Round 2 Extended Preview: The Utah Jazz

Darius Soriano —  May 1, 2010

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Bynum Update: Via the twitter feed of Mike Trudell (Lakers Reporter for Lakers.com) the MRI on Bynum’s knee show a “small tear of the anterior horn of the lateral miniscus” and that “this is something that he will try to play through”. Trudell also says that “last June, Bynum had a very small tear in this same area and that the hyper-extension re-aggravated it”. Bynum is officially listed as questionable for game one, though the consensus seems to be that he’s going to try and give it a go.  Here is the official word from Lakers.com.

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As I mentioned in the game 6 recap, there is no rest for the weary as the Lakers start their second round series against the Utah Jazz on only one days rest.  And while the same can be said for Utah (who also closed out there 1st round series last night), they had the advantage of winning their game at home.  So, as Phil Jackson said in the post game presser “(the Jazz) get to go home to their own beds” while the Lakers got to board a plane and fly back to Los Angeles.  However, there won’t be any looking backwards for the Lakers nor any complaints, the Jazz are the opponent and it’s time to focus on the matter at hand – beating Utah on Sunday to get that very critical first game win.

Before we get into the meat of the match up with the Jazz, a little history on the season series.  The Lakers won the 3 of the 4 games against Utah in the regular season.  In the three victories, the Lakers won by 24, 15, and 14 points.  In their lone defeat, the Lakers lost by 8.  Over the course of those games, a few themes shone through:  First is the fact that the Lakers do a very good job defending Carlos Boozer.  Aside from his breakout game in April where he scored 20 points (8-16 FGA) and grabbed 18 rebounds (4 offensive) in a loss, Boozer didn’t fare well against the Lakers shooting only 39% (15-38) and averaging 11.3 points in those three contests (including a 6-9 effort for 12 points in the lone Jazz win).  Second was that the Lakers controlled the glass against the Jazz, winning the rebounding battle in every contest (and grabbing double digit offensive rebounds in all but one game).  The third theme was that despite Deron Williams being a match up nightmare for the Lakers (more on him later), he never had that huge game where he single handedly destroyed us (like he did against Denver in their first round series).  He got his numbers – averaging a shade over 17 points and almost 10 assists – but he was not the threat that you would think he would be considering he was matched up almost exclusively against our PG’s (Fish, WOW, Farmar) – not guys that you’d exactly label “stoppers” on that end of the floor.

So, how does this translate to the playoffs?  First, we must examine the state of each team.  Right now, Utah is banged up.  In game one of the Denver series, Memhet Okur ruptured his achilles tendon and is out until sometime next season.  Andrei Kirilenko has also missed a lot of time recently, playing in only one of the Jazz’s last twenty games with a strained calf.  Odds are he’ll be back in this series, but in what physical condition remains to be seen.  You add these injuries to the trade deadline deal that shipped out Ronnie Brewer, and the Jazz aren’t the same team that the Lakers have faced in the regular season nor in playoffs the last two years.  But the biggest injury of all may be one that  we don’t yet have a lot of information on.  In the closing minutes of last night’s game game 6, Deron banged his arm against Chris Andersen and suffered what is being reported as a bruised left elbow.  Will that injury bother him in this series?  The answer to that question will play a big role in this series.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are still awaiting the results of the MRI on Andrew Bynum’s right knee.  Hyper-extension is never a word that I like to hear, but hopefully his post game thoughts on the matter hold true and he’ll be okay to play.  Then there is the injury to Sasha.  Most would agree that Vujacic is only a fringe player at this point and his absence is not that big a concern.  However, tuck it away in the back of your mind: Phil loves match ups and over the past two seasons he’s used Sasha as an irritant to sharp shooting Jazz man Kyle Korver.  So, if Kyle starts to break free and nail some jumpers, missing Sasha could be a bigger deal than many might be thinking right now.

