NBA Western Conference Showdown: Lakers vs. Jazz

The Utah Jazz are still playing this regular season will a lot on the line. On Sunday, they face the Los Angeles Lakers and need to get a win to solidify their home court advantage in the playoffs. The Lakers are out of playoff contention but the young squad still wants to make an impression and take down the hot Jazz.

The Jazz need a win to clinch a playoff spot as they sit 1.5 games up on the eighth seed. Currently sitting at the four seed, they hope to be able to lock down that spot to gain home court advantage through the playoffs. They could use home court advantage as they as 27 of their wins have came at home against 19 on the road. The Jazz are a much better team in front of their own fans and it shows. Utah is -8 over Los Angeles on Sunday.

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The Jazz have a well-rounded group

The rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell leads the Jazz with 20.7 points a game. He does have some help however as four others score in double digits. That group is led by Rudy Gobert who scores 13.7 points a game and also grabs 10.9 rebounds a game. This is a dynamic group and you’ll never know who is going to score on any given night.

The Jazz are on a hot streak winning four games in a row. These games were needed in order for them to keep their playoff hopes alive since the standings are so crowded. They are winners of seven of the last ten as well contributing to the late push in the standings.

The Lakers are leaning on their young guys

The Lakers are a very young team and you can see that as their top scorers are all at 16.2 points a game or less. Seven guys score in double digits led by Julius Randle at 16.2 points a game and Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma each at 16.1 points a game. This well rounded offense hasn’t really being eye opening this year but next year and into the future it could be very potent.

The Lakers are struggling this month as they are averaging 102 points a game, lowest in a month this season for them. It doesn’t help that they lost Lonzo Ball and Isaiah Thomas is battling injuries. The team is shooting just 36 percent this month to be the worst in all of the NBA. This doesn’t mean the Lakers are a pushover though.

The Jazz are hot and they are at home so chalk this up as a win

The Jazz have been playing great basketball over the last month and they have more to play for than the Lakers. The Lakers are ready to throw in the towel on this year and start next year with a healthy roster. The Jazz, on the other hand, are ready to win their last three games of the regular season and clinch home court in the playoffs.

I think the Jazz will pull it out tonight getting past the Lakers and making their way into the top half of the Western Conference standings. The Jazz are better at almost every position and Gobert will be a man inside. I think Mitchell is due for a huge game tonight. Take the Jazz -8.

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