I always wanted to go to an NBA playoff game; I guess you could say it’s a wish list item for me. Playoff tickets are more expensive due to the importance of each game in the series, but that did not weigh in on me to buy tickets this time.
My friend Jacob and I made a deal between ourselves that we would get tickets to Game 4 between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City if the Jazz could win both games on the road to start the series. With two wins on the road, we would have a better chance of seeing an Elimination Game 4 on the condition that the Jazz manage to win Game 3 at home.
Not long after we made this deal, we gave in and decided to buy Game 4 tickets anyway.
Going to Game 4 on Sunday will be an action packed weekend for me. Not only do I have the game to look forward to, but my friend Corbin, who joined me for this week’s podcast, will be coming over to my house to do a special NBA Playoff podcast that Saturday as well. That podcast will be an in-depth look at each series, the stories that surround them, as well as our predictions on who we think will win each one. While the podcast will be a lot of fun, we are definitely excited to be a part of the playoff atmosphere at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Game 1 didn’t start on the right foot for the Utah Jazz. On the first play of the game, just 12 seconds later, Rudy Gobert was caught on a screen and hyperextended his left knee. Subsequently, the injury was categorized as hyperextension with bone contusion. As a potential Defensive Player of the Year, and my personal pick for the award, the Jazz will miss him terribly as they try to protect themselves from the high-flying athleticism of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Jazz were victorious in Game 1 in Los Angeles thanks to a game-winning buzzer from Joe Johnson. However, Game 2 did not end so well.
The Jazz got off to a slow start in Game 2, letting the Clippers go up ten points early in the first quarter. They managed to get him into a three-point game, I think, at one point, but every time they shoved, the Clippers immediately responded with a quick run of their own. They REALLY needed Gobert for this one as Blake and DeAndre destroyed them in the painting. At the end of the first half, the Jazz allowed 18 points in the paint, and they had none for themselves. They ended up losing 99-91.
Game 3 airs at 10:00 pm ET from Salt Lake City. Rudy Gobert is officially ruled out for Game 3, although the MRI results indicated there was no structural damage to the ligament. He was also pitching cautiously in practice before Game 2, something Jazz fans should be happy to see. I hope he’s cleared to play in Game 4, so I can see the Jazz really compete for a first-round success.
Game 4 begins at 9:00 pm ET in Salt Lake City. My group will head into the city from southeast Idaho around 11:00 a.m. We hope to be in time for a late lunch and to do some shopping before the game.
I look forward to documenting our journey for a fun recap article when we return. The atmosphere of Game 4 will depend on the outcome of Game 3. Either way, I know that Salt Lake City will be rooting for their home team to win.