The Los Angeles Lakers will look to bounce back from a tough 2019-20 NBA season opener when they take on the Utah Jazz in their first official home game.
The Lakers will be looking to bounce back against the Jazz after a tough loss in the first game of the season, a 112-102 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers. While there were a ton of positives from that game, there are clearly things that must be improved upon.
For starters, LeBron James must have a better night offensively. Against the Clippers, James struggled to get anything going with the ball in his hands. While James did have 10 rebounds and eight assists, he put up just 18 points on 7-of-19 from the field, a mark that is horrible considering he usually hits the 50 percent mark with ease.
Defensively, the Lakers need to shore up on the perimeter in a hurry as the Jazz are home to several great perimeter players like Mike Conley, Donavan Mitchell, and Joe Ingles.
In the season opener, it felt as though Avery Bradley and Danny Green were the only ones that made a difference on the perimeter. Quinn Cook and Troy Daniels could not stop anyone defensively and were not hitting shots at a high enough rate to justify it. At least one of those two things has to change in this game.
On the injury front, the Lakers will still be without Kyle Kuzma (out) and perhaps Rajon Rondo (questionable). Alex Caruso will be active, but might not get any minutes due to a bone bruise in his pelvis.
The Lakers are not in desperate need of a win as their schedule lightens up a considerable amount once this game is over. Their next three games will be against the Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, and Dallas Mavericks. And while there are no nights off in the NBA, having these three all in a row does make things a bit easier following a one-two punch of the Clippers and Jazz.
The Jazz look to be among the elite in the Western Conference this season, already off to a 1-0 start despite Conley shooting 1-of-16 from the field. If Conley starts hitting shots (which he often does against the Lakers), they may find themselves in a deep hole.
The Lakers and Jazz will likely be pretty even in terms of success in the regular season, meaning tonight may be a decent litmus test for where the Lakers are at this moment.
Los Angeles Lakers (0-1) vs. Utah Jazz (1-0)
7:30 P.M. PT, Oct. 25, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Dwight Howard, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels, Jared Dudley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Projected Jazz Starting Lineup:
PG: Mike Conley
SG: Donavan Mitchell
SF: Joe Ingles
PF: Jeff Green
C: Rudy Gobert
Key Reserves: Emmanuel Mudiay, Ed Davis, Georges Niang