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How great, truly, are the Utah Jazz? Well, we’re about to find out.
We already know the Jazz finished the season with the NBA’s best record (52-20) and the top seed in the Western Conference. We also know they lead their series vs. the Los Angles Clippers by a 2-1 count. Game 4 is Monday night in LA.
But a lot of people have had their doubts about the Jazz … and still do. A lot of that is likely related to the fact the Jazz are a small-market team, and a lot of people outside of Salt Lake City probably haven’t seen them play.
The Jazz’s stars include still-underrated guard Donovan Mitchell and defensive disrupter Rudy Gobert. Nice players, but hardly household names. The Clippers, on the other hand, with the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Coach Tyronn Lue, are always a story.
So the Jazz are out to prove they’re the real deal, that they are worthy of your attention. But that will be tough on the road, and that’s where they are today. They lost in LA on Saturday in a game that wasn’t really close. They were missing point guard Mike Conley Jr., who has a hamstring injury, for a third straight game and could be missing him again Monday night. They just didn’t look like the same team that played off the energy of the crowd in the first two games at home.
So it makes sense that, per FanDuel, the Jazz are a +5. Given that they are a team with lots to prove, it’s a safe bet that they won’t get blown out again. It’s a safe bet that they cover — and perhaps even win outright.
Follow Sam Amico’s NBA coverage on Twitter @AmicoHoops.