The Lakers host the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center this friday, as both teams come from different results in their first regular season game.
LeBron James and company lost their season opener against their city rivals Los Angeles Clippers and will try to bounce back tonight, when they perform in front of their fans for the first time. Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso are probable for tonight after missing the first game. That’s good news for Lakers fans and the team as they’ve missed a secondary ball handler to take the load off LeBron. Another aspect that they can now exploit is the Pick-and-Roll between Rondo and Davis, something that worked particularly well when they were on the New Orleans Pelicans. The key to this game resides in slowing down Donovan Mitchell and limiting Rudy Gobert’s defensive impact.
On the other hand, Utah Jazz came out on top against Oklahoma City Thunder in their home soil. With the additions of Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic, they become serious title contenders and are looking to cause some noise in the Western Conference, as they’ve lost last season in the 1st round against the Rockets. Unfortunately, Bogdanovic has already suffered an injury against the Thunder and will likely be out for a few weeks, a blow that could affect the Jazz playoff position come April. Relatively to this game, Bojan was someone who could be used to guard LeBron James or Danny Green on defense, while at the same time, spread the floor and hit open shots on offense. Gobert’s defense must be top notch tonight in order to slow down Anthony Davis, and control the Lakers attacks on the paint.
After losing their first game, the Los Angeles Lakers will need to make it up for it. They will face a tough challenge in Utah Jazz with the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, however, playing in the Staples Center is always a big help for the home team, as I expect the crowd to get behind the team giving them a much needed boost to win the game.
Los Angeles Lakers -3.5 @1.84
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