The Utah Jazz have been by far the best team in the 2020-21 regular season, holding the NBA’s best record almost the entire season, and should be the No. 1 seed when the postseason comes around.
In three meetings against Kyle Kuzma and the Los Angeles Lakers this season, the Jazz are 2-1 with two blowout wins.
The Lakers have not had Anthony Davis in any of their three matchups with the Jazz and did not have LeBron James for the last two. This meant that Kuzma, Dennis Schroder and others were facing the hottest team in basketball.
Taking a look at the current standings, the Lakers and Jazz could potentially be headed for a meeting in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Kuzma spoke about what a seven-game series with the Jazz would look like, especially if everyone is healthy. “They’re a great ballclub,” Kuzma said. “They’re a team that they do an excellent job playing together, playing with a sense of togetherness non both sides of the floor.
“They try to take away the three and funnel everything to Rudy down low, which is a pretty good defensive scheme and on top of that, offensively they do a great job of ball movement and just drive-and-kick basketball. It makes it tough to guard. Obviously we haven’t had our whole team and things look a little bit different out there when AD slides to that five. We’ve had success last year going back with those guys when we were healthy but it’s a different year so we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure we’ll meet up with them in the future.”
In order for the Jazz and Lakers to face one another, the Jazz would have to get past whoever winds up as the No. 8 seed. In the current standings, this is the young and talented Memphis Grizzlies. However, it could be anyone who plays in the play-in tournament.
The Lakers, on the other hand, will most likely face the Denver Nuggets in the first round. L.A. could still fall to the sixth seed which would pit them against the L.A. Clippers, but the probable scenario is the Nuggets and Lakers being some variation of the 4-5 combination.
That by itself is a tough matchup in the first round, but if the Lakers succeed they will try to remove the regular-season crown from the Jazz. Hopefully by then, they’ll have a fully healthy roster to help them.
Kuzma says Lakers gave in against Jazz
The Jazz came in to Staples Center on Monday and blew out the Lakers after losing in overtime on Saturday. Kuzma tried to diagnose what went wrong.
“I think we kind of gave in a little bit. I think on the offensive end, shots really didn’t fall a little bit and a couple bad possessions just led to a lack of effort on the defensive end a little bit, guys getting open threes, Rudy getting a couple dunks, guys getting downhill a little bit easier.
“We tried to go to a zone, we had a little success with the zone but it just wasn’t enough. They still hit threes, had great execution while we went zone and it didn’t really go too well for us.”
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