Lakers/Jazz: Game 1 Preview & Chat

Darius Soriano —  May 2, 2010

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We covered some of the major keys in yesterdays series preview, so let’s get right to business in breaking down how the Lakers can pull out that all important game 1 win.  However, allow another quick update on the condition of Andrew Bynum.  At this point, it is unclear if Bynum will play or not and if he does, what his role will be.  The reports say that Bynum could try to play through his discomfort, but that it’s also a possibility that he rests.  It’s also being said that if he does play that he’ll likely be limited and may not be the same player that he’s been so far in these playoffs.  That is a concern, but maybe not as much against the Jazz.  Remember, last season when the Lakers played the Jazz in the first round and Bynum was coming off his injury, Odom started two of the five games (games 4 and 5) and played 38, 41, and 41 minutes in the final three contests of the series.  So, Phil knows that LO is quite capable against Utah and that he can do a good job against Boozer and Millsap.  Obviously Fesenko is the wildcard in this series as he replaces Okur (who Odom primarily guarded last season), but it would not surprise me to see LO start the game even if Bynum is healthy enough to play.  Just planting that seed.

As for the game, there are a few X’s and O’s that we didn’t get to yesterday that we’ll explore now.  First, on offense, the Lakers are likely to try and play at a bit of a faster pace against the Jazz.  I’m not talking a Suns-like breakneck speed where they can easily get out of control (an issue that Phil discussed in one of the Lakers/Jazz games earlier this season).  But I do think the Lakers will look for early offense in a similar manner to what they showed in game 5 against the Thunder.  The Lakers have speed advantages with both Odom and Gasol and considering the Lakers’ front court is a major strength of the team, I think we’ll see them make an emphasis of exploiting this advantage.  I expect to see a lot of Odom pushing the ball after securing defensive rebounds and a lot of post lane sprints from Gasol where he can try to establish early post position against Boozer and Fesenko.  Rember, both of those guys are defenders that will want to bang on and body up Pau and it will be in his best interests to make those guys chase him up court and not let them rough him up in half court situations.

I also expect to see a bit more weak side offensive initiation against the Jazz so that Kobe and Gasol can work more in space against defenders that don’t really match up well with them.  Whether Pau is matched up against Boozer or Fesenko, the weak side block (especially at the mid block around the 12-15 foot mark) is a place where he can do a lot of damage as he can turn/face to shoot his mid range jumpshot or do the same to use an aggressive attack dribble to get good looks right at the rim.  The same is true for Kobe who will likely see a heavy dose of CJ Miles to start the game with Wesley Matthews also logging some minutes on #24.  Neither of these players are known as strong defenders (though they battled valiantly against ‘Melo) and both can be taken advantage of at the weak side pinch post by Kobe.  If Kobe and Pau do set up more often on the weak side, this also plays well into the motions of the offense where Odom and Artest can use the advantages in their match ups to cut from opposite the ball into the paint for good looks inside.  Obviously Kobe and Pau are going to play major roles as shot makers in this series, but with the advantages they have against only average Jazz defenders, the work that they do as facilitators for others will be just as key.

Defensively, we’ve already spoken about walling off Deron and trying to keep him out of the paint.  A key to this strategy will be understanding how he likes to use the screens that are set for him and how the Jazz will vary where those screens are set  in order to create different options for Deron to exploit.  First, know that Williams loves go opposite the screen on his drives.  Williams has one of the best crossover dribbles in the league and he often sets up defenders by acting like he’s going to use a pick and then crossing over to go away from the set defense.  Once he makes his move, he often finds himself in the teeth of the defense where he can use his great physical strength to finish in the lane or to kick the ball out to the open shooter that was set up in the corner opposite of the initial screen (i.e. where his dribble opposite of the screener took him).  Second, understand that the Jazz don’t just run a standard high P&R where Williams finds a screen at the top of the circle waiting for him.  Utah loves to set up their big men at the elbows where they can screen for Deron at a position of the floor where once he turns the corner he’s already right in the paint.  Screens set in this area also often force defenders to go under the screen and this allows Williams the option to step back and shoot an uncontested three pointer.  The Lakers must understand these variations in the Jazz P&R game or they will get caught in position where Williams can create for himself and/or teammates too easily.