But enough about the regular season, injuries, and trends.  This series starts tomorrow and we need to break this baby down.  There are many keys to this series and we’ll hopefully touch on many of them over the next week (we’ll definitely have time based off the schedule for this series).  So, I’ll let Zephid lay out some of the keys of this series (with some additional note from yours truly):

1.) Control the passing lanes.

Utah is far and away #1 in assist ratio at 17.9 (the closest is Boston at 16.7), and for comparison, the Lakers are 16th at 14.8, tied with Philadelphia. A lot of this has to do with Deron Williams and his ridiculous 10.5 assists pergame, but the Jazz are just a good passing team in general, averaging 26.7 a game as a team.

However, that comes with a flip side. Utah also has one of the highest turnover ratios, 26th in the league at 24.8 (by comparison, the Lakers are 5th with 22.1). Those great interior passes that Utah’s flex offense is so good at producing are also high risk passes in traffic, so it’s up to our bigs to get their hands out to disrupt passes.

The X’s and O’s of this series have been on display for 20 some odd years.  Jerry Sloan and Phil Jackson have been running these same sets since the mid to late 80’s so don’t expect anything different from a schematic standpoint.  As Zephid lays out here, the Jazz are going to run their flex sets and the Lakers must stay disciplined in their defense and not gamble for steals (for risk of being back cut) while still having active hands in the passing lanes (especially in off the ball screen actions where the Jazz like to play “games” of screeners opening up to the ball and cut to the hoop).  If the Lakers can disrupt the timing of the Jazz sets and turn them into an isolation team of Boozer going up against Gasol/Odom/Bynum or Williams trying to create against our entire set defense, the Lakers will go a long way in successfully slowing the Jazz’s offense.

2.) Force Deron Williams to shoot mid-range jumpers.

As we all know, Williams is pretty much the total package on offense: he’s quick, strong, can finish in traffic, and shoots a decent percentage from three (37.1%). However, if there weakness in his game, it is mid-range shooting. According to HoopData, Williams has shot just 32.8% from 10-15 ft this season. Like Russell Westbrook, we need to wall off the paint and force him to be a jump shooter. However, we need to stay up closer when Williams is further out, because he is still a threat from distance. We will need to achieve some sort of balance to push Williams off the three point line, but not give him open lanes to the paint.

First and foremost, as Zephid says, walling off Williams is the key to slowing him down.  The Lakers can not allow him to get into the paint as this is his #1 goal.  This means getting back in transition, marking him in Utah’s isolation sets, and having a plan for him in the P&R.  After reviewing some of Deron’s stats over at Synergy Sports what I saw is that he has taken almost the same amount of shots in isolation (225), as ball handler in the P&R (218), and coming off screens (197).  That is remarkable balance and a byproduct of Utah’s system.  However, what the video (and numbers) also told me is that he’s actually most effective coming off screens (52% FG) instead of in P&R situations (43.6% FG) and in isolation (41.8% FG).  This means we must make Deron create for himself and entice him to take shots and do so in the areas of the floor that where he’s least effective.  Over the course of the series, we’ll explore this concept more, but going into game 1 this is something to be aware of.

3.) Get the old aggressive Lamar back.

The last two times we played the Jazz, Lamar was starting for Andrew Bynum, and he went absolutely ballistic to the tune of 25 pts, 7-9 shooting, 11-12 FT’s, 11 rebounds in February, and 26 points, 11-14 shooting, 10 rebounds in April. These led to blowouts by 15 and 14 respectively, and the February game was on the Jazz’s home floor, without Kobe. It’s obvious that Odom is going to have a huge speed advantage on whoever guards him in this series (unless Kirilenko comes back and decides Ron Artest isn’t worth guarding). He needs to be aggressive and get in the paint looking to score.

We all know what type of difference maker Odom is for the Lakers.  We’ve seen it all season and got another glimpse in game 6 against OKC.  As Zephid says, Utah is probably the best match up for Odom.  He’s got a quickness over Boozer and a size and length advantage over Millsap.  Even if AK47 does return, I think it’s more likely that he’d see time on Kobe rather than playing Odom, but that remains to be seen.  Odom’s ability to rebound and push the ball will be a major key in the how the Lakers perform in this series.  If the Lakers get the active LO, they’ll have huge match up in their favor whenever he’s on the court.  If he’s only partially engaged, it can really hurt us.  I’m not trying to put the series on the back of Odom, but his advantage in this series is almost as pronounced as those of Kobe and Gasol.

