10/24 Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers: Keys to the Game

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30: Rudy Gobert (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30: Rudy Gobert (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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HONOLULU, HI – OCTOBER 4: Lou Williams (Photo by Jay Metzger/NBAE via Getty Images)
HONOLULU, HI – OCTOBER 4: Lou Williams (Photo by Jay Metzger/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Key #3 – Win the Battle of the Benches

It really is surprising how similar the Jazz and Clippers have become after a revolutionary offseason. Both teams have shifted from relying heavily on some key guys to utilizing a by-committee approach to overwhelm opponents with their impressive depth. So far, the Clippers bench has been one of the best in the league as they’re putting up 50.5 points per game per hoopsstats.com.

Meanwhile, although the Jazz bench hasn’t been as dominant at putting points on the board, they’ve certainly been a force to be reckoned with as they’ve helped maintain, and in most occasions, stretch Utah’s leads or close the gap in deficits. In Utah’s win over Denver, it was indeed the bench that helped direct the Jazz’s spirited late-game comeback and against OKC, the bench played a crucial role in both shutting down the Thunder’s stars and increasing the lead.

Therefore, while it will largely be up to the starters to contain the likes of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, the battle that goes on between the two teams’ second units may very well be the game’s determining factor. Based on what we know so far about these teams, both appear to be very evenly matched, but if Utah’s bench can prove even the slightest bit superior, it could make all the difference.