||EnergySolutions Arena||7:00 PM MST||Probable starters||Hart
Well, talk about getting lucky. One game after not having to face Hit-N-Run when hosting the Nuggets, the Jazz seem like they will be hosting a Clipper team tonight that will be without their 2 big offseason acquisitions… Baron Davis & Marcus Camby. The Jazz will yet again be without Deron Williams. Which won’t be fun.
The Clippers are coming off of a busy offseason. As listed above, they added Davis (free agency) & Camby (a “trade”). They also added Ricky Davis, Jason Hart and Steve Novak, while drafting Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan and Mike Taylor. On the opposite end of the spectrum, they lost Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, Shaun Livingston, Brevin Knight & Quinton Ross (among others). Yeah, this isn’t the same Clippers team that we saw last year.
- Hart v. Price v. Knight: Interesting how this is all playing out. A while back, Brevin Knight & Jason Hart were battling it out in Charlotte. Knight won. Hart ended up in Sacramento, where he battled with Ronnie Price for the backup spot. Price won. Hart ended up with the Clippers, where he played well for the half season he was there. In the offseason, he ended up in Utah. Ronnie Price followed. The 2 duked it out again for the backup spot. Hart was declared the winner, but struggled and was finally replaced 2/3 of the way through the season. And then in the most recent offseason, Hart was dealt back to the Clippers for Brevin Knight. And now, due to injuries, all 3 seem likely to get major minutes tonight. Jazz fans were happy to see the team acquire Knight for Hart. Clippers fans were happy to acquire Hart for Knight. Ronnie Price rocks. In the end though, the injuries move this from the most interesting match-up in the game (Deron v. Davis) to the least interesting.
- Camby & Davis: It seems like both will be out today. Missing your 2 key offseason acquisitions can’t be fun… especially not just 2 games into the season. How much will Hart/Mike Taylor step up at the guard & Tim Thomas/Paul Davis/Brian Skinner at the 4-spot?
- Al Thornton: Unlike the Jazz rookie from last year, the Clippers pick, Al Thornton, has been getting plenty of time, and is now starting. Last season, he averaged 12.3 ppg… a number that jumped to 15.7 when playing the Jazz. And now, the Jazz will start off with CJ Miles on him. It’ll be interesting to see how the Jazz handle him. He did go off for 30 against the Nuggets last night.
- How will the Clips respond? The Clips started the season in embarrassing fashion, getting blown out by the Lakers in LA. Then, after a day off, things looked better early against the Nuggets. But then Davis went down, and the team imploded, eventually losing to the Nuggs in OT. That was last night. Now they travel to Utah without their star PG.
- Can they stop Booze? ClipperSteve doesn’t seem to think so…
Boozer is a beast. Boozer usually kills the Clippers, and especially this front line of Kaman and Thomas. He’s too strong for Thomas, and too clever for Kaman. I expect him to go for about 30.
It would be nice to see him go off for another big game, especially with Deron out. There are even some rumblings that he was seen on the defensive end against the Nuggets… and we have the best of the best out trying to figure out if this is in fact true, or just a hoax.