The LA Lakers are currently second with a 22-10 record on the season after losing their last three games. They have struggled to contain opposition teams in the absence of Anthony Davis, one of the two MVP candidates on their roster.
The Utah Jazz, meanwhile, produced an impressive 22-point victory over the Charlotte Hornets in their last game, where seven different players scored in double digits. They have been impressive at both ends of the court and currently have the third-best offence and the second-best defence in the competition.
Fixture: LA Lakers vs Utah Jazz | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Wednesday, February 24th, 2021;10:00 PM ET (Thursday, February 25th; 8:30 AM IST).
Venue: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT.
LA Lakers Preview
Despite the absence of Anthony Davis, the LA Lakers have seen some sublime performances from LeBron James. The latter is expected to lead his side back to winning ways against a Utah Jazz side that has emerged as bonafide title contenders.
With Dennis Schroder also missing along with Davis, the likes of Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell have stepped up in recent games, though.
In Davis’ prolonged absence, Kyle Kuzma is set for an extended run in the starting 5, with Montrezl Harrell providing much-needed depth from the bench. He has averaged 13.8 points per game this season, which could be key for the LA Lakers to return to winning ways.
Key Player – LeBron James
LeBron James will be disappointed with the losses the LA Lakers have endured in the absence of their two starters, Davis and Schroder. Nevertheless, James has produced highlight-worthy moments consistently and has looked unstoppable at times.
However, LeBron James might have to dig deep against the Utah Jazz, as he has featured in every Lakers game this season. While his performances have seen a marginal drop from his efficiently high standards, James is a strong MVP contender and one to watch out for against the Utah Jazz.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
G - Wesley Matthews, G - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, F - LeBron James, F - Kyle Kuzma, C - Marc Gasol.
Utah Jazz Preview
The Utah Jazz come into this matchup with a full roster.
Donovan Mitchell has been a constant offensive menace for the Jazz, who have powered their way to a 25-6 season record, with the likes of Mike Conley providing decent support.
Jordan Clarkson is averaging 18.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and a steal every game from the bench. He is the bookies’ favorite to win the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Meanwhile, Rudy Gobert has emerged as the best defender in the competition this season, enabling the Utah Jazz beat any opposition.
Key Player – Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell has been the best offensive player for the Utah Jazz this campaign, with his 2-point shooting perhaps the only stat he would want to improve as the season progresses.
Mitchell is producing 24.5 points and 5.2 assists while shooting at 38.9% from the 3-point zone. Against the LA Lakers, he will fancy a big outing, considering the injuries the reigning champions are grappling with.
Utah Jazz Predicted Lineup
Lakers vs Jazz Match Prediction
LeBron James and co. will come up against a defensively resolute side that might prove difficult to break down.
James will be required to produce a big performance, as the Utah Jazz will look to build on their victory the last time around.
The matchup is expected to go down to the wire, but the Utah Jazz will go in as the marginal favorites considering the LA Lakers’ recent form.