Also, the Jazz love to get Boozer the ball at the elbow and let him be a facilitator of offense.  This elbow initiation is a standard of the flex offense as well as the “UCLA” actions that Utah runs a great deal of.  Boozer is an underrated passer when he receives the ball in this position and does a great job of simultaneously looking for his own offense while also surveying the floor for cutters breaking free as part of the Jazz’s flex sets.  Remember, one of the strengths of Boozer’s game is his ability to hit the mid range jumpshot  and how that sets up his drives to the basket (which also establishes him as a threat once he makes the catch).  So, when Boozer makes his catch at the elbow (and he will – a lot), be aware that he truly is a triple threat from that position as he will shoot, drive, or look to set up a teammate on any given possession.  And as a little reminder, always remember that he wants to drive to his left to either finish strong with his off hand or to shoot his step back jumper fading to that side.

I know that a series against Utah is one that most Lakers fans are comfortable and confident in.  The Lakers won the season series and averaged a double digit margin of victory in the three wins.  However, this is a dangerous team.  Williams and Boozer are playing at their highest level all season and they won’t go down easily.  You add that to the very good Paul Millsap, more consistent play from CJ Miles, Korver having a good first round, and the consistent brilliance of their head coach and this team is more than dangerous.  If the Lakers don’t treat them with the level of respect that is deserved, they will lose game one and instantly put themselves behind the eight ball in this series.  Hopefully the Lakers understand this (I think they do) and respond to this first game accordingly.

Darius Soriano

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175 responses to Lakers/Jazz: Game 1 Preview & Chat

  1. This one’s for Warren!

  2. I’m responding to a few posts from the previous thread.

    @27

    I’m not sure bulking up helps Bynum. He’s actually pretty bulky already, not unlike Yao Ming and Mehmet Okur. I think he’s just injury prone. It’s frustrating and I’m ready to trade him for someone slightly less good at the next possibility. Bosh may be a power forward, but he can play some center as can Pau. Those two on the same team with Kobe would so terrorize people that it wouldn’t matter terribly that one isn’t a “real” center. And Artest/Odom would just be bonuses.

    As for the Celtics, they were a joy to watch ‘ti the end of the 3rd when they totally wimped out. This team is not the same team as 2008, despite how well KG is playing and how wonderful they look at times. I feel like they really blew their chance to steal one from the somewhat uneven Cavs. I think there’s a good chance another opportunity such as this doesn’t arrive. It’s disappointing because I’d really love to play them in a Finals rematch (and win, of course).

    @31, those Jazz fans were probably drinking Pepsi. Mormon ownership in Pepsico is very high, high enough that prohibitions against coffee and tea were said to not apply to Pepsi beverages and that it wasn’t caffeine that’s the problem, that it’s another (as yet unnammed) compound common to coffee/tea, but not common to soft drinks.

    As for who guards Deron, how about his old college and last playoffs pain in the butt Shannon Brown? He did extremely well on him last time and has a fair amount of experience playing him. Deron’s a terror, but he can’t beat us for an entire series. He is the best point guard in the NBA, but it doesn’t matter. We’re playing too well for them to win. Not only that, but we know this team really well. There may be a few adjustments to some of their newer guys, but it will not cause us to even come close to losing the series (improved CJ Miles, Wesley Matthews).

    Whom does Kobe guard? Let him play center field and stay close to 3 point shooters. I think he’ll be able to keep his man where he wants. No one on Utah is even close to as fast and quick as Westbrook. He needs to not slack too much and be sure he does contest their 3s. I’d be willing to put Artest on Boozer or let Artest switch onto Boozer to avoiding dealing with screens.

    After how we handled the Thunder, we’ll be able to handle Utah’s tenacity well. It will not be the tough slog it was last year. It will be slightly less tough, slightly more familiar and we will have to fight, but we’re much improved from the start of the playoffs. I really have learned to respect Jerry Sloan’s coaching these last few years. However, the same goes for Phil Jackson.

