Lakers vs. Jazz Game Preview: Lakers Look To Win Without Pau

Lakers vs. Jazz Game Preview: Lakers Look To Win Without Pau


The Lakers are looking to rebound from their 101-95 loss on Christmas against the Miami Heat, as they’ll match-up against the Utah Jazz tonight at Energy Solutions arena in Salt Lake City.

This team continues to struggle as they adjust to playing without Kobe Bryant , and tonight things won’t be any better against the Jazz. Pau Gasol will miss tonight’s game due to an upper respiratory infection. This doesn’t make their chances any better on the road, even if it is against one of the worst teams in the league.

They’ll have to get the job done collectively, and rely on their energy and effort if they intend to win.

The Jazz boast one of the better young bigs in the NBA with Derrick Favors. He’s extremely strong, athletic, and a monster defensively and on the glass. With Gasol not playing tonight, it’s going to be up to Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill to match the intensity of Favors.

Veteran Richard Jefferson is far from the athlete he once was, but his ability to knock down open shots will make it difficult for Wesley Johnson to creep off of him defensively. On offense, Young should be able to exploit him as he lacks the lateral quickness to keep up at this point in his career, but he is still a strong and active defender, capable of getting steals and blocks if a player isn’t careful.

Gordon Hayward is one of the more underrated young wings in the league. He is deceptively athletic and possesses great length and shooting ability for the two-guard spot. Trey Burke has been playing phenomenal as of late, and is finally starting to the resemble the player that the Jazz believed that he could be.

Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, and Xavier Henry are all going to have their hands full matching up with the guards in this game. What’s most important is that they remain active defensively, and aggressive offensively. They will be relied upon as the primary scorers for this team with Pau out.

Keys To The Game
Keeping Utah Off The Glass: In order to run and get out in the open court, the Lakers have to rebound, and they have struggled to do that whenever Gasol is out of the lineup. If that is the case tonight, then expect Kanter and Favors to collect their fair share of offensive rebounds and for the Jazz to rack up second chance points.

Limit Turnovers: With only one active  point guard, the Lakers have a tough task ahead of them in running Coach D’Antoni’s system, which is designed to use a lot of  drive-and-kick actions. This team has struggled with turnovers with the lack of point guard depth, and it’s been tough for D’Antoni to adjust his coaching philosophies amidst that predicament.  The Lakers have to limit their turnovers because against a younger, more athletic Jazz team, turnovers will lead to easy baskets.

Three-Point Makes: It’s known that much of the Lakers’ success this season has come from their ability to convert from behind three-point line at a high level. They are one of the top three-point shooting teams in the league, and it’s been proven that if they can’t capitalize on open opportunities, then it’s tough for them to win ball games.

Utah Jazz (8-23) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (13-16)
6:00 PM PST, December 27, 2013
Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: Time Warner Cable Sportsnet, NBA TV
Radio: ESPN LA 710

Jazz Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Trey Burke
SG: Gordon Hayward
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Marvin Williams
C: Derrick Favors

Key Reserves: SG Alex Burks SF Jeremy Evans  Enes Kanter

Lakers Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Jordan Farmar
SG: Jodie Meeks
SF: Wesley Johnson
PF: Shawne Williams
C: Chris Kaman

VIDEO: Mike D’Antoni On Lakers Vs. Utah Jazz Match-Up And Getting Coal On Christmas

  • D.J.

    Lakers 2014-2015

    PG: Dante Exum

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Jordan Hamilton

    PF: Shawn Marion

    C: Jason Smith

    Sixth Man: Ramon Sessions

    Seventh Man Hedo Turkoglu

    MDA System Players 2 Year Window With Kobe

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Come on fans lets worry about the game tonight not next seasons roster.SMH!

  • Daryl Peek

    This is a stretch where MDA should give Marshall a spin. Now that he’s had some practice time with the fellas why not let him kick the tires with the second unit? The Jazz aren’t a very good team so this is the perfect platform to see what he’s got.

  • meep

    why isnt marshall playing what can it hurt? how is marshall going to learn to play with this teammates if he doesnt get time. plus i dont know but i think it might be time to move on from Williams. willams doesnt even do much for the lakers. he hardly shoot which he isnt great at, he doesnt rebound much only thing he good for is he can be a decent match up on defense. at this point drug problem or not ill take hedo turkoglu over shawn willams. since willams was in the same boat as hedo who had drug problems

    • kobe24

      I believe the biggest reason for no Marshall is because the teams the Lakers were playing (GSW, Pheonix, Heat) were too good to put in Kendall Marshall. If the Lakers are winning by 10+ points and have breathing room then sure add in Marshall and see how he plays but if the game is close like +/-5 points then it would be hard to add him. However seeing that it is a Jazz team (which we should win ha…ha) I can see him getting some more play time.

      I agree with your point for Williams, I really don’t see him playing well and Lakers have enough front court “depth” without him. We have Gasol and Kaman to start and for bench there is Jordan Hill and Sacre heck even Johnson can go PF if the other team plays small ball. I don’t see why Williams shoul be having more playing time than Kaman. Lets also not forget Ryan Kelly who shoots the ball pretty well as a stretch 4

  • ListenToSwaggyP

    Lakers only way back to the top by next season is this.

    PG Steve Blake+Jordan Farmar+Kendall Marshall
    SG Healthy Plays 70-82 games Kobe Bryant+Nick Young
    SF Trevor Ariza+Wesley Johnson
    PF LeBron James+Hedo Turkoglu+Ryan Kelly
    C Joel Emiid+Jason Smith

    • meep

      it a nice thought but who to say lebron even hit the free agent market. since he playing on one of the deepest teams in the NBA why leave it. for me ill have greg monroe at center and draft a point foward like kyle anderson

      • ListenToSwaggyP

        Thanks jeremy as a Lakers fan since i was a little kid i try my best to put things out there.The media already ran with the LeBron James to Lakers rumors and stories but now that i had some free time on my hands today i just posted this on Lakers Nation to see what ya’ll think about this team for next season.

        Any tweaks can always take place of course but yeah LeBron James is the main target for the Lakers FO i am almost 100% sure.Well i gotta go and run off some Holidays weight lol.Peace.