NBA Tips & Preview – Jazz @ Lakers

The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as slumping LA Lakers host streaking Western Conference foes Utah Jazz. 

14:00 (AEDT), Thu 17th Feb @ Arena, Los Angeles

History: Played 221: Lakers 129 V Jazz 92

Last meeting: January 17, 2022: Lakers 101 d Lakers 95 at Arena

Final Thoughts: Utah Jazz are on a six-game winning streak and aiming to consolidate a top-four spot in the West as they travel to take on the spluttering LA Lakers.

The teams got their season series underway a month ago, with LeBron James (25 pts, 7 reb, 7 ast) leading the Anthony Davis-less Lakers to a 101-95 victory at home. Rudy Gobert (19 pts, 16 reb) was a standout for the Jazz.

That was part of a horror 2-11 run for the Jazz with injuries biting hard. But they are unbeaten in February and have improved to 36-21 overall. Their current streak – with an average margin of 18.5 points – includes a 111-85 defeat of the Warriors a week ago, while since then they have doused the Magic (114-99) and Rockets (135-101).

Donovan Mitchell has averaged 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists in his five games since returning. Big man Rudy Gobert returned from a lengthy absence against the Rockets and put up 14 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes. Hassan Whiteside has been in tremendous form, the power forward/big man pulling down 49 rebounds in the Jazz’s last three games.

The 26-31 Lakers appear destined for another play-in tournament berth at best, sitting ninth in the West. They have won just five of their last 17 and are currently on a three-game slide. The Lakers lost to the Bucks (131-116), Blazers (107-105) and Warriors (117-115), despite James putting up big names in all three games.

The early-season title favourites have been plagued by the functionality of James, Davis and Russell Westbrook playing together, as well as injuries. With the trade deadline passing without incident, the megastar trio can now forge on together – but whether they can discover some elusive synergy is another story. LeBron is questionable today, AD is probable and Carmelo Anthony, Avery Bradley and Kendrick Nunn are out.

The Lakers are 17-14 at Arena this season (12-19 ATS), winning seven of their last 11. The Jazz are 15-11 away this season (13-12-1) but are on an eight-game losing streak on the road. This is their first road trip this month.

With or without LeBron, the Jazz have got the goods to win and cover here. Their best line-up is back on the floor and they have been dominant on both sides of the ball over the past fortnight.

Best Bet: Result – 76ers @ $2.23

Same Game Multi: Result – Jazz; Total – Under 226.5; Donovan Mitchell Points – Over 25.5; Mike Conley Assists – Over 5.5 @ $14.32