    The series should get a little harder with AK47 in, but with a questionable Deron, it might still be fairly easy. I say Lakers in 5.

    I say let Bynum take some time off to strengthen his knee a bit. Or limited minutes.

  3. Yeah to the last paragraph. Esp. re Sloan, not only is he brilliant but the gods & fates & muses if there be such are pulling for him I’d wager my eyeteeth. Him sitting on that bench cold-eyed as they come having willed Utah to the edge against Jordan & then an old man rebuilding the team patiently stone by stone. You feel if the medievals were right about that wheel of fortune Sloan’s about due for a ride up.

  4. night time here in the philippines. by the time we have daylight, results from the game should be already in.

    not as concerned as with the thunder. but then, you don’t want to give utah a breathing chance. GO LAKERS GO!

  5. Stanley from Fayetteville May 2, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Let’s hope the Lakers win without further injury or too many minutes for the starters.

  6. I don’t have any fear the Lakers will underestimate the Jazz; it is basically the Laker fans who are the real problem here. Fortunately we don’t play the games.

  7. Any word on Deron’s injury? If he’s limited, I’d be all in favor of resting Drew as much as possible.

  8. Without a Healthy Bynum – No Rings.

  9. Warren Wee Lim May 2, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Lets make sure Utah gets beat by atleast 8 shall we? ;)

  10. I think getting into a rhythm would be key to this series. If we can consistently run our offense and give the effort we did in spurts in OKC, that would be ideal. This is a good series to try to get that momentum that could take us through to the finals. Even if its not our best performances all around, if we play sound it will be a great foundation.

    That means running the triangle, adequate bench play (don’t be stellar and use up all the mojo for later rounds), effort on both ends, pounding the bigs, and no more injuries and normal minutes for the starters. Rhythm and consistency.

  11. Great work, esp the part about the Jazz p&r

  12. game 1 with a quick turnaround makes me nervous. busting out the super-lucky portland game 7 t-shirt and my grandfather’s showtime era hat for extra help. nothing can withstand the collective force of these two objects.

  13. LA should be able to hold off Utah without a healthy Bynum. Nobody left in the west has a legit center, only if LA makes it to the finals will it become a problem against Clebron or Magic.

    These Andrew injuries are becoming too commonplace. His knees doesnt seem to hold up well with the grind of a full NBA season. He hasnt had one year where he has remained healthy, making him a true walking ER. All the potential in the world doesnt matter if you cant stay on the court without something happening to you. I hope Drew is able to come back, but it might be time to consider selling while the asking price is still high.

  14. Dex,
    “he brilliant but the gods & fates & muses if there be such are pulling for him I’d wager my eyeteeth. ”

    I don’t know about that – I think it’s more likely he’s fated to never win – the Sisyphus of the NBA.

  15. bynum to start, but his minutes will depend on his performance according to mike trudell.

  16. Interesting article on Fesenko. The Jazz staff believes that his lousy play at the beginning of Game 6 was because he was distracted by the balloons they release during the introductions, worrying that one of them was going to pop. LOL

    But that’s not even my favorite part of the article. This is: “The Jazz had Fesenko working on his catching with a ball-return machine before Saturday’s practice.”

    http://www.sltrib.com/ci_14999308?source=most_viewed

    OK, I lied. My favorite part was the balloons :D

  17. LOL-Boozer just said mother f-er.

  18. Sloan: “Deron, go out and fake an injury to get the Lakers to relax, then we’ll blow them out when they lose concentration.”

  19. Mike Penberthy May 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    The lakers will win the series, but Utah will take one of these 2 games in Staples. This is just law of averages at this point. They’ve lost 14 straight here, they’re way overdue. I hope nobody freaks out when they do.

  20. anyone else laugh when fisher makes a layup?

  21. #19, I disagree. I think the Lakers will take care of business at home and steal a game in Utah. Lakers in five. Or if it comes down to it, Lakers win the close out in Game 6.

  22. are the lakers running??? so many fast breaks and transition buckets in this 1st quarter.

    impressive.

  23. Any link guys?

  24. ShanWOW in action!

  25. looking sharp

  26. Versatility displayed with virtuosity.

    So nice to see.

