Hey kids, how’s it going? Kyle Hartwick checking in for the preview of tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz. It’s the Lakers home opener after a very tough road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, who were playing without Paul George. Now that the Lakers are home and well-rested after their match-up with the Kawhi Leonard juggernauts, let’s take a look at how the team might bounce back against a powerhouse Jazz team.
— The last match-up between these two teams was on April 7th, the second to last game of the season for the Lakers and one of the final three for the Jazz in the regular season. The Jazz started a group of Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neale, Joe Ingles, Thabo Sefolosha and Rudy Gobert. Gobert was Defensive Player of the Year last season and Twitter darling Mitchell, although in the midst of a down year following his Rookie of the Year* season, played a relatively decent game and scored 19 points. Both Gobert and Mitchell played over 36 minutes in the contest.
The Lakers, on the other hand, started Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Mike Muscala, Jemerrio Jones and JaVale McGee. Johnathan Williams, Isaac Bonga and Moritz Wagner came off the bench. Caruso and KCP each played over 40 minutes.
The result of that game?
The Lakers won 113-109.
The Lakers add LeBron James (who was out with *rest*), Anthony Davis (a good player) and Danny Green (also good) and the Jazz add Mike Conley.
It’s a different season, but let that paint a picture as to how tonight’s game might go.
Anthony Davis had 17 post-up possessions and only ONE roll man possession tonight, according to Synergy. Davis' lone roll man possession came with 4:20 to go in the first quarter. It resulted in a turnover.
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) October 23, 2019
Because when you have a great pick-and-roll big (AD) and a great pick-and-roll ball-handler (LeBron) that just so happen to be two of the best players in the NBA, you gotta settle for some sweet iso post-ups.
Frank Vogel has some work to do with his offensive-scheming and he should definitely get going on that soon.
— Davis and LeBron face a large test in Rudy Gobert, who is one of the best defensive players in the modern NBA era. Whether or not Gobert will be successful guarding two elite scores is yet to be seen, but keep an eye on that matchup as it develops.
Tonight’s game starts at 7:30 PST and can be seen on ESPN and Spectrum.