Preview And Chat: The Utah Jazz, 3 On 3 Edition

Phillip Barnett —  December 27, 2013

The Lakers are heading into Salt Lake City without four guys who were expected to be in the top of the Lakers rotation this season with Pau Gasol out with upper respiratory inflammation. After three tough losses, the Lakers will see a Utah team that has struggled all season. Here we go 3-on-3 to preview tonight’s game.

1. The front court rotation has been in flux all season. With Pau out tonight, what guys should get minutes against this Jazz team?

Ryan Cole: I think that Robert Sacre should get the bulk of minutes in Pau’s place tonight. He’s played very well on defense this season, and has been a solid presence on the offensive end. He’s not going to go out there and score 20 points, but he’ll help in the other areas: rebounding, effort, intensity, and defense.

Andre Khatchaturian: After a 17-rebound performance at Golden State, Chris Kaman earned some playing time at Phoenix earlier this week. He went 0-for-2 from the field in 13 minutes, but did grab five rebounds and was a +1. Not making a bucket, though, was enough for Mike D’Antoni to fall into recency bias and not play him on Christmas. Instead, we saw Ryan Kelly who didn’t particularly play bad but Kaman could have been more effective against Miami’s biggest weakness – their front court. It would be nice to see Kaman get big boy playing time tonight against an awful Jazz team and show the staff what he can do.

Phillip Barnett: The starting lineup has Shawne Williams and Chris Kaman starting at the four and five, respectively. Even though he’s not back on the floor with the starting unit, I’d like to see Jordan Hill get somewhere between the 25-30 minutes if he can stay out of foul trouble. The Jazz are one of the few teams with a defensive rebounding rate as bad as the Lakers (Jazz ranked 28th, Lakers ranked 29th). This could be a night where we see Hill dominate on the boards and create some second chance opportunities for a team that will surely need it on the road and shorthanded.

2. Trey Burke has had games of 30, 20, and 18 points in his last five. He’s also had games of two and three during that same stretch. How do the Lakers ensure that Burke is closer to the latter?

Ryan Cole: They have to make a consistent effort to trap him in pick-and-roll situations. He’s yet to prove that he’s an amazing playmaker, so force him to make decisions rather than score. Scoring is easily his best asset as a player. Burke has the quickness and speed to penetrate effectively, and can stretch the floor from behind the arc with his shot. If the Lakers have any chance at winning, they must contain him in the pick-and-roll.

Andre Khatchaturian: The Lakers have been better at defending point guards this season than last year. Opposing PGs have a PER of 15.9 this year compared to 18.0 last season. Thank Jordan Farmar for that. Opposing PGs have a PER of just 6.5 with 4.1 turnovers per 48 minutes when Farmar is the counterpart PG. Farmar was rusty in his first game back from injury on Christmas, but the Lakers should still put him on Trey Burke and hope he shuts him down.

Phillip Barnett: Burke doesn’t do any one thing particularly well, but he’s been a decent shooter from deep (37.5 percent from three for a rookie is very promising) and has shown an ability to do some dangerous things in P&R sets. Rotations are going to have to be crisp to not allow him easy looks at the rim and Farmar is going to have to run him off the three point line in catch and shoot situations. Best case scenario is to have Burke shooting off the dribble out of the pick and roll.

3. Who gets the win tonight and why?

Ryan Cole: The Jazz. The Lakers simply don’t have enough offensive firepower sans Kobe and Pau. Maybe they can compete with Utah for a half, but eventually the size and athleticism of the Jazz is going to be too much for this team to handle.

Andre Khatchaturian:The Lakers have struggled at Salt Lake historically. They’re just 19-34 on the road against Utah since 1986-87. It’s a house of horrors. That being said, the Lakers need this one in order to stay in the playoff race. They played hard against the defending champions on Christmas and a similar effort will translate to a win against a terrible shooting team like Utah. Gasol will be out so it will be difficult, but expect Farmar to get his groove back and Jordan Hill to get big boy minutes with Pau out of the lineup. Prediction: Lakers win a close one. It also seems like Vegas may be overreacting a bit on the Gasol injury. The Lakers are 3.5 point underdogs. Take the bet.

Phillip Barnett: I think the Lakers win tonight. This is a team that seems like it’s frustrated with the recent losses and the Jazz could be the team they take their frustrations out on. Utah hasn’t been very good this season. They’re in the bottom five in offensive and defensive rating (dead last in defensive rating), and the Lakers have the youth, speed, and shooting to leave Energy Solutions Arena with another tally mark in the win column.

Phillip Barnett

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30 responses to Preview And Chat: The Utah Jazz, 3 On 3 Edition

  1. Williams should not be playing.

    MY one and only Williams post tonight.

  2. Farmar looks good so far but I kinda feel bad for Burke who may have twisted his ankle. Hate to see it happen to a young player even if it benefits the good guys (Lakers). Nonetheless, I hope they (Lakers) can make their open three point shots.

  3. It’s weird because Williams is the only player that has had consistent starts to prove his worth. Other players get a start if they have a good offensive game, but get yanked after one game if they don’t produce offense. Williams plays game after game, after game with no offensive production, yet this coach continues to play him. It’s not like he’s a defensive stalwart or rebounder, he lacks athleticism and runs like he has bad feet. I like him on the team as a 10-12th man on the team but not as a starter. Ryan Kelly deserves those minutes. I’ve been crying for him to get playing time and he’s looked as good as a rookie as Williams has as a veteran.

    Farmar looks good.

    I’d like to see Marshall get some time tonight.

    Nick Young has to be closing in on some sort of record for 4 point and 3 point plays in consecutive games.

