Lakers/Jazz Game One Chat

Kurt —  May 4, 2008

A few things to think about on game day:

• Here is my big picture thought of the series — both of these teams have very efficient and motion-based offenses, no matter what they will hang some points on you, but the team that can play the best defense and force some inefficient offense will come out of the series. Part of that will be matchups, which will unfold as the series goes on. Utah will play defense in part through physical play, the Lakers have to be ready to defend the pick-and-roll and be smart on rotations.

• About that physical play, Darius said it well:

Understand Sloan and Phil have faced each other on several occasions in the playoffs and are very familiar with what each team wants to do. That means execution is king. In order to be efficient against a physical team like Utah, you must make every movement meaningful. By making hard cuts and good, quick decisions, we can make the Jazz reactive rather than proactive on defense. They will pick up fouls off the ball if we are making hard cuts…they will hold and grab off the ball if they are beat to a spot.

• Some other thoughts from Darius saying things I was going to but doing it better, so here you are:

*It’s been said before, but rebounding will be key. We need at least 4 to the glass (and usually all 5). We need to secure the ball before we can get out and push pace. One thing I’ll be looking for specifically is keeping AK contained on the offensive glass. Vlad is going to have to be a better rebounder this series because he will be guarding a more active player (in terms of overall movement around the court) than last series. Sure Melo was a much better offensive player (and overall), but you know where to find Melo on any given possession. Whereas AK is a roamer on the offensive end and likes to cut hard off the ball and always finds himself around the bucket. So Vlad’s awareness is going to be key…and Phil has not called him a space cadet for nothing…so that is something to look out for.

*Please, Please, Please keep a level head against this team…and it all starts with Kobe. In the last Utah game, we did a tremendous job of taking our anger and aggression (due to the Fisher booing) and channeling that into a focused attack. We can’t get frustrated by Utah’s physicality or any unevenness from the refs. We need to adjust to how any particular game is called and just move on. Kobe was king of the *t* during the regular season and some of it at the end of the season was due to a lack of the whistle on his drives to the hoop. Based off Utah’s style, every foul will not be called (I actually credit them for there style) and we need to just understand that and play the game. I’m not really worried about Kobe, he knows the drill and is our General in this battle, but it’s just something that we need to be under control.

• While we’re doing quotes, Drrayeye had a great point about matchups:

Brewer clearly is at a disadvantage against Kobe. Okur has no chance against Gasol. One way or another, the help needs to come from AK47. If AK47 and other Jazz players compensate defensively, the Jazz are vulnerable to the kind of passing that the Lakers used effectively against the Nuggs.

Nonetheless, AK47 is the X factor for the Jazz. He can make plays on offense and defense that are outside of the general strategy of the Jazz.

• Okay, I give in, it’s an all commenter preview. The final thoughts come from regular here Stephen, who is a Rockets fan and as so has seen plenty of Jazz basketball lately:

The Jazz ARE extremely physical. They get in your face and stay there for 48 minutes. They will constantly elbow, shove, jab and clutch and grab jerseys. They do it all game long and no amount of whistles will make them stop. However, they are not trying to hurt you and they don’t try to throw you thru the floor. They do just enough to get you out of position for a rebound, to stop your cuts, to make you miss your shot and above all to get you so tired of trying to drive thru the teeth of their D that you’ll settle for jump shots. They get a ton of offensive rebounds thru subtle shoves (a Boozer specialty) and heavy forearms to move you out, or they just lay their body on you and go for every shot. Boozer and Okur have strong hands and will rip rebounds away from you.

On offense they try to space the floor, let Williams and Boozer pick and roll you to death and the other Jazz-esp. Harpring-are quite good at moving w/out the ball. The team as a whole passes very well so the motion in their offense-esp. second cuts-is rewarded. They can get into trouble on offense when they get impatient and jack up quick shots. Generally, in an offensive set, the quicker they shoot, the worse the results.

