Oh how the tables have turned. The Clippers must've been drooling in game 1 when Rudy Gobert went down 15 seconds in. DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin were going to just dominate the paint and the Clippers would have a free pass to the second round. Too bad even without Gobert the Jazz managed to steal game 1 from the Clippers. Games 2 and 3 the Clippers were able to win, however they still weren't quite dominating the Jazz like they had expected. Clippers took a huge blow when Blake Griffin was ruled out for the playoffs after suffering a toe injury in game 3. To add insult to injury, game 4 Gobert returned and the whole series changed.
Immediately his defensive presence was felt, he was disrupting shots inside, forcing DeAndre Jordan to work much harder, and he was another viable scoring option on offense. Gordon Hayward had to leave the game after the first half due to illness. Once again the Jazz aren't at full strength, didn't matter though, they had played the entire series like that, so it was nothing new. Gobert continued to do his thing on the defensive end of the floor while Joe Inglis and Joe Johnson were running the show on offense. The Jazz went onto win the game 105-98, tying the series up at 2 games a piece.
Chris Paul should honestly be ashamed of himself. To call yourself a superstar point guard, one of the best in the league for the last 10 years, yet somehow he still hasn't figured out how to take over a playoff series. The fact the Clippers lost that game last night is embarrassing and everyone needs to lose their job after they lose this series. The Clippers let an old washed up Joe Johnson turn back the clock on them and cook them all night long for 28 points on 70% shooting. The Jazz best scorer and biggest offensive producer, Gordon Hayward, was an entire non factor, and the Clippers still lost. I understand Chris Paul has little to no help, although Jamal Crawford did provide 25 off the bench, no one else did much. Isn't Chris Paul supposed to get the most out of his teammates surrounding him though, regardless Clippers and Paul should be ashamed.
The Jazz on the other hand have a big things ahead of them. Gobert's impact on the defensive end is actually insane, the Jazz were +22 in the paint last night compared to -42 in games 2 and 3. Not only does he stop the other team from scoring inside, he also gives you another decent scoring option around the basket. Joe Ingles, can't say enough about this guy, plays hard defense, does the little things in order to get wins, and he was quite the dimer last night raking up 11 assists. At the end of the day, Gobert made all the difference, 15 points, 13 boards, and 2 blocks set the tone for the Jazz in game 4. I'm sure he'll continue to do the same for the rest of this series as I now see the Jazz as the favorites.