Utah Jazz vs. LA Lakers reactions: What went right/wrong?

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: Donovan Mitchell (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: Donovan Mitchell (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Donovan Mitchell was the story of the game between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers. In what was looking to be a potentially disastrous second half, Mitchell brought energy to the arena and sparked a solid Jazz finish.

The Utah Jazz faced off against the Los Angeles Lakers last night in Salt Lake City in a game where the Jazz came away with a much needed 96-81 victory. The win provided us with several takeaways regarding where the Jazz excelled and where they’re going to still need some work.

What went right?

Donovan Mitchell, Rookie of the Year

First things first. Donovan Mitchell, ladies and gentleman. After a week of hearing how terrible he’s looked (which I disagree with, for the record) and how his shot selection is poor, he redeemed himself last night.

Mitchell had 22 points on 56 percent shooting and was 3-of-6 from the three-point line.

Donovan had seven points in the first half and didn’t play that many minutes due to some foul trouble, but his defense was solid as usual and he was having an efficient, albeit quiet night. Then the third quarter happened.

Wow, just wow. We may have just seen the play of the year for the Jazz from rookie Donovan Mitchell. We knew he was athletic. We knew he had the potential to be explosive. Welcome to SportsCenter, Donovan Mitchell.

Balanced Attack

We predicted Rodney Hood or Rudy Gobert could be the Jazz leading scorer this season, but so far it’s looking like we’re going to see a different leading scorer every night. Derrick Favors started things off with a quick six points in the first quarter. Rodney Hood was almost consistent throughout the night. Ricky Rubio was shooting lights out (for him), Rudy was scaring the pants off of Lakers in the paint and the rookie took over late in the game.

The Energy

The Jazz came out quickly and got out to an early lead. This has been a huge problem in the past few games. Derrick Favors played angry. Rodney Hood complained about a call, which is unusual for him. Quin Snyder even got a technical foul on that same missed call, which is also a rarity.

Donovan Mitchell brought down the house with the energy play mentioned earlier.

Rudy Gobert finally had a positive plus-minus at 22.

Rubio, Hood, Ingles, Mitchell, Favors and Gobert all played with some passion last night.

I also can’t forget the defensive shutdown on Lonzo Ball. Ball looked out of place and ineffective. He had a couple of sweet passes, but otherwise he was cut off by Ricky’s close defense and couldn’t seem to figure out what to do about screens from Rudy and Favs.


Utah also won the rebounding battle, which has been a huge issue for the team, especially in losses. Last night, the Jazz won the battle of the boards and in fact every Jazz player that hit the floor in the game had at least one rebound, with three offensive boards a piece for Gobert and Favors.

What went wrong?


Turnovers continue to be a problem. The Jazz had 21 turnovers, two more than their season average of 19. However, the turnovers last night seemed to be a little different than the past few games. In the past, the Jazz looked to be moving too quickly and forcing things a little bit. Last night, the Jazz seemed much more in control.

Rubio is still looking a little uncomfortable, at times, and looks to still be adjusting to his teammates. He finished with five giveaways, which is about double his career average.

Derrick Favors had four turnovers, and most of them were pretty preventable. He seemed to keep slipping down low or losing a handle on the ball.

Mitchell had five as well, but we can give him the rookie benefit of the doubt.

Rudy Gobert stymied

If you thought Rudy was quiet, you’re not alone. Here’s the problem. Opponents are packing the paint against Gobert. It seems like teams have adjusted to the fact that he’s going to be more of a focal point in our offense, and he’s struggling as a result.

With Gordon Hayward, it was too dangerous for people on the Hayward-Gobert pick and roll, because Hayward drew so much attention and was so effective once he got into the paint.

The good news: Quin looks to have made some adjustments, but also the corner threes were falling last night. And even though Rudy wasn’t able to have as much of an impact on offense, other than offensive boards and putbacks, he looked more like himself on defense and had three blocks, including one on Lonzo Ball.

Next: Utah Jazz: Mitchell’s breakout performance guides Jazz to win over LA

I’m pretty happy with the result last night and other than the turnovers, it’s tough to find too many things to complain about.