Kobe can expect Brewer, Kirilenko, Harpring and Korver to take turns defending him. They will body him all game long as they don’t care about foul trouble-they’ve got 24 to use. The Jazz will often drop whoever is defending the top of key for a quick double and rapid passing to opposite side will often result in very good looks as the Jazz hug the lane as much as possible on weak side. However the Jazz will try to close out, so a nice tactic would be subtle hint of shot and drive into abandoned area. This causes the Jazz to scramble and they often leave a big wide open near the basket. Quick ball movement from Kobe, followed by penetration should result in numerous Gasol/Lamar baskets. The Jazz have several players who will contest shots in the lane so you have to go strong. Boozer likes to try to rip ball away down low and can pick up fouls doing so.

Some quick thoughts on some Jazz role players: Brewer is a guy you cannot go to sleep on as he will quickly go backdoor or knock down a 3; Korver is a better athlete-and taller-than I thought. He had several frontal blocks and showed a very nice passing touch. He can’t dribble worth squat; Price-the backup PG-hurt the Rockets at ends of 2,3Q with 3s,penetration and pull-ups. Farmar better be ready.


UPDATE:
Good game preview up at SportshubLA.

Kurt

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132 responses to Lakers/Jazz Game One Chat

  1. Warren Wee Lim May 4, 2008 at 10:29 am

    When I’m the first one to say something, we usually win. But the Lakers need more than the good luck I bring, they have to play defense in its true form. We do not expect the Jazz to be held under 90, they will score their share. What’s important is that we keep them running after us as we constantly penetrate with Kobe and finish with the bigs.

    Also, lets see some Kobe on Deron in stretches. I’d also like to see Kobe jack up some threes to keep the Utah D honest and to space the floor. As far as prediction goes, Vlade will be bigger in this series than we would all think. Luke will somehow use his size but I project mr. Space Cadet to be the secret weapon.

  2. Not sure if anyone mentioned this yet, but Hollinger changed his pick. From his blog:

    “Though I’ve been on the Utah bandwagon for much of the year, I have to switch allegiances and pick L.A. in this one.

    The reason? More data. The first round gave us an additional look at each team — in my case, twice in person for both sides — and L.A.’s sweep of Denver certainly was more impressive than the Jazz’s rocky six-game outing against Houston.

    More importantly, we now have a bigger sample in the Pau Gasol file, and it’s an impressive one. L.A. is now 26-4 when he plays more than three minutes, with an awesome plus-11.7 victory margin. Taking a team on a roll like that and giving them home-court advantage to boot, it’s tough to pick against them.

    I still think it will be an outstanding series, and that the winner will be the Western Conference champion. I still think the Jazz could win, especially if they can impose their physical style on the more finesse-oriented Lakers.

    But if I have to back one horse, the Lakers’ recent excellence forces me to reverse field and go with L.A. in six.”

  3. I’d also like to see more of the offense revolve around Pau in the first half, and use Kobe as a lockdown defender ala Team USA. If he can do that without picking up cheap fouls, we have a great shot at disrupting their rhythm.

  4. Warren Wee Lim May 4, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Kurt, isn’t it ironic that you said “where’s the Atlantas…” because we were facing a no-fluke Denver that won 50 games? And now Boston is on the verge of making the history books by losing to a team they mopped in the regular season and beat by 29 games?

    I personally don’t think Atlanta wins game 7 but it would be VERY INTERESTING if they did. Just to be in a game 7 with them speaks volumes of Doc Rivers. Sheesh.

  5. I’m going to be glued to the TV ready for the second round. First time in a long time and it feels good.

    1. Interesting to see if Warren’s “first comment luck” is real. If so, I recommend we all hold off future comments so he can post first (until trophy time). Maybe they’ll give him an honorary ring?

    Anyway, it’s sad what happened at the Derby and I’m glad I didn’t watch it. I had a reaction published in the USA Today about Barbaro when he went down and I haven’t watched a horse race since. It puts sports injuries in perspective, I guess. It’s frustrating that Andy’s knee hurts and Trev’s foot is cracked, but they’re alive and walking around like the rest of us. Unfortunate part of that business.

