The Utah Jazz (21-34) welcome in the Los Angeles Lakers (14-41) tonight to EnergySolutions Arena at 7:00 PM. The Jazz are looking to pick up their third straight win, an accomplishment they have yet to achieve this season. They have won 4 out of their last 5 games.
The Jazz have played well defensively as of late as Dante Exum is playing well defensively as he shut down Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs on Monday. In their last 5 games the Jazz have not allowed an opponent to score over 96 points. Rudy Gobert is a threat defensively as he is averaging 2.2 points per game. Not only is he blocking shots, he is also altering shots. Gobert has even performed better as a starter as he is averaging 3.9 blocked shots in 10 starts and has held opponents to 37.7 percent shooting at the rim overall, which is the lowest in the league among players who have appeared in at least 50 games and defended at least 5.0 attempts at the rim per game. If he continues to develop his offensive game, he will be a threat on both ends of the court.
Trey Burke has embraced his role of coming off the bench as he led the team in scoring on Monday with 23 points. He is driving more and shooting better from the field as well. It is impressive to see how well he is adjusting and not complaining as well. He definitely wants the best for the team and he is a true team player. Gordon Hayward continues to play solid as he leads the team in scoring at 19.6 points per game and steals at 1.4 per game. He is averaging 25.0 points per game in their last 4 wins. He also wants to get his teammates involved as he is averaging 4.2 assists per game. The Utah Jazz are a fun team to watch as they truly play team basketball. They don’t play selfishly. They want everyone to play well. You never know which player will step up their game on a particular night.
The Los Angeles Lakers come into the game losers of 7 out of their last 8 games. However, their only win in that stretch was in their last game as they beat the Boston Celtics on Sunday in overtime 118-111. The Lakers are looking to snap their longest road losing streak in franchise history which stands at 15 straight loses on the road.
Here is Utah Jazz Head Coach addressing the media following shoot around today:
In other Jazz news, the team has assigned Guard Ian Clark to the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Developmental League and have signed Forward Jack Cooley (6-9, 246, Notre Dame) and Guard Bryce Cotton (6-1, 165, Providence) to 10-Day contracts. Cooley appeared in 16 games (14 starts) for the Idaho Stampede this season, averaging 15.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 29.1 minutes per contest. He recorded nine double-doubles, including recording a season-high 25 points and a season-high 20 rebounds vs. Austin Spurs on Feb. 18. He scored in double figures on 13 occasions and recorded 15-plus points in 10 games. Cooley attended 2014 training camp with the Jazz, averaging 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 5.8 minutes in two preseason games. He was waived on Oct. 22. Here is Jack Cooley with the media following shoot around today:
Bryce Cotton appeared in 34 games (all starts) for the Austin Spurs this season, averaging 22.4 points (third in the D-League), 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 40.5 minutes (first in the D-League) per contest. He is also shooting 90.0 percent from the free throw line this season, which ranks second in the D-League among active players. Cotton has scored in double figures on 31 occasions and recorded 20-plus points in 20 games. He also registered 40-or-more points twice, including a season-high 43 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and two steals at Reno Bighorns. His 43 points rank tied for third in the D-League in scoring performances. Cotton was named D-League Performer of the Week on Feb. 23 after averaging 30.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals last week. Bryce Cotton attended 2014 training camp with the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 4.0 points and 1.5 assists in four games as a reserve. He was waived by the Spurs on Oct. 23. Here is Bryce Cotton with the media following shoot around today: