After finishing up their season at Staples Center, the Lakers take to the road for their final two games of the season.
Tonight they are in Utah to take on the Jazz for the fourth and final time this year. The Jazz currently lead the season series 2-1.
As many top teams continue to fight until the last day of the regular season for a playoff spot, teams like the Lakers and Jazz are hoping to better their position in the upcoming lottery draft.
It would appear that each team is trying really hard to get the best lottery draft position as possible since both teams are 1-9 in their last 10 games.
Who will end up being the best worst team?
Jodie Meeks has had two poor games this month where he averaged seven points on 23 percent shooting. Fortunately, Meeks is like most scorers and doesn’t show short-term memory. In the other five games this month, Meeks has been stupendous and has averaged 22.6 points on 53.4 percent shooting. It would only be right for Meeks to end his best season on the right note in these last two games. Meeks is averaging 15.6 points on 46 percent shooting on the season.
The big thing for the Lakers this season has been developing players. Among all these developmental players, Ryan Kelly might be the most intriguing. Although he hasn’t always had a consistent role, Kelly has played large minutes through stretches and has shown a lot of positive things. In the last two games where he has played at least 30 minutes, Kelly has averaged 16 points (46 percent shooting) and seven rebounds. Kelly will look to impress a few more people in these last two games.
Like Kelly, Trey Burke is a rookie that is trying to fully develop his game. Although he isn’t always consistent, he has shown great signs. Despite some really down games this month, Burke has still been able to average 12 points (39 percent shooting) and 9.4 rebounds in his last five games. If he gets going, Burke can go off for a big game on any night.
Enes Kanter has been allowed to develop a lot this season and has made great strides. For the past couple of months, Kanter has given the Jazz consistent production. In the past three games, Kanter has averaged 17.3 points (48.3 percent shooting) and 15.3 rebounds per game. With the Lakers lacking their usual production in the front-court, Kanter could be in for a big game tonight.
Jordan Hill has done a solid job since becoming the go-to big man due to the injuries of Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman. In his last six games, Hill has averaged 15.7 points (50.8 percent shooting) and 10.2 rebounds. Hill has recently said that he won’t be returning to the Lakers unless things change, so these last two games could be the last we see of Hill in purple and gold. Hopefully – for him – these last two games go very well.
Nick Young’s play has remained at a high level since his return from injury in April. After missing 17 games out of 18, Young has averaged 18.4 points on 43 percent shooting in his last 13 games. Although it’s hard to win any awards when you’re on one of the worst teams in the league, but Young should be one of the front-runners for Sixth Man of the Year. Hopefully these last two games are not the last we see of Young as a Laker. In two games against the Jazz, Young has averaged 18.5 points on 52 percent shooting.
Derrick Favors has been playing his basketball of the year as the season has dwindled down. In his last five games, Favors has averaged an impressive 16.6 points (59 percent shooting) and 7.5 rebounds. Favors has been solid against the Lakers all year and has averaged 13.3 points (55 percent shooting) and 10 rebounds in three games.
While other Jazz players have been playing great recently, Gordon Hayward hasn’t been as good as he as at many points this year. Hayward is averaging 15.8 points on 39 percent shooting in his last five games, However, the Lakers might help him get back on the right track since he has averaged 20.3 points (48 percent shooting), 7.3 assists and five rebounds in three games against them.
Expected Starting Lineups
Key reserves: Nick Young and Robert Sacre
Key reserves: Richard Jefferson and Jeremy Evans