Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers Preview
The Los Angeles Lakers are back at the Staples Center tonight, but this time as the home team after suffering an opening night loss to the new-look Los Angeles Clippers, featuring Kawhi Leonard. The Lakers will be trying to get into the win column as they welcome Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz to Southern California.
For the Jazz, it’ll be their first road game of the season after a home win in their opener on Wednesday. Whereas in the past, Lakers-Jazz matchups didn’t garner a ton of interest, the big changes both teams have made over the offseason have pundits picking both teams to finish high in the Western Conference standings this season.
Time: 10:30 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Jazz: Bojan Bogdanovic (Q), Dante Exum (O)
Lakers: Rajon Rondo (Q), Kyle Kuzma (O), Talen Horton-Tucker (O).
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
The Utah Jazz opened up their 2019-20 campaign with a 100-95 win on Wednesday night over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It looks like Donovan Mitchell’s stint with the USA National basketball team has been good for him as he has seen to take another step forward. He was downright dominant in the fourth quarter to close out the Thunder, and for a player whose height has recently been reduced, he was a monster on the boards.
Mitchell finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds in the game, outpacing all scorers.
Jazz point guard Mike Conley didn’t fare as well in his first game with Utah, missing a ton of shots on his way to a five-point, five-assist debut. Tonight will present an opportunity for a bounce-back game for Conley, who knows there are increased expectations on the Jazz after his addition and the addition of Bojan Bogdanovic.
“Obviously, our ultimate goal is to win a championship,” Conley said. “We’re not fooling ourselves like we’ve been there, done that. We’re going to come in and work every day and try to maximize each day. I think each day will set us up for the next and hopefully, we’ll give ourselves the best chance of achieving each goal that we put out.”
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
The Lakers’ battle for Los Angeles didn’t get off to the start they hoped on Tuesday night as they lost to the Clippers 102-112. While the matchup provided an interesting, and fun game, the Lakers had opportunities to win the game, but after gaining the lead in the third quarter, they faded in the fourth with Anthony Davis going scoreless, an LeBron James being limited.
While the Lakers have some things to work on, there were plenty of positives to take away as well.
“We did some good things tonight, we did some not-so-good things, and that happens in game one. Especially for a new club,” James told the Orange County Register.
Danny Green was red hot in his debut in purple and gold. A member of the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, Green finished with 28 points and seven rebounds and was big on defense, which has been his calling card his entire career. He went on a third-quarter streak beyond the arch where it seemed like he could not miss, but as soon as he was pulled from the game, the Lakers struggled on offense.
While I don’t expect Green to have these types of games every night, he’ll be the type of player Frank Vogel will love, and with James and Davis, and soon Kuzma on the court with him, he’ll get his opportunities to knock down perimeter jumpers.
Key Player Matchups
LeBron James vs. Royce O’Neale
While James brings the ball up the floor as the point guard, I do not expect Quin Snyder to match him up with Mike Conley. The 6-6 O’Neale seems a better fit to try to defend James, but it’ll be a challenge. Not only does James have a height advantage, but his strength and physical ability also make him a tough guard. James will also be hungry to get a win in his home opener.
Anthony Davis vs. Rudy Gobert
This will likely provide one of the more interesting matchups in this game as the Stifle Tower looks to limit Davis, who had 25 points and nine rebounds against the Clippers but faded in the fourth quarter. Gobert may have only had seven points in Utah’s opener, but he also came down with 14 rebounds in a game where he got into foul trouble.
Danny Green vs. Donovan Mitchell
I’m expecting Frank Vogel to defend Mitchell with both Green and Avery Bradley as they can be used interchangeably on defense. Limiting Mitchell would go a long way towards securing a win, but Mitchell will not be an easy assignment, especially coming off a big game. But Green is also coming off an impressive game so Mitchell and the Jazz will have to keep an eye on him on the perimeter.
Anthony Davis and Donovan Mitchell are your stud picks for tonight’s matchup. Davis is available for $12k on FanDuel and has a projection of 52.1 points. Davis will provide scoring, rebounds, blocks, occasional steals and has solid field goal shooting numbers. Mitchell is a bit of a steal at $8.5k. He’s projected for 36 fantasy points.
Bogdanovic is a steal at $5.3k especially as he is slated for 30.8 points. He’s questionable for tonight, but he did return to Wednesday night’s game. If you’re looking to boost your three-point numbers, Bojan can certainly help in that category and others. I wouldn’t exactly expect the same production from opening night, but Danny Green is a low-risk value play at $4.8k. Green is projected for 21.5 points. He can help your team with points and three-pointers, but he can also contribute rebounds and steals.
Bet on Matchup
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