's frustration got the better of him on this occasion after seeing his team lose to a Jazz outfit that lost influential center Rudy Gobert to a knee injury after just 17 seconds.