The Los Angeles Clippers shocked the world in Game 5. LA defeated the Utah Jazz 119-111 without Kawhi Leonard and as huge betting underdogs.
Oddsmakers have listed the Jazz as short road favorites in Game 6. Utah is favored by 2-points and the Total is set to 220.
* These are the model's ratings at the time the article was published. Star ratings can change due to line changes, injuries, and other breaking information.
Just when it looked like the Clippers were headed for another early exit due to the Leonard injury, they went out and stole Game 5 from the Jazz. Paul George justified his "Playoff P" moniker, going off for 37 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists. George has been great this series, averaging 29.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists a game.
The team needed George and his teammates to step up in Leonard's absence, and they rose to the occasion. Aside from PG's big game, both Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. provided a much needed offensive spark for the team. Jackson scored 22 points, while Morris Sr. chipped in a huge 25.
LA's small ball lineup continued to give the Jazz fits on both sides of the basketball. Utah shot just 37% from 3-point land. The Jazz have shot 43.8% in wins this season, so that was one part of the story. Turnovers was the other piece that led to the Jazz loss. Utah committed 13 turnovers, and Los Angeles took advantage, scoring 34-points off of those hiccups.
The main root cause of those struggles goes back to their backcourt. Mike Conley has been out with a hamstring injury, and his return outlook is unknown. Donovan Mitchell, the team's catalyst, sustained multiple injuries this series, and finally looked hobbled in Game 5. While Spida did score 21 points, he didn't look like his attacking self. There were many possessions where he looked like he couldn't move and was stagnant.
Mitchell said that his ankle pain, "is just something I'm going to have to deal with" as long as the Jazz are alive. ... "It f---ing sucks."
Mitchell's statement combined with the news that Conley supposedly had a minor setback with his hamstring is bad news for the Jazz. Especially with such a short turnaround. Conley would be a huge boost and would be able to help relieve some of Mitchell's load if he could return this series.
Can Utah get it done on the road in game 6? Will Paul George get help from his teammates like he did Wednesday night?
- Utah is 4-2 against the spread (ATS) in its last six road games.
The number is too sharp for my liking when it comes to the side, so I'm making a play on the total. The Clippers shot 51.3% from the field, while the Jazz shot 45% last game. Both teams also combined for 36 3-pointers in Game 5. I'm expecting some shooting regression from Los Angeles in Game 6. They were fired up for that game, but I don't see their shooting numbers sustaining.
Also, both teams started off on fire in the first quarter, combining for 73-points. The game slowed down completely after that insane start, and the over barely hit. These are two of the best defensive teams in the NBA and I expect both to lock in on Friday. I also envision this game being played at a slower pace than we saw on Wednesday.
I just can't see the Clippers putting out the same offensive output they did in Game 5 and the Jazz backcourt is a mess.
The BetQL model also has a 2-star pick on the under, so I'll with them in this spot.
Pick: Under 220