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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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – OCTOBER 21: Rudy Gobert (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – OCTOBER 21: Rudy Gobert (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Prediction – Jazz 105, Clippers 101

I’m truly excited about this upcoming contest because it has all the appearance of a thriller. It will feature two revamped teams that last faced off in a Game 7 contest anxious to prove themselves in a brand new season. Both have phenomenal depth and several scrappy, gritty players that could turn the game into a slug-fest.

All in all, I expect this to be a closely contested game and believe it could go either way. However, at the end of the day, just as I projected in my recent week preview piece, I’m going to pin the Jazz as narrow winners in this contest.

Utah proved in the playoffs that they can outmatch the Clippers and have proved so far that they can hang with some of the West’s toughest teams. Not only that, but two of the players that the Jazz struggled the most to contain last year – Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford – are no longer with the team. Thus I feel that they’ll be able to keep up with the rest of LA’s deep squad.

Next: Utah Jazz 2017-18 Week Two Outlook, Predictions

The Jazz have shown plenty of signs thus far of being much better than many expected them to be and a win over the Clippers would help to further solidify that possibility. In order to make the playoffs in a deep Western Conference, the Jazz will have to find a way to win games such as this against the very foes that they’ll likely be battling with for postseason positioning.

Therefore, even though it’s still very early in the season, this game could have major implications later down the road and should be viewed as a critical match-up for the Jazz.