The Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz meet again for round two of their preseason set tonight in Hawaii. The first matchup was everything you'd expect of a preseason game -- a few highlights to tease the upcoming NBA season, but just enough miscues to make the real games seem oh so far away.
The big story heading into tonight's contest is if the Lakers will have their legs. Head coach Byron Scott's infamously strenuous training camp, where he claims to push to his players to their breaking points, has been unsurprisingly heavy on running. Despite the league-wide shift toward less demanding practices, the Lakers have slugged through two-a-days since they arrived in Hawaii. They shot just 28.9 percent from the field in the first game, including just three makes in the fourth quarter. D'Angelo Russell, who mentioned the need for rest, had several short jumpers in his preseason debut.
Los Angeles also won't have its full roster available for tonight's game due to some practice casualties. Anthony Brown and Jabari Brown suffered shoulder and hand injuries, respectively, during camp, and may be unable to play. On the bright side, Larry Nance, Jr. and Metta World Peace could make their debuts tonight after the pair sat out Sunday's opener.
The Lakers should hope for some more offensive continuity in today's matchup. Scott might consider staggering the time of his two point guards, Russell and Jordan Clarkson, particularly with Marcelo Huertas unavailable due to visa issues. The bench unit struggled to generate easy looks without a natural floor general, although Lou Williams did impress with his scoring ability. It was a treat to see some ball movement from the starting lineup, even if it did result in quite a few missed jumpers. Utah figures to be one of the better defensive teams in the league this year, but sub-30 percent shooting could use some improvement.
Enjoy the game, and at least look forward to some feisty defending - it's been a while since we could say that in Lakerland.
Time: 9 p.m. PT
TV: TWCSN, NBA TV