Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz 8/3/20: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz Preview

Both the Jazz and Lakers are coming off disappointing double-digit losses – the Jazz lost by 16 to the Thunder and the Lakers lost by 15 to the Raptors. They will both be looking to bounce back in this matchup and each team has different things at stake. The Lakers can clinch the #1 seed in the Western Conference with a win in this game while the Jazz could drop to the #6 seed with a loss here (pending results).

With a win, the Jazz could tie their record with the Nuggets for a chance to claim the #3 seed in the West. Both teams should be making a significant effort in this game, but you can argue the Jazz have more at stake. The Jazz have struggled offensively without Bojan Bogdanovic, as was expected, as they have averaged just 100 points in their two games since the NBA’s restart. Utah shot just 39.1% from the field against the Thunder and the Lakers will pose an even greater defensive challenge – OKC ranks 18th in points allowed per game while the Lakers rank 8th.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have shot worse than 40% from the field in each of their two games since the restart. Due to both of these teams struggling offensively as of late, this game could get pretty ugly with the better defense likely winning out.

TV Schedule

Date: 8/3/20
Time: 1:30 PM ET
Arena: The Arena, Orlando, FL
Channel: ESPN

Injuries

Lakers: Avery Bradley (O), Rajon Rondo (DTD)
Jazz: Bojan Bogdanovic (O), Royce O’Neale (P)

Lakers Starting 5

PG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SG: Danny Green
SF: LeBron James
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee

Lakers Analysis

Los Angeles LakersAs I mentioned in the intro, the Lakers have really struggled to find their footing offensively as they’ve shot under 40% in both of their two games. Their 3-point shooting, in particular, has been an issue as they’ve shot just 27.6% from deep in their two games. The backcourt duo of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green needs to step up and produce more as they combined for just 18 points against the Clippers and Raptors. KCP has been the team’s best 3-point shooter this season as he’s hitting his deep-range shots at a 38.6% clip on 3.5 attempts per game. His ability to space the floor and stretch out opposing defenses to open up space in the paint for the bigs is going to be important for this team. Green, meanwhile, is only averaging 8.0 points per game this season, but he’s been excellent defensively and will likely be matched up with Donovan Mitchell in this contest. KCP will have the easier backcourt matchup as he’ll likely be guarding Mike Conley.

Of course, the star power for the Lakers comes in the frontcourt with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, both of whom are projected to be All-NBA players this season. LeBron has hit double-digits in rebounds in each of the Lakers’ first two games in the restart and has provided his usual blend of playmaking and scoring. The real surprise for LeBron so far has been how locked in he’s been on defense – the highlights of his defense against the Clippers should scare the rest of the NBA. James will likely be matched up with Joe Ingles, a low-usage sharpshooter who scored just 7 points in Utah’s last game. Davis, meanwhile, is coming off a dreadful 2-7 shooting performance as he really struggled to compete with the dominant Raptors’ frontcourt. He will need to come through with a better scoring performance against the Jazz, but if he’s going to be playing power forward he’ll have plenty of opportunities against Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale. Finally, JaVale McGee will be in for a tough night against Rudy Gobert in the paint. However, McGee has only played 21 minutes across two games so far as the Lakers have opted to play Davis at the five with Kyle Kuzma in the game for more minutes down the stretch. They won’t switch up their starting lineup just yet, but it will be interesting to see if Davis picks up heavy minutes at center against Gobert in this game.

Jazz Starting 5

PG: Mike Conley
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Royce O’Neale
PF: Joe Ingles
C: Rudy Gobert

Jazz Analysis

Utah JazzThe Jazz are really missing Bojan Bogdanovic these days as the offense has sputtered without their second-leading scorer this season. The 3-point shooting has been particularly dreadful as Utah is hitting their long-range shots at just a 24.6% clip since the season restarted. The starting five played limited minutes against the Thunder as the game was over at the end of the first half with OKC already holding a 24-point lead. Donovan Mitchell is going to need some help from the rest of his teammates as he’s being asked to do too much offensively at the moment. Mitchell scored just 13 points against the Thunder and hasn’t been able to find is footing in Orlando. His backcourt teammate, Mike Conley, hasn’t offered much support as he’s shot just 40% from the field and 30% from 3-point range in the team’s two games. Luckily for Utah’s guards, they won’t be overly burdened on defense in this game as KCP and Danny Green have struggled as well, although the Lakers’ backcourt does present some difficult defensive matchups.

The frontcourt revolved around Rudy Gobert, an All-NBA candidate who’s averaging 15.0 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game and is one of the game’s best interior defenders. He’ll need to come through with a monstrous defensive performance to thwart the efforts of the Lakers’ frontcourt which is powered by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It will be interesting to see if Davis ends up playing a lot of minutes at the five again as Gobert is such a dominant defender. Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale are solid role players and fine defenders, but neither player is going to be up for the task of guarding James and/or Davis. The Jazz are going to need an offensive boost off the bench in this game as the duo of Ingles and O’Neale have combined for an average of just 21 points over the first two games. This Jazz starting five should be very good on defense, but their lack of offense is concerning.

Lakers vs Jazz Fantasy Basketball Angle

FanDuel: Kyle Kuzma presents an interesting value with a $4,500 price tag as he’s averaged 30 minutes per game since the NBA restart and has scored 16 points off the bench in each game. Dion Waiters is also a great value at $3,900 as he’s hit double-digit scoring off the bench in both games and should play a lot of minutes again. I don’t mind spending up for LeBron ($10,000) in this matchup and Davis, despite the difficult matchup against Gobert, should be in for a bounceback performance and could be faded by the public after his ugly game against the Raptors. For the Jazz, I like Jordan Clarkson again at $4,700 despite an off game against the Thunder as he’s one of the team’s most important players now. I also don’t mind Joe Ingles at $5,100.

DraftKings: I love Dwight Howard at $3,200 in this matchup as I’m expecting the Lakers to go heavier on the big men against Rudy Gobert and Howard has played more than McGee in each of the team’s two games. I’m also liking Danny Green at $3,600 and Kuzma at $4,400, with LeBron ($10,700) likely worth paying up for. For the Jazz, there isn’t a lot to be excited about for a team that’s struggled to create offense as they’re matched up with one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, but I don’t mind Jordan Clarkson at $4,900 as the team will need his scoring off the bench if they’re going to compete.

Lakers vs Jazz Betting Odds

Lakers Moneyline: -250
Lakers Spread: -6.0
Jazz Moneyline: +205
Jazz Spread: +6.0
Over/Under: 219

The only player for the Jazz to go over 13 points in either of the team’s two matchups was Donovan Mitchell, and he won’t be enough offense on his own against one of the better defenses in the NBA. Utah is really going to struggle to score in this contest, and with the Lakers’ own shooting struggles, I love the under at 219 here. If I knew the Lakers were going to give 100% effort I would push their spread at -6, but that’s a lofty number for a team who doesn’t have a ton to play for (they are 5.5 games ahead of the Clippers for the #1 seed). I do think the Lakers will win, but I’m not confident it will by more than 6 as this is going to be a low-scoring, gritty affair. My bet: Lakers moneyline, under 219.

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What's up, I'm Jacob. I grew up watching Peyton Manning play and stuck with the Broncos after he retired. I'm also probably the only Clippers fan you'll ever meet. I'm from Southern California but I'm a junior at the University of Michigan studying sport management. Beyond my passion for sports I play guitar, grill a mean rib eye, and enjoy gambling on pretty much everything.

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