  4. Hearn

    27 minutes
    4 points per game
    37% last on active roster in shooting

  5. Kamen in the 1st half has outplayed Pau in his last 4 games.

    Yet gets no minutes in 13 games this year.

    Strange

  6. Kaman making a case for more playing time.

    The rookie, Trey Burke, looking like a young Chris Paul out there. He definitely has a future in this league.

  7. Not sure if there is anyone Lakers can beat easily anymore.

    Good play by Chris and Jordan.

    Nothing from anyone else.

  8. Obviously, people, we don’t understand. We’re missing something with Williams.He offers something that we can’t view.

  9. So let me get this straight, we allowed the Jazz who are 8-23 and avg 92 ppg 55 first half points, i was going change tvs because i swear there is something wrong with it.

  10. Yikes, 37% is putrid!

    It doesn’t matter how K-man plays, the next game Pau’s back he’ll get a DNP or CD. Just like it doesn’t matter what Hill does, this coach does not like players that can’t shoot the three…except Williams, that is.

  11. I hate to rag on the team all things considered but this is just damn pathetic.

  12. This may now be the worst team in the NBA. 30th in NBA in defense for a reason.

    Hard to continue to support when they make no personnel moves.

  13. Utah is 7-9 since starting 1-14. Corbin moved Marvin Williams in at the 4, going to smallball, and they got Trey Burke back.

    So, Utah is really not that bad, in spite of their overall record.

    Long-term, though, it doesn’t seem like Kanter and Favors together is working, so they will need to deal with that.

  14. Nick young is Lakers best player. When Nick Young is your best player, you are not going to be winning many games.

  15. So Johnson goes out in favor of Young because his offense is lethargic. Well Williams’ offense is non-exisent.

    Goodness ‘Grace Kelly!’

    Hill played 7 minutes in the first half, so I guess he’ll play the entire 2nd half. His rotations are unreal.

    Everyone’s ball handling was supposed to improve with all the pg’s and Kobe out. Now, they all act like they’re afraid to initiate the offense.

  16. At this rate Chris will have highest rebound game 17 and most points by a big this season.

    Then won’t play for another month.

    I wish I was smarter.

  17. Fundamentals are lost on this, the team that concentrates on offense, offense and more offense.

    No emphasis on free-throws, defense or rebounding, the two areas of the game that don’t require skill, merely effort and I might add, the two areas that will win games when the offense fails.

    Why is Jodie Meeks always so far away from the man he’s guarding?

    This is a perfect game for Sacre to body up with Kanter.

  18. Hearn

    Funny thing as this team plays worse and worse the prices on seats, parking, beer etc have not been reduced in relation to the product.

    Kind of like Flemings Steak house serving me hamburger at the same price.

  19. Funny how in a city with 13 million you have 18 comments for a Friday night game. I guess it’s a fair weather city indeed…

  20. Ken there are no moves to make. This is going to be a long season.

  21. Mace

    Some fans are fair weather. Others perhaps see through the ownership ploy. Make it look like they want to win by keeping a coach that runs up and down the court.

    No Laker team had ever finished last in defense. This one is and will. Smart fans see a obvious tank. Fools like me and others fall for the ploy.

    This is a bad team with a bad coach and ownership that cares only about money.

    Time Warner rating are down to a all time low and yet some of us still watch. That dies separate hard core from fair weather.

  22. Again not a f’n boxout to avoid that stupid dunk to lose the game, i been harping about this an there it is again. four straight losses and losing again a bottom feeding team because of a damn @&”^%# boxout.

  23. @ Fern
    Calm down man…what do you expect? We’re still down 3 starters including our 2 best players. This is a bottom-feeding team until that changes. Heck, this team is barely above .500 when completely healthy.

  24. Congrats Jim you now have the 29th best team and 30 best defense team in the NBA.

  25. Now that’s what I like to see, Jordan Hill looks like he’s been crying in the shower. He’s hurt that they didn’t get that win. Someone is going to have to get mad at each other for them to turn this around. Stop with the we have to just keep going and pulling for each other. They have to get mad about them missing assignments and allowing weak players to look like all stars against them.

    At present, the Lakers have the longest losing streak in the league with four.

  26. horseshoes and hand grenades type of game for the lakers tonite on the road versus the jazz of utah. the closest we come to having a closer on the team was on the bench during the closing minutes of the game. unchartered waters playing defense for nick young. hustle plays kept us close; lack of overall talent decided the outcome. despite these factors, could have gone either way because utah suffers from similar maladies.

    understandably, looked like farmar was struggling a little bit from fatigue down the stretch.

    best time to move on; after every loss.

    Go lakers

  27. KenOak i know all that but still they need to box out, thats a problem all season long healthy or not, you dpnt need a superstar to pit a body between an opossing player and a basket, this is fundamentals teached at a 5 y/o level.

  28. I guess i been kinda mad at our frontline since they let a 6’1 pg grab 11 rebounds im still steaming from that one.

  29. I am officially ashamed that I used the phrase “Book of Job” in reference to last season. This is infinitely worse. Mayhap the sky IS falling….and I’m no chicken little ….

  30. We have issues to be sure but some positives to take from this game:
    At least Dantoni played Kaman and Hill meaningful minutes. So maybe he’ll start to concede that these two can help the team compete.
    Farmar looked good in his second game back and with consistent minutes he’ll hopefully keep improving.
    If Nick Young hadn’t fouled out (on a questionable call) we may have won.
    We absolutely cannot be happy losing to a team like the Jazz but at the same time I gotta admit: I was entertained!