Matchup #2 – at Los Angeles Lakers – November 21, 2023
With the 14th game of the season, the Utah Jazz will face off with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers as part of the NBA In-Season Tournament.
The Lakers have their core returning, but a whole new supporting cast. It’s a risky endeavor after reaching the Western Conference Finals to change so much of a team, but having James and Davis provides enough star power and leadership to ensure that the roles on the team are well-defined. The Lakers have a much easier schedule than the Jazz early on, with 8 of their first 15 games against playoff or play-in teams from a year ago, which could lead to them having one of the better records in the West by the time the Jazz face them.
The Jazz should have a better idea of who they are by the time this game rolls around, and if John Collins and Lauri Markkanen are clicking as a forward pairing, this game could be the ultimate test. James and Davis are a deadly duo but can be slowed or limited when a team follows their game plan to the letter.
The Jazz and Lakers split their games 2-2 last season, with the Jazz winning early and the Lakers winning late, so it’s anyone’s game this time around. The atmosphere of the In-Season tournament may give the Jazz a lift, but with the game being in Los Angeles, it might be a tall order for the Jazz in this one.