4.) Pau Gasol, as always.

The Lakers went 3-1 this season against Utah, with two blowouts at home, one loss on the road, and one blowout on the road. One of those games was without Kobe, and two of those games were without Bynum. But the common denominator was Pau Gasol beasting all over the Jazz. On offense, Pau had performances of 19 and 12, 16 and 20, 22 and 19, 14 and 16 with 9 assists. In every game, he shot 50% or better, and he also averaged about 5 assists per contest. Like always, we need to get Gasol the ball; Boozer cannot guard him and neither can Millsap. It’s left to be seem if Fesenko’s girth and overall massiveness can deter Gasol, but Gasol probably has a huge speed advantage over Fesenko that he’ll just catch and turn and either shoot a jumper over him or blow past him to the hoop.

There’s really nothing to add on the Gasol front as Zephid pretty much nailed it.  However, he did bring up Fesenko so I just want to say a few words on the man from the Ukraine.  He may be the butt of jokes or looked at as just another unskilled Utah big man, but I’ve got a healthy respect for this player.  He’s built just like Bynum (legit 7 footer with a 7’4″ wingspan) and has a bounce in his legs.  He’s active on defense and on the glass.  Before Nene got hurt, Fesenko was giving him issues on defense with his size and underrated defensive instincts.  The size advantage that the Lakers had with Okur in the line up is erased with Fesenko earning minutes.  That said, he is foul prone and doesn’t have the longest leash from Sloan, but I just wanted to mention that this guy does have me paying attention.

As I mentioned at the beginning, there is no rest for the Lakers or the Jazz.  Both teams have some injury questions to key players that need to be resolved and both teams are looking to build on their wins on Friday night.  We’ll have more on this series in the game preview tomorrow, but for now, get me your thoughts in the comments – what do you think about the match up with the Jazz?


Darius Soriano

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51 responses to Round 2 Extended Preview: The Utah Jazz

  1. It will be interesting to see who will Ron Artest be guarding in this series. He is not quick enough to put on Deron. Wesley Matthews and CJ Miles are not really explosive constant scorers, even though they have their moments from time to time.

    As weird as this may seem, I think Fish can slow D-Will somewhat. Derek knows him very well as the two played together and is bulky enough to take the pounding. Kobe can always cover D-Will as well and would be the ideal defender to force Deron into mid-range jumpers by cutting off the lane and being smart about contesting the 3s. But I think, alongside Pau, Kobe will be the most important player in this series (as he has been burning Utah for many years now). So maybe, it is better to let Kobe guard someone like CJ Miles or Wes Matthews and take it easy on the defensive end

    I would rest Bynum for couple of games, because Lamar and Artest can totally handle Millsap by themselves and Pau will most definitely eat Carlos Boozer alive (if only Pau could eat people alive :) )

    To be honest, I think Utah is an easier opponent than OKC was. Utah does not have as much speed or athleticism, lacks a superstar go to guy (D-Will is great, but he is a facilitator for that team) and has no real size up front (unless you consider Fessenko and Koufos as quality players)

  2. I watched all the utah/den games and imo williams is playing extraordinary ball without any apparent weaknesses. he’s as comfortable shooting the 3 behind the screen as he is turning the corner and either bulldozing his way to the rim or pulling up for a parker-esque floater or kicking out for the open 3 or dumping the inside pass over to boozer or the big russian when the rotation comes. the cliche right now is that the 2 best PGs are D-Will and CP3, but to me Williams is clearly alone at the top. He may prove to be a little slower than Westbrook (and Paul), but that’s it, but he’s still plenty fast, especially compared to our bunch. The Lakers better have a system in place to at least guide him where they want him, or else perhaps give him not the Rondo but the *Nash* treatment– let him be a scorer but not get assists.