  27. I feel much more comfortable about playing the Jazz. I think it was because OKC was so young and you never knew who was going to explode. We know the Jazz, they know us, just like Kobe and Phil said. The Flex can work, but there’s a level of relaxation that comes with playing the Jazz instead of the Thunder.

    And a blazing start sure helps!

    Kobe starting 5/5 on the day LeBron gets his MVP…hmmm ; )

  28. Bynum is not looking great. At this point the Lakers need to consider surgery for him, in the hopes of getting him back in the wcf or finals. The lakers still have enough weapons to beat the Jazz. Plus, Odom gives them enough problems as it is.

  29. Pato here ya go http://www.atdhe.net/

    Bynum is laboring on that knee. They should see how he feels after the game and make a decision on getting surgery.

    Lakers are looking great. Fisher playing really well on the defensive end but twice he turned down making an easy pass to kobe that resulted in a contested jumpshot and a turnover. Fish just keep making the easy play.

  30. The problem with having Drew get surgery now is that he’s a slow healer. It could be four to six weeks of rehab, followed by ragged, rusty play. The only time I saw him limp in those first six minutes was running back down the court after his dunk. He didn’t limp the next few times running down the court after that first time. This is something that can be managed.

  31. I agree with TDA, Bynum needs to play through this with limited minutes, braces, therapy and grit. Get the surgery after the season is over, and rehab over the summer.

    I like the toughness Bynum is showing.

  32. 31. That’s absolutely true. A 2 week recovery period for andrew can easily turn into a 2 month. So lets hope he can play through it and get kobe-like around the clock treatment if needed.

    So far the lakers look good. The Jazz aren’t a really good defensive team and they can’t stop the lakers. So its good to see the lakers mix it up inside, outside and on the break.

  33. Thanks!!!

  34. Our bench is comming through again today, good play indeed. In fact I enjoy Laker games like this very much, all is going fine. Bynum need to be healthy for the Finals, whatever it takes to do that, period.

  35. One more thing regarding Drew’s injury. This is something that can be rested for Game 3 if the Lakers win the first two games. He could rest Game 3, then play Game 4 the Monday after next after having last played this coming Tuesday in Game 2. The Lakers could start Mbenga in Game 3 against Fesenko, and still bring Lamar off the bench. And if the Lakers win Game 3 somehow, then there’s no reason to play Drew in Game 4.

  36. Although I agree with the slow recovery, let’s face it, we need Bynum mostly in the finals (for Shaq or Dwight). Even if he takes a month to recover + recondition instead of 2 weeks, that’s still just in time for the finals.

  37. hahaha. D. Will almost forgetting D. Fish in that interview. hilarious.

  38. Bryant takes it to the hole.

  39. Think we should all throw in some money to create a “Fans of Pau Gasol in Utah” commercial?

    Maybe D-Fish would be better! Man is taking a trip in the back-in-time machine.

  40. i like what i see so far. suprised jackson pulled the bench guys out so fast, they were playing really well. kobe seems to be able to drive inside at will, and that usually means fast death to any team. even luke is hitting turnaround shots… good day :) .

    just please, keep it up guys

  41. 37. Tremble, just remember how bad Drew looked last postseason after coming back from his MCL injury when he wasn’t fully healed. He looks much more mobile now. A small cartilage tear is something you can play through while wearing a brace and taking a mild painkiller, and icing up after the game.

  42. Hmmm. I think Kobe got back to a neutral position on that last foul against Williams…

  43. After Deron makes these two freethrows, the lakers need to get a score and keep the lead in double digits. They can’t let jazz get momentum going into the half. Lets finish the half strong lakers.

  44. this drawing the foul trend needs to be addressed. kobe barely got in the air and, like 3threeell said, got back in neutral position. you can’t just jump into a person like that. what else are you supposed to do as a defender.

    and he missed the FT.

    ball don’t lie.

  45. Did anyone notice Lamar travel?

  46. I’m not too worried right now with Utah’s run. Probably because I was there this season when we held Utah to like 6 points in the second half. Our defense hasn’t locked it in yet.

