Last season, the Utah Jazz were able to take down the Oklahoma City Thunder in a playoff series before falling to the Houston Rockets. With such a promising showing, the Jazz were poised to take a spot among the top of the Western Conference this year. But through just eighteen games into the season, they sit two games below .500 with eight wins and ten losses.
The Jazz have looked mediocre, to say the least, with one win in their last five games, including a 50-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Lakers have won back-to-back games on their three-game road trip. Most recently, they were able to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers with a late run in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. This game was the first game LeBron James has played in Cleveland as a Laker.
During that game, the Lakers looked out of sorts against the league-worst Cavaliers, again relying on LeBron James for the victory. James finished with a game-high 32 points in his homecoming. The Lakers as a whole struggled from the 3-point line, only hitting 36 percent for the game.
Lonzo Ball had arguably his best game of the season, getting to the rim aggressively to end the game with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Hopefully, he will be able to use this to build some momentum and get a good string of games going forward.
His draft mate and Rookie of the Year runner-up, Donovan Mitchell, is having an inconsistent season, having games where he looked efficient like he did a year prior, and other games like against the Pacers where he ended the game with seven points in a loss. Whenever teams are able to take Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles out of the game, Mitchell has struggled to put the team on his back.
The Jazz are not a team to take lightly. Gobert is still a monster in the paint, making it difficult for anybody trying to get to the rim, and Ingles is still a lights-out shooter. For some reason, Ricky Rubio always plays well against the Lakers so that will be another player to watch for.
The Lakers and Jazz tip off at 7:30 PM PST at Staples Center.
This game will be nationally played on NBA TV