Utah Jazz (1-6) to tip off against Los Angeles Lakers (3-4) in last preseason tune up before NBA season starts

I Has mah Buckit - Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sport

UTAH JAZZ (1-6) at LOS ANGELES LAKERS (2-4) Preseason Game #8 • AWAY Game #5 • Honda Center • Anaheim October 25, 2013 • 8:00 p.m. (MT) • TV: None // RADIO: 1280 AM/97.5 FM // Lakers broadcast available

NBA Preseason 2013-2014, Game 8:

Utah Jazz (1-6) @ Los Angeles Lakers (3-4)

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

Jazz break their 6 game losing streak? Right? RIGHT??

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The Basics:

This is the last tune up for the Jazz, heading into the regular season. The team still has a billion people on the roster, and may have actually gone back up to 20 with the reported signing of point guard Jamaal Tinsley. Hooray for Jamaal! Since the last time we played the Lakers (all of a few days ago), out of the training camp hopefuls we've seen Brian Cook start cooking, and everyone else kinda do nothing. Rudy Gobert and Ian Clark are starting to show their worth as well. But I think Ty leans heavily tonight on his starters: Richard Jefferson, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Enes Kanter. Point guard is up in the air right now, but John Lucas III has taken enough veteran shots to continue starting for another two years though -- if we're being internally consistent with how Tyrone Corbin has decided who starts from his previous three seasons as a head coach.

The Lakers are trying to heal up asap so that they can play the playoffs. I don't expect them to be rolling out with their studs for the majority of the game.

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History:

All of this info from LAST time we played the Lakers still stands . . . so copypasta it is.

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:

Preseason stats are meaningless -- but we need to shoot better from the three point line, the free throw line, and just everywhere else, in general. The Lakers get rebounds and everyone on their team apparently can hit threes. They're older than us. We're younger. They're at home. We suck on the road.

But anything can happen in the preseason. After all, some people think the Golden State Warriors are going to win the West, and we beat them a few weeks ago.

Anything can happen.

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Injury Report:

Lakers Injuries --

  • Steve Nash (PG) OUT -- Nash has a neck injury, played against the Jazz earlier this week. He did not have a full practice on Thursday, nor has he had one all training camp. He is adamant upon playing in the season opener, so I suspect he will be out tonight.
  • Kobe Bryant (SG) OUT -- Achilles injury and surgery recovery is a long term deal. Also Kobe sucks.
  • Chris Kaman (C) OUT -- Chris has an illness, and been sick since Sunday. He's not going to be playing tonight. He did not play against the Jazz earlier in the week either.

Jazz Injuries --

  • Trey Burke (PG) OUT -- Trey just had right index finger surgery yesterday for a fracture. There is no update on anything here. Again.
  • Marvin Williams (SF/PF?) OUT -- Marvin is out until the end of December at the earliest rehabing his right Achilles tendon, but I will try to dig a bit more into this stuff next week.
  • Brandon Rush (SG/SF) OUT -- Brandon is also out until December (who knows if he'll even play?) with left knee rehab. We hope to see him as soon as possible.
  • Jeremy Evans (PF) OUT -- Jeremy's out with a right rotator cuff strain.
  • Rudy Gobert (C) IN -- Rudy is still playing through his arm injury, and that's fine with me. Dude had 5 blocks last game.

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Advantage --

Advantage on the injuries have to go to the Jazz here. We're missing a few rotation guys, but none of them are Hall of Famers. On paper, it's the Jazz all the way here.

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The Game:

This game is in Anaheim, and thus, 'neutral' ground. It's still a Lakers home game though. We're bad on the road, but they may be holding guys out of this game. I'm interested to see Corbin's rotations, and of course, interested to see if Jamaal Tinsley will be suiting up or not. That's the game within the game, I presume.

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Player Focus:

I think we need to see one solid game from Alec Burks here, because he's quickly being phased out of future plans by arm chair Gms all over the internet. He has shown flashes of adequacy, but fails to a) take easy shots, and b) make the shots that he takes. How much of this is because he's playing on the ball more, and off the ball less? I don't know. I have the idea that he's capable of being a rotation player on a good team. He could still be great. Playing out of position makes life hard for anyone; but versatility is always appreciated. After all, LeBron James came into the league playing point guard, and now looks to get a few starts at power forward. Clearly, Burks isn't LeBron. But being able to play two positions in the NBA would mean he has a better chance to be in the NBA going forward.

And the fear is right now that perhaps Burks does not make it. Which is silly when you look at some of his highlights -- like blowing by Kobe in LA for a 4th quarter score like he did two seasons ago.

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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 used to be a Lakers fan, back when I was a child. Since dumping them the Jazz have gone to the finals twice and lost both time. The Lakers have gone 6/10 since that time, in the finals. Sure, I've missed out on some rings -- but at least I'm not a Lakers fan.

JAZZ 4 LIFE!

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Fearless Prediction:

The Jazz win, because, c'mon, we can't lose EVERY game we play, right?

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