The LA Lakers have been relying heavily upon LeBron James in the absence of Anthony Davis, which has been a concern for Frank Vogel. The Lakers desperately need other players to step up and take some pressure off their talisman. To beat a side like the Utah Jazz and overturn a 0-3 record, players like Kyle Kuzma, KCP and Marc Gasol will have to be at their absolute best.
Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz have thrived because of their team performances. From the 5 starters to their bench players, the Jazz have made sure they don't bank on specific players to give them the result they need. This is exactly why the Utah Jazz have been able to stay at the top for so long this season.
LA Lakers vs. Utah Jazz Prediction: Combined starting five
The LA Lakers are aiming to bounce back to winning ways, but they will be without Dennis Schroder and Anthony Davis yet again. As it stands, a match against Utah Jazz isn't an ideal game to make a comeback from a losing streak. The LA Lakers, though, have shown in the past that they can play as a team, and Frank Vogel will be hoping for just that.
The Utah Jazz have thrived for the majority of the season because of the depth in quality of their squad. Quin Snyder will be hoping his team can put the depleted LA Lakers under pressure from the get-go to cancel out the chances of a shock defeat.
This article looks at the top 5 players from both the LA Lakers and Utah Jazz who could potentially start in a combined starting lineup. The lineup is based on players available for the match, as well as those who start regularly for their teams. Two such players who missed out on this lineup due to this criterion are LA Laker's Anthony Davis (injury) and Utah's Jordan Clarkson (a bench player), who have been tremendous for their respective teams.
Point Guard - Mike Conley (Utah Jazz)
Mike Conley has been a consistent player for the Utah Jazz this season. Conley returned to Utah's starting lineup against the Clippers a couple of games back and proved he hadn't lost his touch despite missing three weeks of action.
Mike Conley's shooting has been absolutely lethal this season. The former Grizzlies star has FG % of 44.7% this season, including a respectable 41.2% from beyond the arc.
Mike Conley is 3rd on the scoring averages for the Utah Jazz this season at 16.4 PPG and is averaging a team-high 5.6 APG as well. His return has come at a perfect time as Utah Jazz are looking to beat the current champions LA Lakers to make a statement.
Shooting Guard - Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
Donovan Mitchell has been putting in stellar performances this year and has been one of the key reasons behind the Utah Jazz being where they are now. Out of the list of available guards from the LA Lakers and the Utah Jazz, Donovan Mitchell has been head and shoulders above the rest.
The shooting guard is leading the Utah Jazz in scoring averages this season at 24.5 points per game while shooting at an impressive 43% from the field.
Small Forward - Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah Jazz)
Bojan Bogdanovic has been a decent performer for the Utah Jazz this season, popping up with big scores at times. The former Nets' forward has had multiple 20 and 30 point games this season while shooting at 42.7 % from the field overall and 48.1% since the start of February.
Bogdanovic is averaging 15.3 points per game this season and has proven to be a valuable member of the Utah Jazz starting lineup. He is also averaging 30.7 minutes per game, making sure the Jazz can rely on him to play long and frequently in a tiring season like this.
Power Forward - LeBron James (LA Lakers)
Arguably the best player who will step on the court this Wednesday, LeBron James has been waging a lone war for the LA Lakers in their recent slump. Even at 36 years of age, LeBron has been putting in 35 minutes per game this season and is showing no signs of slowing down. The 4-time league MVP has started all 32 games for the LA Lakers this term and has managed to at least score 15 points, claim at least 5 boards and provide at least 5 assists every game during this stretch.
LeBron is averaging 25.8 points, 8.1 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game this season for the LA Lakers.
Center - Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert is living up to his $205 million contract and is one of the best centers in the game at the moment. Very few players have been as dominant as him inside the paint on both ends of the court this season. His ability to work well on either side of play has been a tremendous boost for the Utah Jazz this season, and helped them stay No. 1 in the West for so long.
The 7'1 Frenchman is averaging 13.9 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game this season and is also shooting at a whopping 64% from the field. Gobert can be a huge problem for the LA Lakers to deal with as they continue to struggle with their shooting.