Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz

A classic Western Conference matchup, Brandon Ingram's Los Angeles Lakers take on Donovan Mitchell's Utah Jazz on Friday, January 11th, at 10:00 PM EST at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT. Broadcast is available on ESPN and Spectrum SportsNet; radio available via 1280 AM The Zone, 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES.

How to Watch

Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

When: Friday, January 11th, 10:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN | 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone, 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES

Los Angeles Lakers (Away)

Head Coach: Luke Walton {All-Time 83-122 | LAL}

Inconsistency has been the story of the Lakers season so far. After a difficult start to the year, which they overcame with the addition of Tyson Chandler, followed by a recent tough spell the Lakers find themselves eighth in the West.

Once battling for pole position in the West, injuries have cause the Lakers roll to slow. Now at 22-19 for the season, significant time missed between Brandon Ingram and LeBron James has led to a 4-6 record over their last ten.

The Jazz are a team on the rise and right on their tail in the Western Conference table. With such a slight lead over every team below them, the Lakers will want to widen the gap when they take on the Jazz on Friday.

Utah Jazz (Home)

Head Coach: Quin Snyder {All-Time 197-172 | UTA}

The Utah Jazz are beginning to find themselves after a tough early-season start and are closing in on a playoff position in the Western Conference. With a record of 20-21, recent games suggest there's nowhere but up for the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz are 6-4 in their last ten matches. While they've lost against some of the tougher competition in the league, they've been able to take care of business against lesser teams like Cleveland and Detroit to help climb in the rankings.

The Jazz have their sights set on the Lakers who are holding the eight seed, just above them in the West. A win won't get them the eighth spot, but will bring them literally one game closer to getting back in the playoff position they've been desperate for all season.

What's At Stake?

The Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers meet once again in a classic Western Conference matchup. The Los Angeles Lakers lead the all-time series 93-69 over the Utah Jazz.

At eighth in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers would be a mere game back from the Portland Trail Blazers for seventh in the Western Conference.

Sitting at ninth in the West, a win for the Utah Jazz would bring them within a game of taking the eight seed from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Questions to answer

Can the Lakers survive without James?

Can the Jazz dominate the glass?

We are going to compare the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Lakers are 2-5 without LeBron James

To say that LeBron James is the key to the Lakers success is an understatement. In fact, a player of his calibre is the key to success for any team he plays on. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they are still wondering if they have the quality to spell James whether he's on the bench or off the court entirely.

After a blow-out loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers did at least respond against the Dallas Mavericks to cut their losing streak at three. In their losses though, the Lakers have struggled to find an identity without James on the court.

Lonzo Ball is supposed to be the engine that drives the Lakers but his decision-making and shooting are incredibly iffy. When James is on the court the team runs without hesitation, but the Lakers without him seem to be confused as to who duties should be delegated to.

The Jazz are 2nd in defensive rebounding percentage

Of available defensive rebounds available, the Utah Jazz gather 80% of those chances. Between the likes of Rudy Robert, Derrick Favors, and Jae Crowder, the Jazz have a wealth of strong rebounding options on the court at all times.

The Lakers aren't quite as strong on the boards as the Jazz, but they certainly have some athletic foils in the front court. Tyson Chandler, Jacale McGee, and Ivica Zubac are all players that can hold their own on the glass.

Usually the Jazz have the size advantage. However the Lakers will be giving the Jazz front court a run for their money on the glass. It may actually come down to the team rebounding effort by their respective backcourts to see who can control the glass in this game.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster Notes

F LeBron James - Out (Groin Strain) - The Lakers announced F LeBron James will not travel on the upcoming road trip and will be re-evaluated next week.

G Rajon Rondo - Out (Right Finger Sprain) - The Los Angeles Lakers announced G Rajon Rondo will miss 4-5 weeks after undergoing surgery on his right ring finger.

Utah Jazz Roster Notes

G Grayson Allen - Day To Day (Right Ankle Sprain) - Allen is listed as OUT for Monday's (Jan 7) game.

G Dante Exum - Day To Day (Ankle) - Exum is expected to miss a couple of weeks due to an ankle sprain according to Tony Jones of The Athletic.

G Ricky Rubio - Day To Day (Undisclosed) - Rubio left Monday's (Jan 7) game with a right thigh injury and will not return.

F Thabo Sefolosha - Day To Day (Hamstring) - Sefolosha has been ruled OUT for Monday's (Jan 7) game.

Head-to-Head: Brandon Ingram vs Donovan Mitchell

Brandon Ingram

Shooting Guard/Small Forward | 6-9, 206lb (206cm, 86kg) | Duke | Exp: 3 Years

16.5 PPG | 2.5 APG | 4.6 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 2.5 TOV | .464 FG% | .291 3P%

Donovan Mitchell

Shooting Guard | 6-3, 215lb (190cm, 97kg) | Louisville | Exp: 2 Years

20.4 PPG | 3.4 APG | 3.6 RPG | 1.6 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 2.7 TOV | .409 FG% | .309 3P%

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz meet again in what will be a matchup between two of the NBA's brightest prospects at the wing position. Brandon Ingram, the tall, lanky wing scorer, takes on the explosive Donovan Mitchell in this intra-conference matchup.

Since his return from injury, Ingram has barely missed a beat. In the absence of LeBron James, Ingram has been reasonably consistent. Shooting 40%+ from the field and scoring at 20-points three times in that span, Ingram is showing the Lakers front office how capable he is.

Donovan Mitchell is putting up similar numbers to his fantastic rookie season, albeit on slightly worse shooting from the field. He is still every bit the explosive athlete last year, but teams have grown privy to his abilities. Against a stout Lakers interior, Mitchell will have to be selective in how he attacks the basket, lest he encounter the likes of former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler inside.

Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.

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