    We’ll see today how quickly the guys can shake off the rust/rest and get back to the business of playoff sweeps. I like our chances.

  6. Totally off topic, but while you’re waiting for Boston to finish crushing Atlanta (Warren, you are right, it is ironic) check out the latest Nike soccer commercial, which is spectacular:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwlpTgbQTE

  7. Warren Wee Lim May 4, 2008 at 11:25 am

    LOL Fanalyst, Kurt could just hold them in the “commenter’s lounge” until I make my post.

    What then if i go on a vacation without my laptop?! LOLz.

    Kurt, what did you name your little angel? Mine entered the world last April 23rd. I named her after Kobe’s daughter Gianna.

  8. Warren, Congratulations!! Fatherhood is hard but the rewards are beyond measure. And that’s a great name.

    Daughter #3 comes in early June, she’s still cooking. We’re still debating a couple names.

  9. Oh my…that Nike Soccer commercial is nice.

  10. Exciting times for Laker Fans. A few quick comments.

    1. Fesenko twisted his ankle a few days ago in practice. Otherwise, he might have been activated.

    2. Let D Will shoot from 3 until he proves that he can make them. Rather have him shoot than penetrate and set up his teammates.

    3. Play Boozer like he’s left handed.

    The only worry I have is whether the Lakers come out with energy. The Jazz will win if their second unit beats the Lakers and if they constantly get second chance points off offensive rebounds – hopefully Ronny’s back to check Millsap. I trust that PJ practiced dissecting the zone.

  11. according to the LA Times blog, Walton is sick and his minutes could be limited today.

  12. Maybe Gasol should body up Boozer more at the elbow, because with room to operate he is making smart plays.

  13. AK-47 is very active early on defense. That’s a problem, they need to make him pay with passing and Odom FINISHING.

  14. Odom needs to be more aggressive, go at Boozer on offense and get him in foul trouble.

  15. No need for quick jump shots. We need to attack the hoop, they will foul.

  16. 6-I love that commercial, just wish they had my boy Essien in it.

  17. Vlad needs a psychologist. I just know he didn’t miss a shot in practice but he looks scared out there.

  18. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Refs swallowing their whistles early

  19. Renato Afonso May 4, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    After seeing the last play, apparently the ref didn’t see Boozer’s arm touching Kobe’s face…

  20. The Lakers have been attacking the hoop but they can’t seem to finish. I’m looking at you Odom. And what’s up with Walton traveling on a fast break?

  21. On slow-mo actually I think it was a good no call. Boozer’s arm might have touched kobe, but I couldn’t see it, and milsap almost fouled the body but withdrew at the last second. Korver fouled earlier with the equivalent of a handcheck, but I can go without that call if they’re consistent with it on both sides of the floor.

  22. refs will be a factor. harpring and boozer are creating a lot of contact. turiaf and luke got cheap fouls for holding their position.

  23. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    The MACHINE

  24. Some 1st quarter notes:

    *Turiaf is giving us good minutes while Pau’s out with fouls.

    *We still need to do a better job on the defensive glass.

    *I like the agressiveness by Fish, Lamar, and Kobe. I want to see the same from Farmar and Sasha. Rad…where are you man?

  25. What a block by Turiaf!

  26. Machine, Turiaf, bringing some energy.

  27. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    One of these games will be won by the beter bench. This might be the one…

  28. Renato Afonso May 4, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Forgot to mention that Gasol has problems against Okur in international play… let’s see if he can turn it around.

  29. LOve that decision by Kobe. He could have attempted the dagger 3, but decides to give Pau the alley oop instead. Despite his high point total right now, he’s still cognizant of what the team needs.

  30. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Gotta go with Zohan v. Speed Racer. Tell the Wochowski bros. that just because they watched the cartoon after school that they should make a movie out of it.

