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#1 Utah Jazz vs. #4 Los Angeles Clippers
Game 6: Friday at 10:00 PM ET on ESPN (Los Angeles leads series 3-2)
Analysis: Playoff P?! Pandemic P?! Whatever your feelings are about Paul George, the Los Angeles area native carried the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard to a road victory in Game 5 as the Clippers claimed their first lead in the series and now have a chance to close it out on Friday night at Staples Center. It might seem like ages ago - and it was certainly a while ago - but remember when George was the face of the Indiana Pacers and carried them to the Eastern Finals in 2013 and 2014 and conference semi's in 2012?
In all three years IND was ousted by LeBron James and the Miami Heat, but I don’t believe anyone really gave the Pacers a puncher’s chance in those series. Those were still George’s teams, however, and since then, George has been more in the role of Robin to someone else’s Batman with Westbrook in Oklahoma City and Leonard currently in L.A. Now he gets a chance to be Batman again and I expect him to relish the opportunity. Not only is PG13 a seasoned veteran when it comes to playoff basketball, but fellow starters like Nicolas Batum, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris have all been around the block and won plenty of games in the postseason. Experience isn’t as favorable for UTA though, as the Jazz are attempting to reach their first conference final since 2006. I’m willing to bet LAC found something more than just a one-game wonder without Kawhi and expect their veterans to get them over the hump and close the series at home.
Best Value Bet: Clippers ML +107