Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Game #32 -- Los Angeles Lakers (13-16) @ Utah Jazz (8-23) December 27, 2013, 7:00 p.m. --ESA, Salt Lake City, UT TV: ROOT Sports, RADIO: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

The Utah Jazz have not played since Monday. I personally was not able to watch that game so for me it seems like it has been AGES since the Jazz have played.

The Lakers come into town on a three game losing streak and without Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Jazz-killer, Steve Blake. The thing is for the Utah Jazz, since the early 2000's, no matter the circumstances, no matter the game, no game is an easy game for the Jazz against the Lakers. The Lakers can be playing their worst ball of the season and still dominate the Jazz. The Lakers are currently playing the worst they have all season and I am still scared for this game. The Lakers have lost three in-a-row and 4-of-6. After ugly losses against the Golden State Warriors and Jeff Hornacek's Phoenix Suns, the Lakers can hang their hats on that at least they battled against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day.

About the Lakers current woes and how the schedule can help them via ESPN:

So far their ethos has been to do their best to hover around .500 until the "cavalry" (in the Lakers' case, Bryant, Steve Blake and Steve Nash assuredly won't come back riding horses) comes in, according to D'Antoni, who last week said the Lakers can make the playoffs this season and then his team went 1-3 in its next four games. Still, there is the lure of being .500 that's more than just a crutch. Houston was the No. 8 seed in the playoffs last season going 45-37, or four games better than .500.

"That's something we don't want to get too far away from," D'Antoni said after the game Wednesday. "It's more also you got to look at the schedule; these are three important games we have coming up. So, that's important. We've kicked some games away. We shouldn't be in the position that we're in, but now we got to get ourselves out of it."

The three games D'Antoni was referring to -- at the Utah Jazz on Friday, home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, then another home game against the Milwaukee Bucks on New Year's eve -- are all against teams with losing records. If they sweep, L.A. will go into 2014 with a "clean slate" -- a 16-16 record with 50 games left to play.

If the Jazz want to win I think this would be a good article to have up in the locker room. No one likes to be thought of as any easy win.

Do Jazz fans want the Jazz to win? Do they want the Lakers to lose and have them give up on the season (not from this one loss) and have the Lakers in the lottery with the Jazz? With the Jazz's luck vs the Lakers luck, I don't see the Jazz ever getting the higher pick.

Tonight will be the Jazz's first home game after a long road trip and a long break. The Jazz should come out with a bunch of energy. The Jazz should jump out to an early lead. I don't know who's the better team right now its hard to predict who will win the game tonight.

I remember Randy Rigby telling 1280 last season that they are allowed to request a few games a year of when they want a home game and which team. Last season they wanted Jimmer and the Sacramento Kings the Friday after Thanksgiving. It feels like this is probably one of those requested games for this season, the Lakers at home the Friday after Christmas, doesn't seem like it just happens.

Starting Lineups

Utah Jazz

PF- Marvin Williams

C- Derrick Favors

SF- Richard Jefferson

SG- Gordon Hayward

PG- Trey Burke

(Its funny how only one player is really starting where they should start or should be starting at all... which is Trey at point guard. Marvin Williams should come off the bench. Derrick Favors should start at PF. Richard Jefferson is an emergency only player and Gordon Hayward should be starting at his natural position of SF... #OhTy)

Los Angeles Lakers

PF - Shawne Williams

C- Pau Gasol

SF- Xavier Henry

SG- Wesley Johnson

PG- Jodie Meeks

Injury Report

Utah Jazz

None

LA Lakers

Kobe Bryant - SG - Hyperextended knee

Steve Blake - PG- Torn elbow ligament

Steve Nash - PG- Sore back

Predictions:

Wesley Johnson is going to be a Jazz-killer tonight

Alec Burks will lead the Jazz in scoring

Trey Burke will reach double digit assists

Pau Gasol will argue every call against him

All media will praise Richard Jefferson if he scores more than 10 points and the Jazz win. (Even if he gives up 25+ on defense)

What are your predictions for the game?

Game Coverage

Lakers vs Jazz coverage

Silver Screen and Roll

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