  31. That’s niiiiiiiiiiiiice.

  32. Defense!!!!!

  33. Fish has got to stop turning the damn ball over

  34. I’m disappointed that the Hawks couldn’t upset the Celts. That I actually sort of expected them to is … kind of a miracle in and of itself.

  35. laughing hard May 4, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    3 turnovers and 4 steals isn’t a bad ratio, though =)

  36. Was that Radman or James Worthy?

  37. 36-ha, good point. i just wanna build that lead up

  38. laughing hard May 4, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Agreed!

  39. Lakers need to stay sharp. A couple sloppy turnovers.

  40. Phil is starting to remind me of Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV.

  41. Channeling my inner Stu: I like this lead right now but let’s keep our focus and close the quarter out well

  42. Great half. I felt coming in we could score on this team, and I like the way we attacked them from the mid-first quarter on. In the Second half it will be important to secure the defensive glass and keep attacking the hoop, maybe go to Pau a little more.

  43. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    outplay their bench. check. stop offensive rebounds, could do better.

  44. The Lakers made a lot of mistakes and missed a ton of easy baskets arund the rim, but yet we are still up by 13. We need to pull away in the third quarter.

  45. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Other than Kobe, the Lakers are 12-32. Look for the Jazz to trap Kobe early and get the ball out of his hands. Quick rotation of the ball should create a few dunks for Pau.

  46. 13 assists out of 18 field goals
    nuff said…

    as long as we keep the energy level, we should be ok

  47. laughing hard May 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Yeah — Memo has no business grabbing 10 rebounds by halftime…

  48. Very good half. We could have been better early in the first quarter, but we worked our way out of that little funk.

    I really liked the defense in the 2nd quarter (although it’d be nice to secure the ball on the glass..). We contested shots and were active in the passing lanes. We do *know* their sets and it’s showing. Getting hands up when pressuring the passer on back-cuts and effective switching when they run their bunch screen sets on the backside and at the top of the key (see Kobe’s steal on Boozer in the 1st).

    Overall, I like what I’m seeing. Let’s keep it up.

  49. Lakers are playing well, but not great. Jazz are turning over the ball, missing easy shots, and not getting to the line (8 FTA to 17 FTA for LA). Okur may have a tough series, he is coming off a series against Scola, who doesn’t have the length or the speed of Odom. I like Sloan’s move of putting CJ Miles in there early. CJ could be another X factor in this series if he gets minutes. He’s long, and a good shooter, and may be a good replacement for Brewer in this series. He can make mental lapses on defense though, just like we saw when he fouled Kobe at the end of the half.

    I think this first half proves that this isn’t going to be a walk in the park for LA. Yes, the Jazz are down double digits, but by no means is LA taking it to the Jazz in this one.

  50. Jazz fan here. Some early notes. Radman can’t guard AK. We need to keep posting him up. Gasol can’t guard Boozer. Again, keep posting.

    This series is completely different from the one we just came from. Houston was super slow. It took us half a quarter to figure out a tempo.

    I really hope I don’t have to watch Kobe getting ridiculous foul calls this whole series. I mean seriously, a 4 point play when Korver wasn’t even touching him. Ridiculous.

  51. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Look for Deron Williams to come out very aggressive. Need to keep playing the very good team D to prevent him getting off.

    Lamar has 2 rebounds. Alot of Utah’s offensive rebounds are on him. He’s a step slow coming off the long break.

  52. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    NJC. the foul call was on Harpring against Walton. Walton sank the FT.

  53. 48 – On that 4 point play, the foul was on Harpring who fouled Luke Walton away from the play. Luke shot the free throw after the play, not Kobe.

  54. At least it’s Kobe and not Wade.

  55. Great Laker defense toward the end of the first half. I thought the second quarter would belong to the Jazz. If they don’t make a strong charge in the third, they will be in real trouble in the fourth.

