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Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Lakers: Five Things to watch

How many All-Stars will take the court tonight?

NBA: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz are the not-so-proud owners of a 2-game losing streak, which they’re going to try and break at home against the Los Angeles Lakers. These are the things you might want to look out for during the game.

  1. Fatigue

Apparently, pro athletes also get tired. And apparently, the last two games might have had more to do with the schedule than with the awfulness of the Utah Jazz. Last time out the Jazz played at Denver, and the fact that it was the fourth game in five nights and on altitude made it a you’re-gonna-lose-no-matter-what type of game.

How about the first night of the back-to-back? It maybe wasn’t so much that the Jazz were destined to lose based on their own schedule, but that the Thunder would have fresher legs to end the game with because they just had 5 days off. Might explain all the 50-50 balls/offensive rebounds they managed to get in the fourth.

Hill and Hayward haven’t been playing well, Gobert’s 10+ rebound streak was broken-then-re-instated, and it seems Joe Ingles is passing up three-pointers where he should be taking them. Lets hope yesterday’s day off gets them all fresh and perky again.

2) Rodney Hood to return?

Rodney Hood has been out for a few games, but his status has been updated to questionable! Although, apparently, he isn’t moving at 100% yet, so then the question is also if you really want to risk that. Then again, is a Hood at less than 100% still not useful, assuming that it’s the kind of thing you won’t aggravate by playing. I guess we’ll see come game-time (and I’m not sure Hood himself will even know before then).

3) Streaky shooters go for the win

The thing with the Los Angeles Lakers is that they have quite a potent offense, when it’s working that is. Guys like Nick Young, Lou Williams, and the young guys all know how to put the ball in the basket (although, for some of them, that’s really their only skill), making it a potentially dangerous team.

Because when these kind of players get hot, they get hot, and suddenly become real hard to stop from anywhere on the court. If the Jazz D manage to make sure that none of them get their mojo working, the game is going to be a whole lot easier.

4) All-Stars

Today the All-Star reserves will be announced, and both Gobert and Hayward potentially might get in. Certainly, there’s a case to be made for each, with Hayward coming fresh off a Player of the Week title showcasing some insane effectivity in that span, and Gobert is perhaps the prime rim protector in the league at the moment. And even though the All-Star game is an offensive playground where the most abhorrent thing you can do is play some D, it’s still nice to get the nod and some appreciation from around the league.

And who knows, maybe we have 2 All-Stars, and perhaps the last All-Star game worth watching was actually when two Jazz players won the MVP award during it. Hint, it was a tight match that involved D and a bunch of elite players wanting to win. You know, the reason we watch basketball.

Then again, this is also a league where Mr. Triple Double and recent defeater of the Jazz still needs to get voted in, so who knows?

5) PG Back-up minutes

An ongoing question and surprise is, who will play back-up minutes at the PG this game around? Exum got some minutes against Westbrook, Mack got some of them last game, and Neto has been getting some burn the past few weeks after tearing it up in the D-league.

Is it an open audition? Is Snyder looking at the match-ups? Is he just rotating them to keep them happy? At least Exum doesn’t have to worry about getting absolutely no playing time in the upcoming month, as I believe the Rising Stars Challenge doesn’t have DNP-CD’s.