    Im comfortable with Kobe driving it or Pau getting it down low. Those should be options 1 and 2 in that order. (Which is a big thing for me to say since I always think the offense should go to the post to Pau first). But who can stop Kobe and who will block anything when they drive?

  47. Uh. I hate that. Can’t they do a delayed technical call?? Because of the 3 on 2??

    Ahh JVG just stole my thought before i could finish.

  48. pretty pass by Gasol to Artest for the layup

  49. More awesome Fesenko tidbits, from Kevin Ding’s twitter feed:

    Fesenko, the sequel: Fesenko absolutely transfixed by Laker Girls in this timeout.
    21 minutes ago via TweetDeck

    http://twitter.com/KevinDing

  50. Bynum looks like he’s in pain, but in manageable pain. My husband and I were just talking about that as we were watching him in the first half, and we eventually agreed that maybe Kobe’s attitude towards injuries is starting to rub off on Andrew as well. Although he limps, he doesn’t act as if he thinks it’s dangerous for him to exert that knee… he dunked, he is running back on defense, he’s playing aggressive, et cetera.

    Speaking of playing aggressive, Lamar’s mind-set coming into this game is very promising.

    Let’s win this!

  51. Nice interview with Lebron….but one thing remains…

    KOBE IS NOT DONE!

  52. How is LeBron such a PR hit? He can barely articulate. Seriously, the guy does not finish sentences, switches from topic to topic, uses adjectives inappropriately, and keeps repeating the same stuff

    He is a great player. But he is just not the brightest dude around for sure

  53. The more I hear about Fesenko, the more I like him. Gotta love anyone who gets distracted by balloons.

    Has there ever been a more boring playoff game when the Lakers have played this well? I guess I’m so wired after that awesome OKC series that this game just isn’t doing it for me. I’m here doing homework and grading exams while half watching this game. I just get the feeling that the Lakers are just holding the Jazz at arm’s length and just waiting to land the haymaker.

  54. Geez, I don’t care about this interview.

  55. Zephid, I wonder if the reason Fes shoots FTs so poorly is because shiny rings and bracelets in the crowd distract him too. :D

  56. Am I hearing things, or did JVG ask how there could be so many NBA awards without Kobe winning anything this year?

    I want to jump through the screen and slap Lebron. He is so faking any kind of elbow injury to elevate his hero status; wanna be Kobe.

    Laker offense is looking smooth, just need to shore up that D (particularly on D-Will). Good job of not letting other Jazz players go off, though…

  57. Great first half for us. I dont think the Jazz are going away though, we must continue to execute, if we do that we should be fine.

  58. Slow motion fastbreak…I love it

  59. This crowd is D-E-A-D. Autopsy results after the game.

  60. “I just get the feeling that the Lakers are just holding the Jazz at arm’s length and just waiting to land the haymaker.”

    That’s the usual pattern when the Jazz play at Staples these days…

  61. Is it just me, or should we just put Fisher or Kobe on D. Will? I love Artest, but I don’t think he can handle his speed.

  62. @Mamula
    He’s a friendly, goofy, “genuine” and personable. That’s all it takes these days.

  63. Putting Kobe on D Will right now is too risky with Kobe’s 3 fouls

  64. good point glvoe. Maybe put Shannon back in for the defense?

    You know what nm. looks like its under control again. I mean with a Fisher layup and 1, that shows how nice things are going.

  65. lakers seemingly play well and blow a lead and yet no outcries here at FB & G. i’m guessing everyone feels that there is no way in hell that they’re losing this series…

    and as i type this, fish single-handedly has a chance to put it back to 10.

  66. Derek Fisher defends the 2-on-1 break as well as anyone I’ve ever seen.

  67. FISHER!

    This is what all of the loyal fans were talking about.

    Big, solid, heady, CHAMPION play!

  68. This is exactly why Fish has been getting the starting nod all season. He comes to play during the second season.

  69. Kobe looks like the real Kobe again and Gasol is outstanding.
    Chances of title coming back¡¡¡

  70. fish is playing really well right now… kobe also not rushing into things and most importantly: pau! isnt it funny that after every move that he makes you can see in boozers eyes how much money thats gonna cost him this summer ;) ?

