Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers take on Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, March 27th at 10:30 PM EST at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT. Broadcast is available on ESPN and Spectrum Sportsnet; radio is available via 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES and 1280 AM The Zone.

How to Watch

What: Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz

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

When: Wednesday, March 27th at 10:30 PM EST

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

Los Angeles Lakers (Away)

Head Coach: Luke Walton {All-Time 93-144 | LAL}

Expected Starting Five: (G) Rajon Rondo - (G) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - (F) LeBron James - (F) Kyle Kuzma - (C) Javale McGee

The Los Angeles Lakers were recently eliminated from playoff contention and are now competing for ping-pong balls in the 2019 NBA Draft. They currently sit eleventh in the Western Conference, among six other teams already eliminated from playoff contention. They take on a Utah Jazz team who are fighting for positioning with the Thunder and Spurs.

The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling to perform while having a very limited roster. They are 2-8 in their last ten games, mostly due to their squad having six players out with injury. Their sole wins in that span of time came against the lowly Chicago Bulls and the struggling Sacramento Kings.

The outlook isn't positive for the Lakers against the Jazz. Overall Los Angeles is outclassed by the quality of the Jazz roster. Despite that, any combination of players who can convert on their shots with LeBron James has a chance of winning.

Utah Jazz (Home)

Head Coach: Quin Snyder {All-Time 221-281 | UTA}

Expected Starting Five: (G) Ricky Rubio - (G) Donovan Mitchell - (F) Joe Ingles - (F) Derrick Favours - (C) Rudy Gobert

The Utah Jazz are in a dogfight for positioning in the Western Conference. With a record of 43-30, they are currently tied for sixth with the Oklahoma City Thunder and are just a half game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs who are in eighth.

Over their last ten games the Utah Jazz are an impressive 7-3. After a long four-game road trip the Jazz can settle in for three more home games before going back on the road to play Phoenix. Their match against the Lakers will be the second-last in the season series.

Utah enter a dangerous match against the Los Angeles Lakers. While Los Angeles is struggling with injury, they still have a number of dangerous veteran pieces, no less LeBron James. The Utah Jazz will want to tighten the screws going into the playoffs, but will want to keep an eye on the health of their players against a team with nothing to lose.

What's At Stake?

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz have a storied rivalry in the history of the NBA. In 181 regular season games, the Lakers lead the Jazz 106-75.

A win for the Utah Jazz would tie them with the Los Angeles Clippers who are fifth in the Western Conference.

A win or loss for the Los Angeles Lakers would leave them in their current position, eleventh in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

What can the Lakers bench provide?

Is Derrick Favors is Utah's unsung hero?

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 Starved For Production

The Lakers have an alarming six players out due to injury. Key players Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram aren't even expected to return for the remainder of the season. For Los Angeles, it is about seeing what their bench can provide for the future. They have certainly given some players their fair share of looks.

In a recent loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Lakers really only went eight-men deep. Outside of their starting five, only veterans Tyson Chandler, Lance Stephenson, and two-way project Alex Caruso saw significant minutes. Of that bench three, Stepehnson led them with 8 points and 7 rebounds.

There isn't much to hope for in LaLa Land. They've given rookie Moritz Wagner a chance and signed Scott Machado to a ten-day after the expiry of Andre Ingram's. The Lakers certainly have the veteran presence to put up a fight, but the worrisome parts of their machine are too unreliable to provide any comfortable sense of stability.

Derrick Favors Is Having A Career Year

For a player who is averaging only 11 points and 7.5 rebounds, it is surprising to say they are having a career year. Even more so when you consider that player once averaged 16.4 points and 8.1 rebounds for that very same team. But in 2019 the only 27 year-old Favours has found brilliance in limitation.

Favors is only playing 23 minutes per game, despite starting 67 games so far this season. He is no longer the focal point of the offence and he has actually reduced his shot attempt rate by half since his highest scoring season in '15-'16. But his efficiency in limited minutes is commendable. Per-36 Favours averages: 11.4 rebounds per game, 58% shooting from the field and an offensive rating of 123.

Assumed to become an afterthought in today's NBA, Favors' production and efficiency is brilliant given his age and previous role. Without him Rudy Gobert couldn't help on every attack for fear of the offensive board. Donovan Mitchell wouldn't have a strong hedge option on the screen and roll. While Korver and Crowder would be unable to roll off of a strong screen for open three's. Favors is the ultimate "glue-guy" and his value is shown in the Jazz's win column.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster Notes

G Lonzo Ball - 9 Mar 2019 - Out (Left Ankle) - Ball has been shut down for the remainder of the season, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.

G Reggie Bullock - 25 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Foot) - Bullock is listed as questionable for Tuesday's (Mar 26) game.

G Josh Hart - 25 Mar 2019 - Out (Knee) - Hart has been ruled OUT for Tuesday's (Mar 26) game.

F Brandon Ingram - 9 Mar 2019 - Out For Season (Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)) - The Lakers announced F Brandon Ingram will likely miss the rest of the season.

F LeBron James - 25 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Knee) - James is listed as Probable for Tuesday's (Mar 26) game.

F Mike Muscala - 25 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Ankle) - Muscala is listed as questionable for Tuesday's (Mar 26) game.

Utah Jazz Roster Notes

G Dante Exum - 15 Mar 2019 - Out (Right Knee Pain) - An MRI revealed a torn patellar tendon in his right knee and will be out indefinitely according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Head-to-Head: Kyle Kuzma (LAL) vs Joe Ingles (UTA)

The utility men of the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz are key players going into this match-up. With so many players out for the remainder of the season due to injury, Kyle Kuzma now has the green light to shoot the ball. On the other end, the steadiness and shooting of Joe Ingles are integral to the success of the Utah Jazz.

Kyle Kuzma

Power Forward | 6-9, 220lb (206cm, 99kg) | Utah | Exp. 1 Years

18.7 PPG | 2.6 APG | 5.6 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.0 TOV | .457 FG% | .305 3P%

With the likes of Ingram and Ball out for the season, Kyle Kuzma seems to be the last youthful project standing for the Lakers and he's making the most of it. In a win over the Sacramento Kings, Kyle Kuzma wasn't shy. He attempted 22 shots and produced 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists on the evening. Kuzma played 40 minutes in that game, expect the same court-time and offensive volume against the Jazz.

Joe Ingles

Small Forward | 6-8, 226lb (203cm, 102kg) | Australia | Exp. 4 Years

11.9 PPG | 5.4 APG | 3.9 RPG | 1.3 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 2.3 TOV | .441 FG% | .379 3P%

More likely than not Joe Ingles will be drawn to defend Kyle Kuzma on the wing. His size and tenacity are a great match for the combo forward, and he will certainly have his fair share of one-on-one battles. Don't rule out Ingles on the offensive end either. He's scored at least 13 points in his last five games and has shot over 50% from the field and from three in that time.

Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Utah Jazz favoured over the Los Angeles Lakers by 12.5, with an over/under of 109.

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