Thoughts on The Jazz

Kurt —  May 2, 2008

Just a couple of notes after the Jazz earned the right to come out to LA Sunday.

• While many think of the Jazz as a grind-it-out team, Jerry Sloan opened up the offense some this year, and the Jazz can run — so the Lakers need to get back in transition. Utah ran against the Rockets in spurts, and what is dangerous is their shooters trail the play and spot up at the arc (including Okur). It’s not the same as Denver, but the Jazz are too good for the Lakers to give up any easy buckets like that. (Thanks to Exodus for a correction in that paragraph).

• You can run on the Jazz, they can get sloppy in transition defense. The Lakers should push the pace on offense.

• The lesson the Rockets taught us — Kobe will get his (in the McGrady role) but if the other Lakers don’t step up and add points it will be a very tough series. The crisp Lakers passing can get good looks, Utah didn’t see that from the Rockets.

• Pick and roll defense, particularly stopping the penetration off it, will be key for LA. The Jazz offense clicks when D-Will draws attention on those drives and he can dish.

• It’s been said a lot, but how the refs call things and if some Lakers get in foul trouble will be a key to the series.

• The benches could decide this.