The Utah Jazz were hoping the Los Angeles Lakers wouldn’t be this good when they finally met but the Lakers may be without LeBron James.
If the Utah Jazz are going to have a realistic shot at the playoffs, the turnaround has to start now. The Jazz can’t keep losing games and have expectations at the playoffs. That’s why the stretch of games they’re currently on is so important. Many of the next odd amount of games or so are very winnable. If they can win out over the next seven or so games, they’ll be back over .500 and in the hunt for the playoffs.
If they can’t, they’re screwed and the season is likely over for them just two months into the season. It’s hard to see a 4-16 team “turning things around”. Considering the hype the Jazz had coming into the season, a 4-16 start should see some guys lose their jobs as well. The Jazz need to win games, and the Los Angeles Lakers are a team they need to beat.
We know the Jazz can hang with good teams, we saw two back-to-back losses against the Suns that went down to the wire both times, and now we’re hoping they can topple the Lakers to get back on the right side of the win-loss column.
And it appears as though the Lakers will be without LeBron James. The Lakers’ injury report listed James as “questionable”, leaving the Lakers potentially without their best player. If James can’t play against the Jazz, that means that D’Angelo Russell will have to take over point duties for most of the game.
He’s a lesser threat than James, and considering the team is a bit older and full of mixed-match pieces and parts, it’s likely that without James they’re going to be a bit less effective on offense.