After taking the day off for Thanksgiving Day, the NBA will pick back up on November 23. The NBA has fourteen games on tap for Friday night. One of those game will be between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers. I expect plenty of excitement throughout Friday night. Here is my best bet for November 23.
The Jazz has gone 8-10 to open up the new season. Utah is currently sitting in thirteenth place of the Western Conference. The Jazz has lost four of their last five games. Utah will look to turn it around against the Lakers on the road. The Jazz is coming off back to back losses, but they will look to put that in the past and get back in the win column on Friday night.
Los Angeles struggled to open up the new season, but have since been able to turn it into a positive record. The Lakers have gone 10-7, which has put them in seventh place of the Western Conference. Los Angeles has won two straight games and six of their last seven games. I believe the Lakers could keep it going with a win against Utah at home.
The Jazz and Lakers are meeting for the first time this season. Utah and Los Angeles will meet three more times this season on January 11, March 27 and April 7. I believe that the Lakers will be able to jump out to a quick start at home on Friday night.
Last Season’s Matchups
Utah and Los Angeles met up three times last season. The Jazz hosted the first matchup between these two teams last season. Brandon Ingram led the Lakers in points with 16, while Jordan Clarkson put up another 15 points off the bench. Donovan Mitchell had 22 points off the bench for Utah, which was enough to lead the Jazz to the win. Utah pulled off the 96-81 win at home.
Utah hosted the second matchup of the season as well. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a 28 point outing. Kyle Kuzma scored another 26, but it was not enough to give the Lakers the win. Ricky Rubio scored 31 points and added 8 assists. Donovan Mitchell dropped 26 points, which was enough to give the Jazz a 117-110 win.
The final matchup of the season moved to Los Angeles. Josh Hart scored 25 points and Tyler Ennis had another 22 off the bench. Once again though, it was not enough to get the win for the Lakers. Donovan Mitchell had 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Joe Ingles dropped 22 points and added 10 assists. The Jazz pulled off a 112-97 win on the road.
Utah pulled off a 3-0 series sweep last season. The Jazz have won seven straight games against the Lakers. Los Angeles will look to end that losing streak to Utah with a win at home. The Lakers are beginning to look like a legitimate team and I believe they will get the win against the Jazz on Friday night.
The Jazz have been led by their young superstar Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell has been averaging 22 points per game this season. Rudy Gobert has been doing really well at the Center spot. Gobert is averaging 15 points and 13 rebounds per game. Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder have each averaged 13 points per game.
LeBron James has been the leader for the Lakers this season. James has averaged 29 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists per game this season. Kyle Kuzma has averaged 17 points and 5 rebounds per game. Brandon Ingram has also had a solid start this season, averaging 15 points per game.
The Lakers and Jazz should have an exciting matchup between Donovan Mitchell and LeBron James. Mitchell and James will not likely be guarding each other too often, but I imagine they will be on each other during some possessions. Utah will look to have Rudy Gobert take advantage of his mismatch against JaVale McGee. Besides Gobert though, the Lakers have the size advantage in most positions.
Lakers’ Offense vs Jazz’s Defense
Los Angeles has one of the highest scoring offenses in the NBA. The Lakers have averaged 116.2 points per game this season, which is fourth in the NBA. Los Angeles has plenty of players with the ability to have big nights. This allows for the Lakers to score big on teams.
Utah has played a pretty tight defense this season. The Jazz are allowing an average of 109.1 points per game. Utah is eleventh in points allowed per game in the NBA his season. The Jazz will need that defense to be at the top of their game if they want to slow down Los Angeles.
Utah is coming in to Friday night’s matchup in a bit of a rough patch. The Lakers are playing really well as of recently. This seems like the perfect setup for a win by Los Angeles. On top of that, the Lakers are in front of their home crowd who will be hoping for a win after Thanksgiving. Los Angeles has the better roster and it should show in Friday night’s matchup.
BetOnline has Los Angeles listed as a -2.5 against the spread. I believe that the Lakers should be bigger favorites. They are the better team this season and they are at home. Utah is on a big winning streak against the Lakers, but I believe it will end on Friday night. Los Angeles is a -107 against the spread, while Utah is -113 against the spread. This gives the Lakers a lot of value.