    The Lakers should have known the foul risks with Gasol guarding Boozer. If the Lakers want to use Gasol on Boozer, let’s wait for the fourth quarter.

  56. so far so good. Kobe has really fixed his FT during the break, it seems.

    anyone know where to get live broadband on this? 6am where i am but since i’m up, i might as well watch it…

  57. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Watching Gasol catch with his right hand, switch to his left as he jumps and lay the ball in… vs. Kwame fumbling the ball away…still can’t believe that trade.

  58. 57) Harold

    Download sopcast…google myp2p…the first site will lead you to a few sopcast links.

  59. 57-I think Phil likes to have Lamar guard Okur because Lamar can chase Okur around the 3pt line. I think Pau will adjust his D and play Boozer better as the series goes along.

  60. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    There you go Lamar. All day long.

  61. 61- says not broadcasting :(

  62. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Lakers always play poorly when Magic is being interviewed. Coincidence?

  63. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    harold sorry. can always try streamtvnow.com gotta pay for it though

  64. got something else to work. just as jazz closes … maybe it’s better if i don’t watch.. :(

  65. We are getting absolutely murdered on the glass. HIT THE BOARDS!

  66. WTF they do it again. Utah is cleaning the offensive glass so well they don’t even need to worry about missing the initial shot since they all result in layups anyways, They’re like assists.

  67. Harold –

    This one is working for me – sop://broker.sopcast.com:3912/22032

    Try downloading the latest version of sopcast. Mine just updated and I got a better picture.

  68. Need to secure defensive glass!

  69. Ouch! Odom got flattened.

  70. Jazz- 20 Ofeensive rebounds

    Lakers- 19 defensive rebounds

  71. Clean block on Odom – #70.

  72. got some german broadcast, so i’ve got like 1 minute delay, but it will do for now. thanks for the link tho.

    i’m wondering if i should just stop watching. d-will just hit a 3, and no foul called… urgh.

  73. TOO many offensive rebounds for the Jazz

  74. Renato Afonso May 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    The refs are allowing too much… The Jazz are using their hands to push our guys in the back, when there’s a rebound… This is will not be good for us if they let it happen through the series…

  75. Tell em Phil, both teams are banging, just call it consistent.

  76. Mark the time…it isn’t the fourth quarter of Game 1 and Phil Jackson is whining about the officiating, saying it hurts his players ability to get in a groove. No kidding, Phil. It hurts Utahs players ability to get in a groove too.

    A Phil Jackson usual–whining.

  77. Our 1st-half defense was championship level defense. Theoretically, we should be one of the best defensive teams in the league, with our length and quickness on the frontcourt. They were exceptionally active tonight tnough, it was beautiful to see them force that many TOs. For the first time, I could see LA beating Boston, if they play that kind of D consistently.

  78. Jazz, in the bonus with 9 mins. left. Phil was not exaggerating anything.

  79. laughing hard May 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Turiaf dragged to the ground by Harpring… right in front of the ref… yeah, great no-call.

  80. You mean like how Hartpring is whining for a foul when he blatantly pulled Turiaf down from midair, Leroy?

  81. Harpring holding turiaf’s jersey and pulling his down and crying foul…

  82. This is ridiculous, the refs are terrible. How is it not a foul on Harpring pulling Ronny down after the block?

  83. No, Phil was not exaggerating. Lakers have 27 FTs, Jazz 18.

    My point is that Phil often reverts to this tactic vs. Sloan. He knows it is going to be physical series, so he gets some airtime and starts his whining now, hoping to influence the officiating sooner rather than later.

  84. Renato Afonso May 4, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    We need to start using elbows in the baseline, not the hands… hurts more, usually isn’t called, hurts more and slows the off ball movement… (or we can wait for the refs to start calling the fouls, which apparently may not be in the best interest of them)

    NOTE: the refs are really the worst part of the NBA… they just suck (in almost every game, not just this one)

  85. Unbelievable. The refs have called nothing all game, and now 5 off-the-ball touch fouls in the first 3 minutes of the 4th???

