The LA Lakers welcome Western Conference standings leaders, the Utah Jazz, at Staples Center tonight. The Utah Jazz won their last game, 119-111, against the Indiana Pacers, while the Lakers are coming off a bitter 113-121 loss against fierce rivals the Boston Celtics.
Utah Jazz vs. LA Lakers Injury Report
The Utah Jazz were struck with a major injury blow recently, as it was reported that star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell would be sidelined with an ankle injury. Back-up center Derrick Favors is out with a knee injury, while Matt Thomas is unavailable for undisclosed reasons.
Elijah Hughes and Udoka Azubuike will miss out due to illness and an ankle problem, respectively.
LeBron James is targeting a May 1st return following an ankle injury. This rules him out of tonight's encounter. His partner-in-crime Anthony Davis has almost completed his rehab, but he won't be available for this crucial clash. Jared Dudley is out indefinitely with a knee issue.
Andre Drummond's status is probable because of a toe problem. Both Marc Gasol and Markieff Morris are questionable for this game. Gasol has a finger injury, while Morris is dealing with an ankle issue.
Utah Jazz vs LA Lakers Predicted Lineups
Dennis Schroder will continue to play in the point guard position in LeBron James' absence, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope slotting in beside him at shooting guard. Kyle Kuzma has tallied 12.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game so far. He will start at the 3 for the reigning champions.
Marcus Morris will start the game at power forward, while Andre Drummond is expected to play at the 5 despite his probable status. Montrezl Harrell will split minutes at the 4 and the 5. Harrell has been a key part of the rotation, putting up 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds off the bench.
Mike Conley is expected to take up his usual role as the team's starting point guard. Joe Ingles will start with him in the backcourt in Donovan Mitchell's absence.
Meanwhile, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O'Neale and Rudy Gobert will likely retain their places as the three frontcourt players.
Jordan Clarkson, Derrick Favors and Georges Niang will play the most rotation minutes coming off the bench from the reserves.
Utah Jazz vs. LA Lakers Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Mike Conley l Shooting Guard - Joe Ingles l Small Forward - Bojan Bogdanovic l Power Forward - Royce O’Neale l Center - Rudy Gobert
Point Guard - Dennis Schroder, Shooting Guard - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Small Forward - Kyle Kuzma, Power Forward - Marcus Morris, Center - Andre Drummond
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