by Daniel Olsen
The Utah Jazz come off a devastating overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers last Saturday. Some Jazz starters were rested for this match since it was a back-to-back game. However, the players available made the best of it and pushed the Lakers all the way until the end. Some players had a breakthrough performance and showed that they can be relied on when things get tough. Here is a little preview of what to expect tonight against the Lakers.
No Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell got injured on Friday when the Jazz defeated the Denver Nuggets. Luckily, the MRI tests show no structural damage to his left ankle. However, the Jazz will be without their All-Star player for at least a week. He will then be re-evaluated to see where he stands. Hopefully, he can be back in time sooner than later as he is the best player in the team.
On the other hand, other players can step up and take command of the team. Such players are Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanović, and Jordan Clarkson. These three had a great game against the Lakers on Saturday. We can expect them to once again have a brilliant performance. Both players combined for 66 points and were also helped by Ersan İlyasova who scored 20 points.
Key Players Returning
Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley, and Derrick Favors look set to be back after being rested on Saturday. This is a huge boost for the Jazz as they will need all the help that they need. The presence of Gobert was missed on Saturday as the Jazz got outrebounded 52-37. His presence on the floor will be felt and he will definitely protect the rim.
Conley will boost the offense and will help assist his teammates as well. This will benefit Clarkson and Ingles and will relieve them from having to make decisions on the floor. In this game, the Jazz must stop Dennis Schröder, Andre Drummond, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. These three Lakers had high-scoring games and this time around they must be handled. If Gobert does play, this will not occur once again. He is the best defender in the league and his performance in games like these proves it.
Coming Back For Vengeance
The Jazz will come back for some vengeance in this rematch. This time around, the Jazz will have all of their main weapons available. That is except for Mitchell. Other than his absence, the Jazz look solid once again. This time, they will have players that can match the size of the Lakers as they were outmatched in that facet of the game. The Jazz will have the presence of Gobert. He will look to dominate in the paint and get the needed rebounds on both ends of the floor.
Conley will take command of the offense followed by Ingles, Bogdanović and Clarkson. This time, the Lakers will have more trouble defending these three. Indeed, this game looks more balanced than the one last Saturday afternoon. The Lakers will be once again without James and Davis for this match. The Jazz will look to be on pace to be in the first spot of the Western Conference with a win. The Jazz have a great opportunity bounce back from their previous defeat.
Another National Broadcast Game
Once again, the Jazz will be playing on the national broadcast when they meet the Lakers on Monday night. The game is starting at 8 PM Mountain time and it can be seen on ESPN. Don’t miss this primetime matchup as it will be a thriller like the one last Saturday.
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