Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Preview
The Los Angeles Lakers got back to their winning ways last night with a win over the then-second place Denver Nuggets. They are back on the road tonight as they travel to Salt Lake City for a matchup against the Utah Jazz.
The Lakers are tied for the best record in the NBA at 18-3. They are first in the Western Conference, have won nine of their last 10 and are 9-1 on the road. The Jazz are 12-9 on the season and are currently sixth in the Western Conference. The Jazz have lost their last two games, are 4-6 in their last 10 games. At home, the Jazz are 8-1, which could bode well for them tonight against a Lakers team on slightly tired legs.
Time: 9 PM ET
Arena: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Channel: NBA TV
Lakers: Kyle Kuzma (P), Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins (O)
Jazz: Mike Conley, Juwan Morgan (O)
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from their Sunday night loss to the Dallas Mavericks with a 105-96 win last night against the Denver Nuggets.
“Our whole thing is that we don’t want to lose two in a row ever,” said Lakers forward Anthony Davis. “You want to make sure that we correct everything that we did poorly against (the Mavericks), especially rebounding.”
Davis finished the game with 25 points and 10 rebounds in the game, and LeBron James matched him with 25 points, nine assists, and six rebounds. Both players played 37 minutes last night so Frank Vogel will have to manage their minutes tonight. The Lakers got some much-needed offensive help off the bench. Dwight Howard had 13 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes, and Rajon Rondo had 11 points, six assists, and six rebounds in 25 minutes.
Kyle Kuzma was once again limited to 20 or fewer minutes. The Lakers really need a consistent third scorer on offense, and he’ll have to receive consistently more minutes and a bigger role in order to do that. Last season he looked like he was on the verge of becoming an All-Star-caliber player. While Davis would likely prefer to stay at the four, sliding him over to center over JaVale McGee and starting Kuzma at power forward may be the best way to make that happen. That also gives the Lakers another perimeter threat.
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
The Utah Jazz are 0-2 in their last two games on their Eastern Conference road trip against Toronto and Philadelphia. They lost to the 76ers on Monday night 103-94.
“We’ve got to play better,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “There are things we can do better, and we’ll keep doing what we can do, controlling the things we can control, and we’re going to improve.”
The 76ers got out to an early lead on the Jazz that Utah could not dig themselves out of. They didn’t get enough offensive production to match Philly. Three starters fell short of 10 points. Rudy Gobert had a big game against Joel Embiid with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Donovan Mitchell had 18 points and Joe Ingles was the only other player in double figures with 13 off the bench.
With Mike Conley out tonight, they’ll be without another offensive weapon, and they’ll look to Emmanuel Mudiay, who is averaging 7.4 points per game.
The Jazz will need to try and attack early to test the legs of the Lakers, who are playing in the second game of a back-to-back.
Key Player Matchups
Anthony Davis vs. Rudy Gobert
Like his matchup last night, I expect Frank Vogel to defend Rudy Gobert with Davis. Gobert had a big game against Joel Embiid, and while McGee is a solid post defender, Davis has a better chance of limiting him. Davis played heavy minutes last night so we’ll so how that affects him.
Donovan Mitchell vs. Danny Green
Mitchell is obviously Utah’s biggest scoring threat. He is currently averaging 24.5 points per game and he will be looking to push the pace tonight. The Lakers will counter with Danny Green. Green can be inconsistent offensively. Last night he struggled with his jumper, but he was right there defensively like he usually is every game.
Anthony Davis and Donovan Mitchell are standout players in tonight’s game. Davis has a projection of 56.08 points and a salary of $9.4k on FanDuel. Mitchell is available for $7.1k and he is projected for 47.22 points.
Bojan Bogdanovic is coming off a tough game, but his salary is still very low at $6.1k to make him a value add for your team, especially with a 32.95 projection. Kuzma could be limited, but he has such a low-risk salary of $3.9k that he could be worth taking a flyer on, especially with a 21.98 projection.
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