    The Jazz picked Den apart with Princeton style screens & backcuts. The Lakers have not impressed me with their defensive rotation/communication all season– that’s something that better improve in this round as they’re going from playing a team that is very predictable on offense to one that explores so many different options before taking a shot. On one play last night, the ball went into Boozer in the post, then out, then over to another player, then back into a deeper Boozer, then out again to Williams, then two passes over to the weakside for an open three. Just beautiful basketball and presumably demoralizing to a Den defense that played pretty well for 20 out of 24 seconds on the shotclock.

    On the other side of the ball, however, we have advantages all over the place, so if we can acquit ourselves well on D, this could be a relatively easy series, but that’s going to be a tall order against a team that plays smarter and with greater patience than any team in the league.

    Finally, I know it’s a little catty, but one can’t help to compare Zephid and Darius’ brilliant ‘keys of the series’ to the mind-numbing ‘Stu’s views': no doubt Stu will point out that in order for the Lakers to win the series, it will be imperative that they: 1. Start fast. 2. Control Deron Williams 3. Finish quarters strong. One can only marvel that some savvy owner has not snapped him up for a head coaching job by now. Paging Mark Cuban?

  3. Darius,
    Actually… a hyper extension in the knee is by far the best kind of knee injury (besides a knee to knee bone bruise) because there is rarely any structural damage done. Players usually don’t even miss any game time. I remember at the start of this season when Kobe badly hyper extended his knee and got helped off in one of the last pre season games… that was a lot worse and yet he still was fine for the next game. The worse thing that could have happened was for Bynum to aggravate that Achilles. Drew limped for a couple minutes in the 3rd quarter and then was fine in the 4th. Unless Andrew is a true warrior and was fighting threw immense pain (I doubt it) his knee I’m sure is already 100% by this morning.

  4. NBA.com has odom starting instead of bynum.

    is this legit?

  5. Fesenko will be interesting. I don’t think we should get caught up trying to go at him in the post just because he’s green. Instead we should be forcing him to move his feet and get around screens in the cross paint screen action with our bigs or defend the pick and roll with k & p. Other than Bynum for the first few plays to maybe draw a couple fouls on him, we shouldn’t get caught up going one on one and stagnating our offense.

    On defense I would like to see us give Deron a modified version of the Nash treatment. Our wings should stay home on the wings and let our bigs do the helping. Or force Deron to hit contested shots and go into ISO situations by switching his screens. I think we have the personnel to not be destroyed by switches while containing the spacing that so kills your d when Deron dishes off to of his wings and a laker is still one step from recovering. I think Derons damage we can live with. But its the other guys getting into grooves that compromises the d consistently and gets them more fired up for defense. This was the case with the nuggets. Once Deron went off they overcompensated and allowed many dribble drive and passing lanes to be open. The jazz offense flourishes on ball movement and player movement. One step advantage gets amplified with each pass and eventually leads to an open shot or layup. Switching and making them go ISO or staying home on wings and making Deron a scorer will stagnate their offense and they dont have the repeatably dependent matchup advantages in isolation that we do.

  6. @Lil Pau

    Deron may not be as fast as cp3 or as athletic at the rim as westbrook but I think Deron has the best crossover in the game. Which may actually translate to a better ability to create space as he frequently has his defender backpedaling or off balance. His dribbling and movement always have purpose – he’s always setting up his defender for his next move or getting to a spot on the floor to open up a passing lane.

  7. I’m still not getting the RSS feeds, “Live Bookmark feed failed to load.” I’ve tried deleting and re-subscribing, but no joy.

    anyone else experiencing this? any other ideas?

  8. @tsuwm Google reader is working for me for this feed

  9. Fesenko reminds me of a young Mark Eaton. Mark was effective and you didn’t want to drive straight at him – you would get a mouthful of ball back. However, he had a hard time moving from side to side and he wouldn’t move too far out from the basket.

