The basketball gods were not kind to the Jazz Saturday night.
On the first possession of Game 1 of a playoff series against the Clippers, Luc Mbah a Moute tried to chase Gordon Hayward around a Rudy Gobert pick and the Clipper defender hit Gobert right in the knee, sending the defensive anchor of the Jazz to the ground. Gobert couldn’t walk and just :11 seconds into the game had to be helped off the court with what was diagnosed as a sprained knee.
Gobert is having an All-NBA level season for the Jazz — he will get a lot of votes for both Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved. He is central to what they do, and Utah will be in trouble in this series if he is out any extended amount of time.
That said, the Jazz were stepping up and the two teams were even midway the second quarter.