Clippers vs. Jazz: The best player prop bets for Game 2
The home crowd threatened to drown out the broadcast at times during Game 1 of the L.A. Clippers vs. the Utah Jazz as the home team rallied for a hard-fought victory. Though the Jazz were coming off a significant rest advantage, it was the Clippers who punched first, carrying a 13 point lead at the half after Utah missed 20 straight shots in the first quarter.
With Mike Conley held out because of hamstring tightness, it was left to Utah’s star guard Donovan Mitchell to deliver when they needed it most. And deliver he did. Mitchell served up a 45 point masterpiece, ultimately outscoring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined, and leading the Jazz to a three-point win.
Fri, June 11 2021, 2:00 AM
Game 2 tips Thursday at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. With the Clippers desperate to avoid another 0-2 series start, which players can we expect to show out and who will be shut out? We have the three best player prop picks and odds below.
DONOVAN MITCHELL OVER/UNDER 40.5 POINTS, REBOUNDS and ASSISTS
When the third quarter began, the Jazz found themselves in a 13-point hole, and unable to get anything going inside. The cameras caught Dwyane Wade on the sidelines, now a minority owner in the Jazz, seemingly urging Donovan Mitchell to attack and take over the game. What followed next was truly special. Mitchell scored the first four Jazz buckets in the third, eventually totaling 16 points in the period, bringing Utah all the way back into the game.
There have been a lot of claimants to "The Next Wade" title over the years - Victor Oladipo and Anthony Edwards are just two recent names to wear that crown - but I don’t think there has been anyone in that group who has delivered a more Wade-like performance than what Mitchell put together in the second half.
Mitchell did most of his damage in isolation, and as the game wore on he also targeted Luke Kennard in pick and rolls. In one instance particularly reminiscent of Wade, Mitchell exploded to the basket through traffic for a picturesque finger roll at the cup.
While putting Kawhi on Doncic had been something of a panacea for L.A. in the previous round, it didn’t affect Spida’s attack. Putting Kawhi on Mitchell didn’t work because he struggled with Mitchell’s speed and with getting through Utah’s solid screens.
The Clippers’ game plan will continue to be forcing the Jazz to beat them in isolation, something Mitchell has shown he is well-prepared to do. With Conley likely out again in Game 2, Mitchell should post gaudy numbers once again.
RUDY GOBERT OVER/UNDER 13.5 REBOUNDS
L.A. came into the series with a supposed matchup advantage which they tried to leverage in Game 1. They played small, with Marcus Morris at the center position, so that they could switch everything on defense. In addition, they would have a five-out shooting lineup that would in theory pull Rudy Gobert and his rim deterrence away from the basket.
Gobert, however, was having none of it. The now three-time Defensive Player of the Year ran a defensive clinic, and had the Clippers’ guards petrified to set foot in the paint for most of the game. And Gobert wasn’t shy about defending on the perimeter either, with his nominal matchup, Morris, struggling to a 1-9 shooting performance from 3-point range. This was capped off by the dramatic finish to the game when Gobert snuffed out the Clippers’ chances of forcing overtime by enveloping Morris’ last-second shot attempt.
The Clippers won’t be shy about continuing to go small, and Rudy’s unique combination of agility and Inspector-Gadget-level-length will allow him to eat on the boards.
Rajon Rondo OVER/UNDER 11.5 POINTS, REBOUNDS, and ASSISTS
Rajon Rondo played 28 head-scratching minutes in Game 1. The Jazz defense completely exposed him as he was not even attempting to finish inside nor willing to take open shots. His one honest attempt at the rim was swatted into the stands by Derrick Favors, and he finished 1-3 on the night, torpedoing the Clippers’ offensive gameplan.
Ty Lue went away from Rondo as the Mavericks series went on it became clear he didn’t have it. With plenty of other viable guard options, expect Lue to make the same move here, and for Rondo to lose minutes and production in Game 2.