10/28 Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Keys to the Game

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: Ricky Rubio (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: Ricky Rubio (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 10: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz celebrates a lead during a 105-99 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Prediction – Jazz 107, Lakers 100

Although the Jazz have had two undoubtedly concerning appearances in their losses to the Clippers and Suns, I’m not convinced that the sky is falling just yet. Sure, the team has a lot of kinks to work out, but that was to be expected with a brand new point guard and several other new faces throughout the roster.

Not only that, but Rodney Hood had been out of commission with a leg injury and Joe Ingles was clearly ailing from stomach issues, so the Jazz team simply hasn’t been themselves all week. However, with two days to recover and given that this game is back on Utah’s home court where they’ve been exceptional in each of their two games within Vivint Smart Home Arena, I predict that the Jazz will come away with a win, though not in the blowout fashion I predicted earlier.

Next: Utah Jazz player injuries pose a difficult question

Utah’s offense has been struggling to the point lately that I don’t feel confident pinning them as big-time winners even over a young Lakers team that figures to be a sure-fire lottery squad this year. Therefore I’m going with a seven-point Jazz victory that hopefully will see the return of the cohesion and energy that the team displayed in the win over OKC.

Saturday’s game marks the first of a stretch of eight of nine games at home, which will ideally give the Jazz lots of times to build their confidence on their home court and work out some of the problems they’ve had so far. There’s a lot of season yet to be had, but defeating LA this weekend will be a crucial step to help the Jazz get back on track and reverse the current downwards trajectory they find themselves on.