  86. I think we gotta go to the Pau/Kobe pick and roll on offense, they haven’t stopped it yet.

  87. The fouls are going both ways… Called very evenly. At least they are consistent on both sides.

  88. Yeah, the refs suck and the Lakers should start using their elbows more…now you guys sound like Jazz fans.

    Lakers are still going to win this game…but at least you now realize that the Jazz aren’t the Thuggets.

  89. The refs are bad, of course, but the Lakers are giving up way too many offensive rebounds and Kobe is not taking it to the basket or passing, but forcing up contested jumpers. I wouldn’t be complaining I guess if they were going in.

  90. Utah 24 fouls
    LA 25 fouls

  91. There it is! And 1!

  92. I don’t want to be “that guy,” but C’MON!! Laker fans complaining about foul calls!? Kobe has shot 17 free throws!! Do you guys REALLY think that the refs are responsible for your team giving up a 19 point lead?

  93. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Kobe had to shoot because Lamar would have gotten a 3 otherwise…. Need 3 stops. 3 stops and the Lakers win.

  94. Nobody ever thought the Jazz were the Nuggets. Kobe needs to stop with the awful shots. Keep attacking the rim and setting up teammates. You’re drawing fouls. Why dribble until you take a fadeaway?

  95. This is exactly what I was talking about…

    The Jazz play a brand of ball that is tough to officiate. It’s like playing with 3 or 4 Shaqs on one team. Lots of bodying, clearing out, and just getting pieces of guys every possession. The refs really have a tough time in not killing the game by blowing every whistle and balancing that by making sure that they keep the game under control. And believe me, that goes both ways. Players from both teams try to get as close to/or barely cross the line and see what they can get away with. What starts to bother the players (and I think what Phil was referencing) is the fact that if the refs aren’t calling some of *those* fouls but calling others that aren’t as blatant or nearly as physical, it really makes it difficult to navigate what is kosher and what is not and *that* kills a teams rhythm.

  96. Does anybody still think this will be a sweep?

  97. Interesting parallel….a decade ago, a young Kobe had 3 airballs in the 4th quarter of a game against Utah. Tonight, he’s missed the rim and barely touched the backboard three more times. Maybe we should ask them their secret.

  98. nothing like beating the jazz with the pick and roll!

  99. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    2 stops

  100. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    game

  101. Jazz fans have to be pretty pleased with this game–despite the loss. The Jazz pretty much ran their offense at will. The were able to get easy layups, wide open shots, and tons of rebounds. What they didn’t get were their shots to go in. They’ll come eventually. See y’all in SLC.

  102. Farmar 0-5 … ouch.

  103. i seriously hope we’re not getting outrebounded this much again. i guess that’s why you need bynum… we’ve let Okur and Boozer get nearly 20, 15 boards each.

  104. If the Lakers get out-rebounded by 20 again, they will lose the game. I always felt the Lakers were resilient enough, but if they had rebounded better, they would have won by 20-22. Poor execution, poor boxing out. Pau needs to box out on Okur. They have to rotate better. Lakers haven’t moved their feet well enough. Jazz missed some shots and Lakers contested, but really, the Lakers should feel a little lucky to win as they did. A bit sloppy.

  105. This is going to be an awesome series!

  106. Emma @ 101- yeah, Jordan really needs to man up, do whatever, get an easy shot, stay upbeat. If he can make a couple shots, it really opens the floor up.

  107. 104-There is 1 more game in LA, and no team should hope to beat the Lakers by focusing on offense, no team can outscore the Lakers, ask Enver. The Jazz rebounded well, but we attacked at will on offense ourselves. This will be what people thought, a physical, entertaining series. Today Kobe, Pau and LO were better than Boozer, Okur and D.Will. On to Game 2

  108. laughing hard May 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Pau did a better job contesting Okur late in the game — hopefully that carries over.