    Pau would be a nightmare for him and even Bynum might move away from the basket for his jumpshot or cross lane moves. That would both expose Fesenko’s lateral limits and free the post a bit for cutting players.

  10. I admit I’m a Laker homer, but I honestly don’t see how Utah can win this series. The Jazz have to many questions win it comes to match-ups. Who guards Kobe? Who guards Odom? What if the Lakers go big? What if Pau’s length continues to bother Boozer?

    The only hope for Utah is if Deron Williams has one of the best playoff series a point guard has ever had, which frankly isn’t out of the question, but I doubt it…

  11. If Drew is healthy enough to play Games 1 and 2 at home, even if his knee is still sore, then he should play. If the Lakers go up 2-0 as expected, and if his knee is still a little sore, then at this time it would it be a good idea for him to take a game off, and Mbenga can start Game 3 and match up with Fesenko for about 15-18 minutes. That way, Lamar can still anchor the bench and play 36-38 minutes. Because of LA’s advantage at every position except one, our guys could still take Game 3. If that happens, there’s no reason to play Drew in Game 4. Save him for Game 5, if necessary.

    The problem for the Jazz is that Pau Gasol eats alive their #2 weapon (Boozer, also known as Betrayal Skull Dude, which is the translation of his Mandarin Chinese nickname) on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Even when Pau is on the bench, Lamar gives Boozer problems. D-Will might give our guys fits, but IMO it won’t be enough for the Jazz to extend the Lakers past five games.

  12. The one thing I am worried about is who is Kobe going to guard on defense? In the past we could put him on Ronnie Brewer and let Brewer fling away, because the dude couldn’t hit the broad side of an airplane, but now Kobe will be guarding either CJ Miles or Wes Matthews most likely, two guys who shoot fairly well from three. The one thing we saw last series is that Kobe just doesn’t have the explosiveness to close out on threes anymore (he fouled OKC shooters, what, 4 times on three point attempts?). I do think Kobe will do well picking off interior passes, but I’m not so sure I’m going to like how he’s going to leave Miles or Matthews wide open to bomb away from three.

    I get the feeling that PJ is going to try and match up Artest with Korver, considering the guy just set the regular season record for three point shooting percentage. Artest should be able to keep up with Korver going around and through Utah’s screens, and Artest should be able to beat up Korver on offense to hopefully take him out of the game.

  13. Injury updates in general?

    Any updates on how Deron and AK47 are faring after their injuries. I’ve read a few conflicting articles saying Deron was “Game-time decision” for Game 1, that AK could play game 1, more likely game 3?

    From what I’ve read, Drew should be fine, right? Do we have a timeline for Sash at all? A chance at this series? The playoffs?

    What’s the Jazz Blog we use? I didn’t see it linked on the side.

  14. Well, so much for worrying about how we were going to fare against the Nuggets.

  15. I’m a Laker fan living in Salt Lake City (originally from SoCal.) The feeling here from Jazz fans is that the Lakers are vulnerable in Game 1. The Lakers may be a bit fatigued, and the Jazz know that the only way they have a shot in this series is if they win one of the first two games. Lakers need to come out with energy and put them away early.

  16. Seems like a walk in the park. I predict Lakers in 5. Road to the Finals just got a lot easier with Utah, Phoenix/SA

  17. Bynum Update: Via the twitter feed of Mike Trudell (Lakers Reporter for Lakers.com) the MRI on Bynum’s knee show a “small tear of the anterior horn of the lateral miniscus” and that “this is something that he will try to play through”. Trudell also says that “last June, Bynum had a very small tear in this same area and that the hyper-extension re-aggravated it”. Bynum is officially listed as questionable for game one, though everyone seems to think he’s going to give it a go.

  18. All sites are not created equal. SLC Dunk contains this gem in their preview:

    …The guys off the Lakers bench who will be open and shooting threes are reliable. Maybe they aren’t going to score 20 points on jumpers, but they’ll show up every game and make us pay for having to double down low…

    ‘Show up every game?’ Jordan? Shannon? Must be talking about Ammo, I guess.