  71. Dammit Shannon. Trailing Gasol and Odom and you shoot it instead. Knucklehead. I don’t care that you got the foul. Bad play.

  72. 3rd quarter was even, no defense on either side. We know the Jazz aren’t going to play any better on the defense, so the lakers need to get back to defending with energy and intensity and close the Jazz out.

  73. #73 That’s the saddest part. With any normal person such a screw up would be considered bad. In Lebron’s case it is not only funny and acceptable, but it is also something that makes him “friendly, goofy, “genuine” and personable” as Mimsy pointed out :) Sarcasm alert!

  74. Was that LO chucking up (PUJIT) an un-needed three (brick) after a great Shannon steal.

  75. With this lineup, Lamar needs to assert himself. He keeps giving up the ball and just walking around the perimeter. He needs to just go hard to the hoop against Millsap.

  76. @Mamula,
    You mean the ” ” around “genuine” wasn’t enough of a clue..? ;)

  77. Bench are playing stupid. Stop dribbling around the perimeter. And when Bynum gets it into the post, he needs to have a plan, because the Jazz are doubling and he’s just acting like it’s a friggin’ Blitzkrieg.

  78. This one is on Phil, he let that Utah run go on way to long, when that gets down to three he has to to call a timeout and get either gasol or Kobe back in the game

  79. Wow, our bench just lost the great lead we had, once again, but we will win the game, IMHO.

  80. Now this is the kind of hesitant, sloppy bench play I’m accustomed to. Well done.

  81. Absolutely terrible. Missed freethrow, missed lay up, pujit 3 by lamar, two turnovers, two dribble for 7 seconds and launch a contested jumper by Brown. Way to go…bench mob.

  82. Time to take the garbage out and put in the stars, unfortunetly for Phil, he waited to long.

  83. Way to go Phil. How about pulling the morons who can’t or won’t play well BEFORE they blow the entire lead. Apparently a novel concept.

  84. Both teams look tired. Not a lot of aggressive moves, and very few fouls so far.

  85. I was just beginning to think that the Lakers were clicking on all cylinders coming into this round.

    The Jazz should have been put away a long time ago. Letting a fast scoring team like the Jazz hang around trailing by 7 or 8 points for three quarters is asking for disaster.

    Horrible bench is horrible.

  86. Kobe took a bunch of bad shots (just happened to make them), and Shannon took a bunch of bad shots (and didn’t make them).
    Why is it so hard to pound the ball down low and work inside-out?

  87. has odom shown up for the playoffs yet?

  88. Phil just dosen’t get it This is not the Bulls with pro players. This is a 2nd unit of low IQ’s. That’s when you call time outs and change players. You do everthing you can do blow game after game Phil.

    12 million fot this

  89. Now thats absolutely some bad coaching, out of a time out you draw up a play for a 3 pointer by lamar.

  90. Odom really needs to stop those off-the-dribble threes. Seriously, there’s a reason why when you practice shooting threes, you’re always receiving the ball from the inside.

  91. Strange decision to stay with that lineup for so long in the 4th.

  92. Yes it was Mimsy, Just wanted to highlight it, underline it, bolden it and increase its font size. I personally believe that it is ridiculous for the entire NBA PR machine to be feeding the rest of us the super greatness of a guy that can barely put 5 sentences together without making a mistake. Russel, Jerry West, Wilt, Kareem, Magic, Larry, Michael and Kobe all were/are very personable people with good articulation skills.

    Guys like LeBron, Shaq, etc are very much talented, but they should not be on TV so often. My English is deteriorating listening to them. They have so much money, why do not they hire some people to help them out in those areas. It is ridiculous. I would be ashamed of myself

  93. No more 3 pointers Lamar…please

    But has anyone noticed when the lakers call on Lamar to be aggressive, it normally translates into shooting long jumpers and 3 pointers. He needs to use his playmaking ability and rebounding ability to create opportunities for himself and others.

  94. PAU!

    That pass was the difference between Fisher and Farmar…

  95. Can we just give the ball to kobe and gasol rest of the game, and let them make the decisions. good things happen when pau touches the ball in the post.

