NBA Preview: Utah Jazz (1-4) go Hollywood, attempt to beat up on Los Angeles Lakers (2-4)

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Preseason 2013-2014, Game 6:

Utah Jazz (1-4) @ Los Angeles Lakers (2-4)

Behind Enemy Lines (MyLo) / Silver Screen & Roll (SB Nation Blog) / Game Coverage

Does Hollywood Kanter come out to play tonight?

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The Basics:

This is what I wrote last time:

The Utah Jazz are still trying to figure things out, having made only one cut so far (Dwayne Jones II), and the roster still stands at a billion people. While Ian Clark has not officially made the team yet, for reals, he's trying to keep his spot on the 13 man roster. He's also competing against Dominic McGuire, Mike Harris, Brian Cook, Lester Hudson, Scott Machado, and Justin Holiday for a spot on the 15 man roster. Utah needs to cut 4 guys. Or 5 if they want room to sign a veteran point guard like Jamaal Tinsley. And they need to do it in 11 days.

This is our situation still, a few days later. Except now we need to make our cuts in 9 days. So, yeah. Go team go.

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History:

Wow, I didn't know this, but, All-Time the Jazz are 59-102 against the Los Angeles Lakers. That's, that's not so hot. We're much, much worse as a road team -- going only 18-63 in LA. I guess this makes that road win we had against them that much more impressive when we were led by our C4 guys.

Last season the Jazz went 2-1 against LA, but still managed to be +/- -2 on the season series. This is kind of the trend that we see between these two teams over the last three seasons. The Jazz are 6-5, but down 50 points. We win close games, and we lose big. Behold:

Date Game Result +/- W L %
Nov 7 2012 vs LAL W 95 - 86 9 1 0 100.0%
Dec 9 2012 @ LAL W 117 - 110 7 2 0 100.0%
Jan 25 2012 @ LAL L 84 - 102 -18 2 1 66.7%
296 298 -2
Dec 27 2011 @ LAL L 71 - 96 -25 2 2 50.0%
Jan 11 2012 vs LAL L 87 - 90 -3 2 3 40.0%
Feb 4 2012 vs LAL W 96 - 87 9 3 3 50.0%
Mar 18 2012 @ LAL W 103 - 99 4 4 3 57.1%
357 372 -15
Nov 26 2010 vs LAL W 102 - 96 6 5 3 62.5%
Jan 25 2011 @ LAL L 91 - 120 -29 5 4 55.6%
Apr 1 2011 vs LAL L 85 - 96 -11 5 5 50.0%
Apr 5 2011 @ LAL W 86 - 85 1 6 5 54.5%
364 397 -33
1017 1067 -50

Yeah, the other crazy thing? The Jazz have only 18 road wins against the Lakers ALL TIME. That's not the crazy part. The crazy part is that we've gotten a win in LA each of the last three seasons. We're 3-3 in LA the last three seasons. That's crazy.

We don't need to be afraid to play LA anymore, unless they are the Clippers. (Wow, that's quite the mind-eff right there)

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Scouting, Stats, and Stereotypes:

The Lakers are going to be having a difficult season this year. This is precisely the situation that many Jazz fans feel they are in as well. But the Lakers have the stars, and the TV games, and the rings. What they do not have much of this preseason so far is a positive point differential. They score 102.2 ppg (6th best), but give up 101.0 ppg (22nd best). That's a differential of +1.2, or how many free throws our team usually takes in the first half of games back in the Carlos Boozer era. The Lakers are monsters on the glass, pulling down 44.8 rebounds a game (4th best), but their offense doesn't seem to be based upon sharing the ball. A lot of points come off of offensive rebounds (sound like any team you know) and isolations. They are diming only 22.2 apg, which is good for 17th best.

The Jazz aren't really doing better. We're a middle of the pack team so far in performance, but have only 1 win to our names so far, in five tries. Our point differential is at -0.1. Yeeep. It's pretty awesome. The Jazz score 98.0 ppg (13th), but give up 98.1 (15th). We have a better defense than the Lakers, if that means anything. The team rebounds 42.0 times a game (14th), and dishes 22.7 times a game (13th). We have room for improvement all across the board.

It's going to be interesting to see the progress of both of these teams as the season gets closer.

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Injury Report:

Lakers Injuries --

  • Steve Nash (PG) OUT -- Nash has a neck injury and is a game time decision.
  • Kobe Bryant (SG) OUT -- Achilles injury and surgery recovery is a long term deal.
  • Chris Kaman (C) OUT -- Chris has an illness, and been sick since Sunday. He's not going to be playing tonight.

Jazz Injuries --

  • Trey Burke (PG) OUT -- Trey just had right index finger surgery yesterday for a fracture. There is no update on anything here.
  • Marvin Williams (SF/PF?) OUT -- Marvin is out until the end of December at the earliest rehabing his right Achilles tendon
  • Brandon Rush (SG/SF) OUT -- Brandon is also out until December (who knows if he'll even play?) with left knee rehab
  • Jeremy Evans (PF) and Rudy Gobert (C) ??? -- Elevator missed practice, Rudy had limited practice on Monay. God knows if they'll ever be used by Corbin in the regular season.

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Advantage --

Kobe is the best player on both rosters and is not playing, so that sucks for the fans going to this game. If Nash is not playing then both teams will be missing three rotation players. I honestly see no advantage. We've beaten LA with Kobe playing and lost when he wasn't playing before.

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The Game:

NBA TV is showing this game (8:30 pm Mountain!), so watch this game. Kobe usually puts up a good show, but we're not going to see him or worry about him. This could be a game where we see some improved play from our younger guys, but let's be honest, we're probably going to see more of our 19 man rotation tonight. Just because.

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Player Focus:

John Lucas III has to prove to people that he's a back up PG who can start for a while, and that he's not a barely 3rd string PG promoted twice in one swoop because of injuries. He needs to distribute and get our bigs going. They are our engines this year. Locomotive ain't going to move one inch if you don't feed the engines.

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X-Factors:

The X-Factor tonight is going to be rebounding. Which team wins the battle of the glass will win this game. LA is one of the best rebounding clubs this preseason and without their stars they are going to have to score on 2nd and 3rd chance shots. We don't have Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap anymore, and we need rebounds from our wings. Richard Jefferson works hard out there, but he needs some help from the perimeter.

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As an aside:

I was almost at this game, thankfully I'm not.

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Fearless Prediction:

The Jazz win, I believe in our youth. They are too young to know fear.

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