  19. Thanks, as always, for the great info Darius.

    Any Drs in the house? Is this something that will be addressed in the off-season with another surgery, or can rest heal it? It sounds like he *could* make it worse but the likelihood of that is low?

    It was promising to see him play on it in Game 6. He has to feel a desire to perform well in the playoffs after his last two time around. I’m liking his drive this postseason.

    EDIT: Right lil’ pau? The jab at us getting more of those ‘favorable’ refs like we did in OKC made me chuckle. “They won’t be equally bad, they’ll favor the lakers.”

  20. In the article about the meniscus tear, it says that Drew played the entire season with a very small tear, and last night’s injury has made the size of the tear go from “very small” to “small.”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5154643

  21. notoriousbht May 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Bynum with a miniscus tear? This is getting ridiculous.

    In the offseason we need to do a sign and trade with Toronto and trade Bynum for Bosh.

    Yes, since Bynum is so young, he can really help with the rebuilding effort when Kobe and Pau retire. But he is a walking injury waiting to happen. Do you see how much he labors up and down the court at age 22? Imagine what he will look like at age 30.

    I wanted to keep Bynum, but now there seems to be no other choice. We must trade Bynum for Bosh.

    I’m sure Toronto would want to do it since they get a building block for the future and Bosh is probably going to leave anyway. And Bosh would get more money this way than signing on his own with another team.

  22. Forgot to make my picks for second round, even though some series haven’t ended.

    Gotta go with Cleveland in 7, Lakers in 5, San Antonio in 6, and Orlando in 5, regardless of who they play.

  23. 19…the grass always seems greener on the other side.

    I’m sure the Jazz fans only watched the last game (game 6 of OKC series), so they think our bench actually steps up “every night.” LOL…

    Then again, reserves on most of the NBA teams are inconsistent, so maybe our bench isn’t too far off the norm.

    This isn’t the same Jazz team as the one we faced last year. This year’s version has stronger DWill and Boozer…but with Okur (big who can shoot from outside) gone, I like our matchup.

    We should win this in 5…at most six.

    Game #1 win means 5. Loss means six.

  24. man, lebron is looking like he is playing with one arm out there. and the cavs d doesn’t look very good when they can’t set up their defense, which is predicated upon being able to score and make the opponent take the ball out of bounds.

    managing drew’s injury is just another test the lakers will have to pass. one the one hand it is a little depressing, but on the other hand dealing with adversity shows what champions are made of. i’m hopeful they can manage.

  25. Bynum will be fine.

    Not many big men start 82 games a season. Dwight Howard (34 MPG), Brook Lopez (37 MPG), Nene (34 MPG), Samuel Dalembert (26 MPG), Emeka Okafor (29 MPG), Brad Miller (24 MPG), Chuck Hayes (22 MPG).

    Seven centers last year had full 82 game seasons. Aside from Howard, would you really trade Bynum for any of those players?

    Bosh, by the way, played 70 games to Bynum’s 65.

    Bosh is a power forward, and we already have two really good ones. We need a third, really?

  26. Two bits of bad news:

    Andrew’s injury. I think it’s fair to say that he’s at least a little injury prone. I hope he can power through it, but he’s only 22. I think he’s still going to bulk up a bit, just naturally because of age over the next year or so, and his injuries will be more significant. I really hope I’m wrong – he’s got potential to be beastly.

    Secondly, it pains me to say this, but the Celtics are a joy to watch. A team that executes, AND tries on every possession. If you’re a fan, there’s not much more you can ask for.

    Here’s to the Lakers overcoming Andrew’s setbacks and to them hopefully beating the Celtics in a rematch in June!

