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Jazz can be unexpectedly good, but need to take care of the trap teams like LA

Utah Jazz (30-37) @ Los Angeles Lakers (17-49)
STAPLES Center • Los Angeles, CA
8:30 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports • Radio: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Utah Jazz look to pick up the pieces and salvage some honor by beating up on the Los Angeles Lakers tonight. It's the second night of a back to back for the Jazz -- but they've prevailed under harsher circumstances before. LA has the night off, but for reals, they are giving most of their team the night off every night. Who is out? According to the Lakers PR, we'll once again not see Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Nick Young, Julius Randle, and Ronnie Price. Jeremy Lin is doubtful, and Wesley Johnson is probable, and expected to play.

So adding Wes, who else will the Jazz play tonight?

Even if Lin plays the Jazz have to win this game. Or at least, this is the point of view we had LAST time when the Lakers came into the ESA and left with a win. I can imagine that the Utah Jazz will come out motivated after losing for the first time since March 4th -- and I am certain the Quin Snyder will get his team up and prepare them to go against one of his former teams.

I couldn't believe our team would have lost that game back in February. But they did. For the Jazz free throw shooting continues to be a problem, and they missed a lot of those in their last game. If they continue to do so anything is possible.

Gordon Hayward should be the best player on the floor tonight. Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert did not dominate the last time these two teams played, Hill was able to score from a neutral zone out of the paint all night long. I hope he does not do that again tonight. Trey Burke was making shots last night, but Dante Exum and Rodney Hood were not. Hopefully all three can shoot well tonight.

For me these games against LA are always going to be big. I became a Jazz fan through the way our young core played them, years ago. In the pre- Jerry Sloan days, the Frank Layden Jazz won Game 2 of the 2nd round against the Lakers in the Great Western Forum. They were young. They weren't afraid. And they ended up taking LA to seven games -- when the Lakers were at their peak. Losing the first two games would have been expected, but they punched back the very next game and got the split. At times our squad this season can be unexpectedly good as well.

We saw glimpses of that when Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, and Alec Burks put a hurting on LA in the STAPLES a few years ago. This season we're seeing the emergency of an even younger Jazz team going up against the worst Lakers team in, what, all-time?

Another loss sets our team back. Gotta take out of the trash.