LA Clippers vs. Utah Jazz: Injury Report, Predicted Lineups and Starting 5s – June 16th, 2021
The LA Clippers returned to tie the series at two games apiece against the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals of the 2021 NBA playoffs.
This is the second time in a row that the Clippers have tied the series after being down 0-2. Paul George silenced the critics and put on a show in Game 4, recording 31 points along with 4 three-pointers.
After losing both games on the road, the Utah Jazz gave the LA Clippers a chance to stay alive. They now have a chance to take a 3-2 lead and give themselves a cushion for Game 6.
Donovan Mitchell has been sensational, averaging 32.9 points, 5.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game in these playoffs, including shooting 43% from beyond the arc.
LA Clippers Injury Report
Serge Ibaka is listed out for the LA Clippers. He missed 31 games in the regular season and played just two games in these playoffs, averaging nine minutes per game.
It is safe to say that the LA Clippers can manage without him, as Ivica Zubac has done a great job stepping up in his absence.
In a piece of major breaking news, the LA Clippers announced that Kawhi Leonard is reportedly out for the game as well. He suffered a knee injury late in Game 4 against the Utah Jazz.
Leonard left the game early, but thanks to Paul George and co., the LA Clippers managed to close out the game. He is now expected to be sidelined for the game at Vivint Arena, and his status for the rest of the series is also questionable.
Kawhi Leonard is one of the main forces behind the LA Clippers’ recent comebacks. Paul George’s performances have been unpredictable in the playoffs, but Leonard almost usually steps up when it matters most.
In a critical Game 5 on the road, Kawhi Leonard’s absence serves as a major blow to the team’s morale and chances of victory.
Utah Jazz Injury Report
Mike Conley’s status has been upgraded to questionable for Game 5. The Utah Jazz point guard left Game 5 of the first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies early due to a hamstring injury and has been absent ever since.
However, many speculate that he might make his series debut in this game.
LA Clippers vs. Utah Jazz – Predicted Lineups
The LA Clippers will feature a slightly new starting lineup for Game 5.
Coach Tyronn Lue has started Nicolas Batum as the center and made Zubac come off the bench lately. But with Kawhi Leonard reportedly absent, Marcus Morris Sr. is expected to play the small forward, and Nicolas Batum will reprise his old role as the power forward.
With Batum shifting positions, Ivica Zubac is expected to be a part of the starting lineup as the center.
Patrick Beverly has been reduced to a bench role as Reggie Jackson starts as the point guard for the LA Clippers. Paul George will reprise his usual position as the shooting guard.
If Mike Conley is cleared to start the game, he will do so in the backcourt with Donovan Mitchell. If he comes off the bench or doesn’t play tonight, then Joe Ingles will reprise his point guard duties.
Bojan Bogdanovic is expected to be the small forward as usual, and Royce O’Neale will join him in the frontcourt as the starting power forward.
And finally, reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, will retain his center position.
LA Clippers vs. Utah Jazz – Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard – Reggie Jackson | Shooting Guard – Paul George | Small Forward – Marcus Morris Sr | Power Forward – Nicolas Batum | Center – Ivica Zubac.
Point Guard – Mike Conley | Shooting Guard – Donovan Mitchell | Small Forward – Royce O’Neale | Power Forward – Bojan Bogdanovic | Center – Rudy Gobert.
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