  109. Yeah, Utah will shoot better and not turn the ball over as much from here on out. If we don’t rebound a LOT better, we aren’t going to win.

    Kobe- 38 points on 16 shots. He’s going to need to continue to be aggressive and get them in foul trouble every game. I also liked the decision to get Pau going late. It’s amazing how much of his offense is created by others on this team. It must be paradise compared to Memphis.

  110. 25 offensive rebounds for the Jazz.

    That’s a huge hole.

  111. I think Darius is dead-on about the refs, it is not them, it is Utah’s style of play that pushes the bar for what gets called over time into their favor.

  112. Renato Afonso May 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    We will rebound better if we’re not pushed out of position…

    Again, what Jazz fans must consider is this… They outrebounded us by a lot and we still manage to win by scoring more than 108 points. Their shots will start to fall more… Our players will box out better… Our weak side defense will improve and adjust to the Sloan’s offense.

    I just want to see us using the elbows more! :)

  113. Okur’s play was surprisingly good. His bulk allowed him to establish good position, taking advantage of Pau’s lighter frame. I didn’t think he’d be much of a factor in this series, but if he continues to outmuscle Pau he will be.

  114. Bill Bridges May 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I wrote that if the Jazz bench outplay the lakers bench and they get offensive rebounds, they will win. Fortunately, Korver and Millsap never got it going. Can’t count on that again.

    I think the layoff caused 2 things.

    1. The Lakers bigs shied away from contact too much. Understandable, you don’t really jump into your teammate to try to draw a foul in scrimmage.

    2. The bigs were a step slow on rebounds and didn’t block out. Again, understandable as blocking out Mihm and Turiaf is way different than blocking out Okur and Boozer.

    These two points will improve by next game. Williams will be better the next game. So hopefully will Farmar and Walton be.

  115. I think the Lakers will be OK. They played well on offense, quite fluidly. I think they’ll rotate better on pick ‘n’ roll. I certainly hope so. But really, they really, really need to box out and talk on defense. Jerry Sloan’s offense is not particularly original. But his team executes it very efficiently and if the Lakers quit D-ing up, this series is anyone’s.

  116. Great playoff game.. and m glad we come out with a W. I was happy with our offensive execution, but what worries me is – giving up 19 pt lead in 3rd half – 25 offensive rebound compared to 8. Utah got a lot of easy buckets on offensive rebounds – the reason why they play a slow game and have less no of possessions per game as Kurt had mentioned.
    Another reason to worry – Utah missed a lot of options J’s – although most of the credit should go to Lakers contesting all the shots. I am worried about referring – i agree with Darius about referring how tough it is, but considering we have home court advantage we should get atleast some call in our favor – i dont think so when we go to Utah we will get a lof of calls considering the crowd effect their.
    Our defense was great in the first half -especially 2nd qtr. Our bench again gave us the boost and lead in the second qtr, Machine played a great game on both ends.We need to go back and work on some things we were banged in this game – especially boxing out Okur by Pau. This is going to be an interesting series and we need to secure the next home game to be in a good position.

  117. Um, Congrats lakers on the double digit win?

    Ok, I just wanted to take a second to appreciate it. Ya, rebounds were a problem, but it’s good to have ways to improve through the series. I am confident that Phil and his staff will make good adjustments.

  118. Pau’s post-game press confrences are the best to watch. I don’t speak Spanish, but I love to see him go back and forth between the two.

  119. It’s already been mentioned, Utah terrorized the boards; but I’m pretty satisfied with this game. Utah shot a poor percentage not on their own accord, but because we played some terrific defense for most of the game with only a few lapses. I think that a lot of Deron’s playmaking ability was negated by some pretty solid rotations and smart tactics. We challenged Utah to take the outside shot and many of the offensive rebounds that Utah grabbed were less about position and more about luck (although there were quite a few hustle boards). Even though we kept inside, we made sure to keep a hand in whoever’s face shot the three.

