The Los Angeles Clippers just suffered a disappointing loss at home to the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of the playoffs despite Utah losing defensive anchor Rudy Gobert in the opening minute of the game to a knee injury.

In a grind-out game that went to the final buzzer, Joe Johnson hit a game-winning two-point shot to give the Jazz a win after Chris Paul knocked down a huge basket to tie the game in the prior possession with 13 seconds remaining, which led to a senseless question for Doc Rivers after the contest.

The question

During Rivers’ post-game press conference, a reporter asked the coach if it was wise for Paul to shoot the shot so early instead of wasting more time to take the final shot.

Apparently, Rivers did not appreciate the reporter’s question.

“Who would do that? Why would you ever do that? So if you miss, the game is over,” Rivers said with a bizarre look on his face. “That makes no sense. No, that is like the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Now when you’re down two, you try to score. You don’t wait. You score.”

In this case, Rivers was absolutely right. When you are down, you have to take the best shot available, even if it comes in one second, to give yourself a chance to possibly grab an offensive rebound. The reporter’s question would make more sense if the game was tied because at least then you either win or go to overtime.

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Unfortunately for the Clippers, Johnson responded with the game-winner, and there was nothing they could have done about that – it was a tough shot.

Jazz steal Game 1

It was an impressive victory for the Jazz, to be able to contain the Clippers offense without their lengthy defensive big man Rudy Gobert, who was a major reason why Utah’s defense was ranked third in the league during the regular season.

Gobert’s status

Thankfully, an MRI on Gobert’s knee revealed a hyperextension and a bone bruise, no structural damage. The Jazz have yet to provide a timetable for his return, but he should be considered day-to-day for now.

What the Clippers must do in Game 2

Whether Gobert plays or not, the Clippers must come out in Game 2 and try to control the pace right from the beginning. In Game 1, the Jazz maintained a slow pace throughout most of the outing, which is the result of a low-scoring contest. In addition to controlling the pace, Chris Paul must be aggressive right from the start. He wasn’t looking for his shot in the first half of Game 1 but made a huge impact in the second half because he became more assertive.

Game 2 will be played in Los Angeles again on Tuesday, April 18, and it will be televised nationally on TNT.