Lakers (13-19) vs. Jazz (11-24) Game Preview – 01/03/14
The Los Angeles Lakers will roll out their 18th different starting lineup tonight when they take on the Utah Jazz just days after losing to them in Salt Lake City thanks to a Derrick Favors putback dunk.
This time, the Lakers have Gasol back, though they’ve lost Jordan Farmar, so newly-signed Laker Kendall Marshall will get the start, and have replaced Shawne Williams with Robert Sacre for defensive purposes. Nick Young will also get his second consecutive start – he got the nod in Tuesday’s game versus the Milwaukee Bucks due to Wesley Johnson staying home with a stomach bug, though it appears he’ll hold the starting position tonight even though Johnson will play versus Utah.
It’ll be interesting to see how Gasol plays tonight after having a few money days to recover from his upper respiratory infection. 25 points but did so on just 9-for-23 shooting. He also only grabbed 6 rebounds, which could’ve been related to his lingering health issues. Hopefully, Pau can breathe a little easier tonight and will be able to contribute at a higher level despite the current ongoing trade talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the last game between these two teams, Gordon Hayward gave the Lakers fits as he went off for 24 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Slowing him down is no easy task, though the Lakers will need to do their best to stop him using team defense.
In fact, it was Hayward’s drive at the end of the game that set up Favors’ dunk: even though the Lakers defended Hayward well and forced him to throw up a miss, nobody rotated to box out Favors and he got an easy score to win the game.
The game starts at 7:30 pm PST and will be broadcast live on TWC SportsNet.