Utah Jazz freezing cold, misses 20 shots in a row, trails Clippers 25-18 after first quarter


The good news is that the Utah Jazz got just about all the shots they wanted in the first quarter of Game 1 on Tuesday against the LA Clippers.

The bad news? They almost all missed them.

After starting 3 of 5 on the field, the Jazz missed their next 20 straight games, 14 of which were straight across the arc. And yet, despite this incomprehensible cold streak, the Jazz were only led 25-18 after the first 12 minutes.

After two scoreless stretches of about four minutes each, they narrowed the gap a bit thanks to a pair of Jordan Clarkson 3s in the last minute.

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Quin Snyder breaks series keys against Clippers

During the Utah Jazz shootout on Tuesday morning, goaltender Jordan Clarkson was asked what coach Quin Snyder preached to the team ahead of their second-round series against the Clippers.

“The most important thing he really insisted on was just that we be ourselves, that we stick to what we’re doing,” Clarkson said.

And so Snyder was asked in his pre-game availability which of the principles he preached would be the most crucial in the series.

He gave a pretty detailed breakdown.

“For us attacking offensively – obviously it always depends on how you are protected and you have to recognize these things. It’s up to us to push the ball on the field, to play with the pass, to take our shots, to attack the edge, to make quick decisions, ”he said. “And then defensively, Rudy is quite unique, and we’ve been trying to find ways all year round to allow him to have an impact on the game; the Clippers make it really difficult.

This, of course, led to a thesis on the difficulties inherent in trying to slow down people like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

“You have Kawhi, who is probably the best midrange player, whether on the post or off the dribble, then you see him face up and isolated, shoot 3s. You have a guy who can create his own shot, has a range, can shoot the ball from the dribble from 3, can play pick-and-roll, who can come out of screens, ”Snyder said. “So they have guys in these two guys who, they’re the elite and you watch them and there are times when you marvel at some of the things they do. But I think the most important thing is that they’re both very selfless players, and that’s what makes them so hard to defend, because of the shots they take. So you have to choose your poison a little bit trying to impact these two guys and make it difficult for them, and at the same time not making them look clean from 3 is something that is difficult to do. make.

It sounds intimidating. Especially with All-Star playmaker Mike Conley for Game 1 at least with hamstring strain.

Nonetheless, Snyder said it was imperative for the Jazz to keep it simple and, as Clarkson alluded to, to stay the course they have charted throughout the season.

“Even without Mike, I think we have to be aggressive and attack and not be afraid of failing, not being afraid of failing, but being able to move on to the next play when we don’t have good possession offensively and then defend, ” he said.

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Snyder isn’t worried about the Clippers’ defensive plans, saying they’ve seen it all before

Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley was sent off in Game 1 of the Western Conference semi-finals on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Conley suffered hamstring tightness in the first quarter of the Jazz’s Game 5 closing win over the Memphis Grizzlies last Wednesday, and at halftime he was ruled out from returning to the game. An MRI revealed “slight tension in the right hamstrings” the next morning.

With the Clippers needing until Game 7 on Sunday to defeat the Mavericks in their first-round streak, the hope was that the extra days off would keep Conley good to go.

However, the team announced after practice on Monday that Conley had only been a partial participant and was officially listed as questionable to play. Then, after Tuesday morning’s pre-game shootout, the Jazz officially kicked Conley out.

“There’s always a process that you go through, especially with an injury like this, where it’s something that is constantly being treated and watched, and [you’re] trying to find the right balance when he’s able to come back and come back effectively, ”coach Quin Snyder said in a media meeting after the shootout. “… Mike’s absence – I hope we can get him back soon; he’s been great all year on both sides of the court. … Hopefully we’ll get it back as soon as possible. But these things are difficult to predict.

Snyder said that with Conley’s absence, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson would take more responsibility for handling the ball and organizing the attack, as has been the case during previous absences from Conley.

Clarkson, who has been criticized at times throughout the season and against the Grizzlies for his shooting choices and decision-making, said he accepts the need to become more of a playmaker.

“With Mike being out in this game I now feel like it leads me to make more games for my teammates,” said Clarkson, sporting the No. 8 Lakers jersey from Kobe Bryant. “Try to stay aggressive, but keep moving the ball and making plays for my teammates, knowing it’s a guy we have that starts our mixer for us. So me, I really have to get into that role of getting into painting, doing plays for other guys, and getting open shots from other guys as well.

Then again, he added that Snyder’s overall message to the team heading into this second-round series is that nothing changes much.

“We really focused on being ourselves, my brother, to be honest with you,” Clarkson said. “You know, we made a few adjustments here and there defensively. But the most important thing he really insisted on was just that we be ourselves, that we stick to what we do. “

Indeed, after offering some superficial news on Conley, Snyder spent most of the media session bringing up the idea that the lineup of small balls and the defensive switching scheme that LA used to such an effect against Dallas. will now prove to be an impenetrable obstacle for Jazz.

After initially casting some shade on them, LA gave up their last two regular season games against a pair of lottery-related opponents and slipped from third seed to fourth and went down. found on the Utah side of playoff support. Obviously we’re a matchup that the Clippers saw as a win-win match ”), he then threw some water on the idea that the Jazz will see something in this series that they aren’t already. extremely familiar.

“There is no mystery,” Snyder said. “We’ve had teams that have changed from 1 to 5 against us all season. We’ve had teams that dropped their big points all season. Donovan has been bombarded with pick-and-rolls all season. People have been protecting themselves from us all season. People have kept Rudy in the strong corner all season. So all of these things – for me it’s a matter of how we perform.

Clarkson, aware of Snyder’s “advantageous fight” comment, warned that if the Clippers were indeed aiming for a clash with the Jazz, they might soon regret it.

“I mean, if that’s what they were doing, that’s what they were doing. If they lost games trying to come and play us, that’s the fate they chose, ”he said. “We’re going to come over there and tie them up and [focus on] win the series – first one to four. So if that’s what they were doing, trying to manipulate it, that’s what it is. And we’re going to stick with what we’re doing and put our strength into it. “


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