The Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz will meet for the second time in three days. This game will also serve as the rubber match in this regular-season series, with the Lakers and the Jazz splitting the first two meetings.
Catch this game live on Tuesday, April 20, at 10 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (35-22 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Dennis Schroder
- SG: Kentavous Caldwell-Pope
- SF: Kyle Kuzma
- PF: Markieff Morris
- C: Andre Drummond
The Lakers have been oscillating between wins and losses over their past several games and that trend continues, as they followed up their 121-113 setback at the hands of the Boston Celtics last Friday with a 127-115 overtime win against the Jazz at home on Sunday.
The Lakers took advantage of a thin Jazz lineup that didn’t feature Mike Conley Jr., Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell. Andre Drummond seemed to have the most fun in that game, as he went off for 27 points to go with eight rebounds, while Dennis Schroder and Kenavious Caldwell-Pope had 25 points apiece.
Those are the kinds of performances that would make the Lakers survive this stretch without Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Even if Gobert plays in this game, Drummond is surely going to make the Stifle Tower work.
The Lakers, who are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games, also played good defense despite allowing the Jazz hit 11 threes, as Utah shot just 41.6% from the field. Los Angeles has allowed just 108.2 points on 46.3 FG% by opponents in the Lakers’ last five games.
ROAD TEAM: Utah Jazz (42-15 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Mike Conley Jr.
- SG: Joe Ingles
- SF: Bojan Bogdanovic
- PF: Royce O’Neale
- C: Rudy Gobert
Utah pulled off a series of surprise decisions prior to last Sunday’s game against the Lakers, as the Jazz declared Conley. and Gobert both out for that contest. Conley remains probable to play Tuesday, but he’s likely to get the green light as he was merely rested on Sunday. Gobert is also expected to play.
Assuming Conley and Gobert return, this will be a much better Jazz team than the one that got beat up by LA the other day, when the Jazz were led by Jordan Clarkson (27 points), Ersan Ilyasova (20 points), and Joe Ingles (20 points).
Ilyasova and Clarkson will slide back to their bench roles with the expected comebacks of Conley and Gobert, though the latter will continue seeing plenty of minutes, especially with Donovan Mitchell still recuperating from a lower-body injury. Gobert’s presence alone will be a huge boost for Utah, which got outrebounded by the Lakers in the last meeting, 52-37, and outscored in the paint, 64-38.
The Lakers are not going to have that much fun once Gobert steps on the floor again. The Under is 5-1 in Utah’s last six games after absorbing a loss.
Spread: This is payback time for the Jazz. With Conley and Gobert back, the Jazz will operate smoother on offense and make lanes tighter on defense. Take the Jazz to cover (-5.5)
Over/Under: Gobert impacts the game more than most people think. As for the pace of this game, expect him to limit the Lakers’ scoring chances, especially easy baskets inside the paint while keeping possessions alive for the Jazz. Take the Under (214.5).