Utah Jazz the Biggest Threat to Los Angeles Lakers? – “They Have Everything”

Published 02/12/2021, 7:24 PM EST
Feb 9, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) dribbles the ball against Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports


The Utah Jazz have been one of the biggest surprise packages this season. Despite teams like Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers, they have dominated the stacked Western Conference and are the first seed with 20 wins and 5 losses.

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In a league dominated by superstars, the Jazz haven’t been a team with a single superstar like LeBron James. They have rather been a great team with an all-round performance this season.

Kendrick Perkins confident that Utah Jazz are contenders

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While they have been amazing throughout the year, pundits still have a doubt whether they are legit challengers or not. Former NBA champion Kendrick Perkins has no doubt whatsoever. In a recent episode of the Jump, Perkins claimed that the Jazz are the biggest threat to the Lakers in Western Conference.

He said, “There’s one team in the West that could beat the Lakers and the West and challenge them is the Utah Jazz. When I look at this team, this team is not lacking at nothing.”

“They have everything. You want defense; they rank top five in every statistical category. You want offense; they rank top five in every statistical category, and then they have a head coach who I think doesn’t get enough praise in Quin Snyder, who’s a hell of an X’s and O’s type guy.”

Perkins also analysed the talented roster Jazz have. He said, “When you look at their roster, they have shooting in Bogdanovich, Jordan Clarkson, who in my opinion is a six Man of the Year candidate who’s leading the league in scoring off the bench right now. You have Joe Ingles, okay. Rudy Gobert, a Defensive Player of the Year technically.”

“They have Derrick favors a backup center. That’s they’ve come in and they don’t like a deposition. Mike Conley is starting to play like the Mike Conley that we saw in Memphis and Donovan Mitchell, he has took a tremendous leap. We all know that he could get buckets.”

He continued, “We witnessed that last year in the playoffs, but now he’s taken another step and making guys better. He’s at he’s dropping dimes. He’s creating passes on time on target. So if it’s any team in the West, right now, today, that could challenge the Los Angeles Lakers and beat them is the Utah Jazz.”

Can the Jazz dethrone the Los Angeles Lakers

The Jazz have one of the most balanced rosters in the NBA. They have great ball handlers who can create their own shot; they have prolific shooters and a DPOY candidate in Rudy Gobert.

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Their red hot form has been due to their fantastic three point shooting this season. In the 25 games they have played, they have shot 40.2 % from the three point line from an average of 42.3 attempted threes.

Dec 26, 2020; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) drives to the hoop past Minnesota Timberwolves guard R (11) in the fourth quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

But the real challenge will be how they fare in games were their shooting boots are missing. Can the Jazz succeed without their three point shooting?

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On paper they have excellent shot creators, but can the likes of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell thrive against the Lakers or the Clippers in a seven-game series?

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Aditya Mohapatra

622 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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