  120. laughing hard May 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    One more thing to be happy about — despite his mediocre shooting (5-12 overall), Odom looked better today than he did for much of the Denver series. There were a couple of possessions where he scrambled hard for a rebound, and he did a good job of finishing at the basket when Pau’s shot wasn’t really dropping.

    His final line was 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists, along with 2 blocks and a steal — pretty solid.

  121. honestly though, if it wasn’t for Kobe’s unreal FT%, we might have lost the game. had he gone 14/18 instead of toying with a perfect 100%, for example, the game would’ve been tied up instead of us leading by 4, and by then it’s anyone’s game.

    surely our defense deserves some credit for Utah’s shooting woes, but they did shoot dismally while we shot a very high % on 3s (50%?). part of this is probably because Kobe didn’t bother taking too many, and hope that trend continues (if he’s hot, then he’s free to drop 14~15).

    surprised it ended up being a double digit win AND a win with the opponent scoring less than 100, with over 20 offensive boards.

  122. The Fanalyst May 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    A win is a win is a win. In a playoff series, we need three of what they need four of now. Leroymcgee is a little Jazz’d up at the fact of the series eventually going to SLC. So what? We crushed them there last time and probably can get a split if not the whole trip. We figured out their “home mystique” I believe. Keep up the great work team, and great coverage here folks!

  123. Getting past the rebounding issue, something I do like a lot about this game is that we only took 10 3 pointers, and from what I can recall, they were mainly the inside out good variety. Everybody, especially Kobe, was doing a good job of attacking the rim. Knowing their opponent was so physical they forced the issue and got to the line. The team’s ability to use knowledge of their opponent this way early in the series is a good sign.

  124. Tyrone Johnson May 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    did anyone notice tony starks at the game?

    lol

  125. The Fanalyst May 4, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Hah, Tony Stark! You’re talking about Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), right? Yeah, he was there with his son. If you want to push a movie all you have to do is go to a home game and get noticed. Chances are they’ll talk about ya. Not sure if he hits a lot of games, but I don’t remember seeing him at many. He’s no Andy Garcia, and who could ever be another Jack?

    Anyway, good win and hope for a solid follow up Wednesday night. If we go to Utah 2-0 we should be able to leave 3-1 or with an invitation to play in the WCF. Anyone expect the Spurs pride to rear it’s usual nasty head?

  126. New post up starting to break it down

  127. Is #122 the sky hook king? could be.

    great game today! no live blog for the game today. Just enjoyed the game with my girlfriend. Lakers played well and from the looks of it, this series could be tough. A few made DWill jumpers, and this game would have looked very different at the end.

  128. speaking of iron man, the movie was definitely worth watching.

  129. 116 – Yeah, Okur often gets overlooked, but he can be deadly. A 7-footer who can shoot like Dirk but is bulky and strong enough to play solid D and crash the boards, plus I saw today he actually has a small post game, even if he prefers to hang around the perimeter. In many ways, Okur is the X-Factor. Boozer and Williams will probably come awake at some point, but the Jazz really become dangerous when Okur steps up consistently as that 3rd scoring option. We have to keep him or Boozer locked down.

    I noticed early on that Pau and Lamar kept switching on guarding Boozer and Memo. Interesting strategy. I think I like Lamar on Boozer a little better, he’s strong enough to at least hold his ground. Pau was surprisingly quick guarding Memo around the perimeter. I expected less from a center, but I thought Pau did a solid job.

    The one thing we can be sure about: a Jerry Sloan-coached team will adjust extremely well and come back stronger than ever. But this year I expect us to adjust well too. If you think about it, we might have the smartest team in basketball. Fish, Pau, and Kobe have extraordinarily high basketball IQs, we have the Zen Master patrolling (or sitting) the sidelines, and nearly everyone from 1-15 has picked up the flow of the triangle offense. We’re definitely running the triangle in a purer form with Pau than with Shaq, and it is a beautiful thing.