  27. just heard the news about bynum. damnit….we really need a productive bynum this postseason

  28. Rondo is beasting.

  29. Watched game at Red Robin in Provo, UT. Lotta dicks there drinking Coke with their Jazz hats on backward. Rooting for Chunder like it was Jazz/Nuggets. Kobe fades, shot fails, four guys rise with their huge calves flexed, roaring, laughing, mashing each other on the lats, preparing to hurl excrement; Pau slides under like a long cat and taps the ball in with his Pau paw. Dicks uncertain; beady eyes seek beady eyes, brutish profiles naked and vulnerable … Silence. Lakers jog off court in silence. Fuddled cavemen sit in silence. Caps reversed in sulky silence. Coke straws lipped in silent silence. A solitary “Beat LA” hangs girlishly on the air and flutters away on an embarrassed giggle. Across the room, the other guy in a yellow T-shirt nods solemnly at me. Huzzah. We are the only heroes.

  30. Yeah, this was definately an extended preview, lots and lots of great stuff here to read. Who needs the local paper anymore, just come on by your favorite basketball blog like FB&G, and you get everything and anything that you could want for a basketball fix.

    I think that Gasol and LO will carry this team through this series, Deron is injured, so he may not be as much a factor as he could have been. I just have to let this post soak into my brain for now.

    GO LAKERS…

  31. The Celts are pathetic offensively. They can’t do anything unless Rondo is creating. Rondo, also, is a stud.

  32. Dex- Pure Poetry.

  33. Celts have just totally choked this game away

  34. Interesting that the Lakers would lie and call it a hyper extension (something not serious) when Andrew said… “My knee twisted a little bit.” Doesn’t matter now… we know he twisted it and we know he has a small tear. This injury is hardly serious though. He will be fine.

  35. A dex sighting. Wonderful.

  36. Mimsy,
    I would call that great news on Bynum but I think most people figured as much.

  37. @Aaron
    Even though we did, I think it’s nice to have our best expectations come true now and then, and not just our worst. Especially with an injury-prone young seven-footer… :)

  38. #30 Drinking cokes at a bar…. awesome. I forgot how lame Utah was.

    I know its funny, but Utah does not scare me. Go Lakers!!!!

    P.S. I have floor seats for tomorrow’s games. You may all envy me now.

  39. Wondering if we will forever be waiting for the latest MRI on Bynam?

  40. @42
    Did you miss post 37? :)

  41. No. They are saying Drew may miss the first game and will be limited in the series. Also saying LO may start. I like to read several reports to get a better feel for what is happening.

    Hope he is ok but wondering if he will be yenative like in the lasy game where he had 6 points and 4 rebounds. That won’t do it on a regular basis.

    Did you read the box score last game?

  42. 6 points 4 rebounds last game.

    Yahoo says he may not start tomorrow.

  43. This won’t be as easy as you all think.

    Williams is the best PG in the nba and who will stop him? Fisher?

    Can’t have Kobe wear out on him.

    Lakers in 6 they are tough at home.

  44. Jeff @ 15

    Amen. Fans here are smiling but their smiles are tremulous, like early British explorers being lowered into a pot of soup. They really wanted a Thunder upset. The anger of Utah fans is younger sibling anger, like when your little brother would go apeshit and you’d hold him off with one hand. They have the mad-dog demeanor but their nervous system is a penned chicken after a turbulent half-mile in a windstorm. Stiffen that arm, Lakers. Bwuaaaack.

  45. @44,
    Well, you asked about MRI results, and they have been made public. And no, I didn’t read the box score. I watched the game.

    Bynum limped, but played hard and contributed on defense, so I’m not that worried. Frustrated that we can’t seem to go a friggin month without Andrew messing up one of his knees, sure, but not worried.

  46. ReignOnParades May 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    The Lakers may very well be better off starting Odom anyways

    But for serious if Bynumite gets traded for Bosh or something… I’ll miss him but think we made out like bandits.

    Sometimes I think that kid is only a step or two above Oden in terms of having a body built for playing basketball for 82 games+ post season.

  47. I also am worried. Seems to be a trend with him.

    Lucky for us we have LO but where does that leave our bench.

    Powell?????

    He gets paid a lot of money to play not sit. Concerns me. He is becoming the AK47 of LA.