Preview: Lakers look to bounce back against Jazz on back-to-back

Despite the Lakers holding the lead for 75 percent of the game, they did not come out victorious in their matchup against the visiting Toronto Raptors. The Lakers hope to start a winning streak against the visiting Utah Jazz tonight.

To put it simply, the Jazz do not score a lot. They’re dead last in points averaged a night at 94 and 26th in offensive rating. In their last game they only scored 88 against the Phoenix Suns – the very same Suns team that almost lost by 50 twice this season. So yeah, they are not the best offensive team, which should make for an interesting matchup against the Lakers.

The Lakers have played good defense lately, ranking 10th in defensive rating, but the Jazz have also been good, as they’re 8th in defensive rating. Considering both are bottom 5 in offensive rating and both are top 10 in defensive rating, this game could be really low scoring.

Lonzo Ball has been cold when it comes to actually scoring. In non-Suns games he’s averaging 5.5 points a game. He’s still impacting the game with rebounds, passing, and his defense, but his scoring needs to be better. His shooting has been dreadful and he has not been good at the rim either. His scoring should eventually regress to the mean as his shots start falling, but either way he may have a hard time against the tough Jazz defense.

One of the keys to the Lakers having a good game is for Luke to play the Ball-KCP-Ingram-Kuzma-Randle lineup more often. It’s a fanatic defensive lineup that is capable of switching everything, and with Randle’s defensive awakening, it also defends the rim really well. It’s also a perfect blend of offense, with great transition play and half court action. It’s the Lakers’ best lineup and it needs to play more if the Lakers want to increase their chances of coming out victorious.

Things to watch for

Can Julius Randle keep it up: Randle has been a nightmare on defense and a solid offensive player the last couple games. In the past two games, he’s averaged 15-7-2 with two blocks, in only 21 minutes a game. He’s been really good on both ends of the court and it will be interesting to see if that continues against a tough Jazz defense.

Lonzo Ball against Ricky Rubio: As of right now they’re both similar players offensively, Ricky is an exceptional passer, and so is Lonzo. Only thing is that both have not shot well in their careers, with Lonzo’s only being five games. The biggest difference is that Rubio is a fantastic defender and has been for a while. Lonzo has been solid there, but not to the extent of Rubio. It will be interesting to see how they match up and who has the better game. 


Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz
Saturday, October 28 at 6:00 PM (PST)
Spectrum Sportsnet


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