  96. See, even when you bring the starters back in, its too late, the Jazz has all the momentum and confidence, it isn’t fair to the starters.

  97. 12-1 run for the Jazz? Come on guys, get it together!!

  98. Well, Shaq is funny, sometimes. Others it’s just ashaming.
    But Jordan and Kobe ain’t poets either.

  99. Calm down people!

  100. I’m pretty sure our bench managed to not give away our entire lead earlier. Game 1 is the feel-out game for Phil. Always is.

    Let’s also remember that we were shooting 60% going into the 4th. No way that was going to last.

  101. Jazz are in the penalty with 5 minutes left. Drive drive drive drive drive.

    Free throws the rest of the way.

  102. Get bynum back in the game if he’s not tired, Milsap is dominating odom, and odom’s a no show on the offensive end.

    In addition the Jazz are getting all their shots at the rim, the lakers need bynum to protect the paint.

  103. Sigh. Silly Bench…

  104. We are just getting killed right no on the defensive end, we cant keep this team out of the paint, make them hit outside jumpers.

  105. please take odom out

  106. I think at some point, it has to become an issue of pride for these players. The Lakers need to drop the hammer on the Jazz and let the message resonate throughout the league. We all know that the Lakers can start out strong and let their intensity disappear halfway through the game. I know that, you know that, and the rest of the league knows that.

    If I was a Laker, I would truly be ashamed of the uninspiring performance of tonight’s game. While the Lakers will likely still win, this is not the “turn it on when we want” type of mentality that we want to see in the second round of the playoffs.

  107. lol epic fail on the flop by Miles.

  108. I blame Zephid for complaining earlier that the game was too boring. :)

    (Kidding, Zephid, kidding…)

  109. And the subsequent foul to allow the Kobe and-1 made it a legendary fail.

  110. Back it out!!!!!!

  111. I love Fisher, but he should never touch the ball on a fast break.

    Artest hung him out to dry there… ooof.

  112. Are we the worst 3 on 1 fastbreak team in the league? Sure feels like it in this playoffs.

  113. Artest bricks a wide open 3, then gives the ball to fisher on a 3-2 Fast break with Kobe on the other wing…that is just not a smart basketball play

    Im starting to think this series may not have very good matchups for artest, I think he is going to struggle on the offensive and defensive end

  114. I just don’t get the Lakers, Kobe on the left wing, Fisher on the right wing…..OHhh who do I pass it to…Yes fisher. As well as he’s played I’ll never pass up kobe unless fisher had a clear advantage. The lakers decision making has been terrible

  115. 112, I get the feeling the Lakers thought the same thing too.

    “Man, this game is super boring, let’s allow the Jazz back into this game and get the fans their money’s worth.”

  116. I rather like to see Gasol take a 3 than Artest….he seriously has got to stop launching 3′s, its getting really irritating

  117. Artest is just the worst offensive player I have ever seen.

    What’s worse then a Fisher/Artest fast break

  118. mimsy, i agree with you!

    jinxed it Zephid. As always, it seems we go away from the post when the times get tough. But Kobe has the scowl going.

  119. 121, a Fesenko/Koufos fast break. I really hope we get to see one of those.

  120. All Fish had to do on that fast break was take one dribble and pass it back to the middle. Then Ron can either lay it up or pass to Kobe on the other wing, whichever play is available.

  121. Kobe touches the ball and good things happen. Shocking. Is that so hard to understand?

  122. Why is Kobe rejecting the pick and roll so much and going with the iso?

  123. Did any of you guys think that Millsap goaltended Lamar’s layup? Looked like he knocked it off after it hit the glass.

  124. Alright. It’s not over yet. Not by a long shot. (Unless that long shot is taken by Artest, of course.)

    @The Dude
    He definitely did.

  125. There you go LO, great putback. Now it is Mamba time!

  126. thisisweaksauce May 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I love how Drew managed to get 10 boards despite playing for only 24 minutes. I think something has clicked for him. Oh, and Kobe is legit.

