The Utah Jazz will get their chance to rebound and make up for an ugly loss Saturday afternoon against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Jazz will gear up for the third game inside the bubble tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers, who are currently 50-15 and sit comfortably in first place in the Western Conference. At this moment in time, the Jazz are sitting in the fifth seed (shocker) and if the season ended today, would be facing the Houston Rockets (double shocker) in the first round.
There have already been some ups and downs in the Jazz’s first two bubble games, and tonight they will be looking to find some more ups. They lost their first two meetings against the Lakers this season by a total of 34 points, and were completely dominated by the LeBron James-Anthony Davis duo which scored 99 total points in those two games. The Jazz will look to get their first win against this Lakers team this season to avoid losing back to back games in the bubble.
When: Monday, August 3rd 2020 • 7:00 PM MT
Where: The NBA Bubble, Disney World
TV: ESPN, AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain, NBA League Pass
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
What to watch for
Can the Jazz compete?
In both games against the Lakers this season, the Jazz have not even been in the game long enough for it to be considered a competition. The Lakers have man-handled them thoroughly through two previous games, and it just wasn’t fun to watch them get disrespected like that. In fact, you might have remembered Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring getting angry at LeBron James jumping up and down on the court with no shoes on with two minutes left to go in the fourth quarter in their last matchup.
“Look at LeBron, he’s on the court. With no shoes… that’s some disrespect right there.”— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 5, 2019
Jazz announcers weren't having it pic.twitter.com/mG0phvgDAd
The Jazz have just been bullied by the Lakers this season, there’s no easier way to put it. They need to really come out strong and try to prove they they belong as a tough team in the Western Conference, especially after their last game against OKC.
Donovan Mitchell needs to get rolling
In two games in the bubble so far, Donovan Mitchell is averaging 16 points per game on 38-25-90 percentage splits. Obviously two games is not a great sample size, but in both games so far Mitchell hasn’t really been able to find that crazy groove that he can get in sometimes and score points in a hurry. If the Jazz are going to do anything in this year’s playoffs, Donovan Mitchell is going to have to reach a whole new level. Without Bojan Bogdanovic there to help shoulder the offensive load, Mitchell is going to have to go full Venom to try and propel the Jazz through games offensively. Watch for Don to get rolling tonight against the Lakers. National TV game, against the Lakers, coming off a rough game and catching some twitter slander.. that’s a pretty good recipe for a Donovan Mitchell 40-piece if you ask me.
LeBron getting away with travels
Seems like LeBron found out about his travel at halftime ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/ll8egROAHf— ESPN (@espn) December 5, 2019
Will the bubble refs let LeBron get away with the the five-step travel again? That was honestly one of my favorite moments from the entire season. Bojan’s reaction, coupled with LeBron talking to a courtside fan about during the game made for some amazing content.
Joe Ingles vs. Alex Curoso
Forget LeBron, AD, Spida, or Gobzilla.. the real reason that people are watching this game tonight is to see Joe Ingles go toe to toe with Alex ‘Bald Eagle’ Caruso. The two balding white guys have had their careers and All-NBA personalities compared to one another for a while now, and Caruso even started sporting a headband just to be like the urban legend Headband Joe. Caruso’s been modeling his game after Joe’s ever since his days in the G-League, hoping to one day reach his level.
Alex Caruso or Joe Ingles?— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) December 30, 2018
The Joe Ingles famous ball fake pic.twitter.com/pJ124aOdJM
This matchup is going to one for the ages, and you better not miss it.