  127. You know what, I think it was totally worth it (letting the Jazz back into the game). Now we get treated to two awesome plays by Odom, two awesome shots by Kobe, and a breathless floater off the glass by Kobe.

    Totally worth it.

  128. Kobe driving layup YES

  129. - The only thing the fans should have been worrying about right now is the result of free tacos or not.

    - While it is always amazing to watch, this game should not have needed Kobe Time.

    - That CJ Miles missed 3-pointer was huge.

    - Glad to see our big men’s intensity level on top again.

  130. Well I suppose we can thank the bench for at least making the game exciting…

  131. #127 – I thought exactly the same thing, but there was no replay to confirm or debunk that theory.

    But speaking of no-calls, the replay of that put-back by LO showed over the back on the rebound, then he got hit on the shot too… but I’ll take the make (and the following stop & Kobe make!).

  132. i think lakers just wanted to make the game more interesting for the crowd

  133. Looks like TTTAAACCCOOOOOOSSSS!!!!

  134. Pau!! Block, rebound, draws the foul. Love it.

  135. A bit of an anxiousness at the end, but 11 more to go

  136. TACOS! TACOS! TACOS! :)

  137. Utah vs Staples = Charlie Brown vs Lucy + football

  138. Cross it off the mirror…11!

    A playoff win is a win. Had to make it interesting, right Lakers?

  139. Thank goodness that Sloan took Price out of the game. He was destroying us.

  140. thisisweaksauce May 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Zephid (132),

    You only say that in retrospect, haha. You have to give the Jazz some credit; they almost took this one. They don’t quit.

  141. Interesting choice by Phil to leave in Lamar over Bynum (or even Artest) even though Artest made a couple bone-headed plays.

    Plus only 25 minutes, 8 points, and no blocks for Bynum. Wonder how much the tear is bothering him. 10 rebounds though.

  142. fishers defense on deron williams was better than anything the nuggets had to offer. he played a very good game (everyone makes mistakes, but i think nobody hoped to see fisher hit consistently and playing this kind of defense).

    and trust me: this game wasnt event close to be honest. while we got all the shots we wanted for most of the time, the jazz got points with fading-away turnaround jumpers from boozer (with a hand in his face), and amazingly difficult layups by miles. this loss was just heartbreaking for utah.

  143. So how do we rate this game from LO? Some bonehead three attempts, a couple of pointless turnovers, disappeared when he needed to be key (with the Bench Mobb), but 2 huge putbacks in the 4th, some key stops…

    The man is, and ever will be, an enigma.

  144. So boring compared to the OKC thunder series.

    Why didn’t Utah try to front the bigs? Not one fronting try all game. Guess they are just not athletic enough to do it, but OKC was a much better defensive team.

    The bench did well in the first half, but couldn’t hold it in the second half. But they are getting better, so not too bad.

  145. Happy to see the lakers kick up their defensive intensity in the last 80 seconds of the game. Put a one in the win column, next game on tuesday.

    regarding L.O. I and a few other were calling for Odom to be bench…I love it when anyone on the lakers make us look stupid. But it’s great to see him get more active. He wasn’t really active in the first 6 minutes of the 4th quarter.

  146. thisisweaksauce May 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Kobe had the right number of shots today. Around 20. Very efficient today. You guys think that’s here to stay? I sure hope so.

  147. Should we be at all concerned about Lamar’s postgame comments to Kurt Sandoval? Sounds like the 2nd unit is having serious chemistry issues (duh). But totally foreign to one another? Ouch.

  148. #151, you mind telling us what he said? I can’t stand any of the three on the ABC post-game so I always immediately change the channel.

  149. Kobe was vintage today. The Lakers starters totally dominate any lineup that Utah can put out there, but the bench play was once again questionable right at the time it needed to be solid. I really, really, really can’t wait until we can unload Farmar. Far and away my least favorite Laker.

  150. Jane, out of curiosity, what did he exactly say?

  151. Chiming in to join the others, Jane. What did he say?

  152. The lakers were 2-12 from 3. The best thing about that is that they only took 12.

  153. When push comes to shove, Utah’s lack of “length” causes a lot of problems for themselves.

    If the closing lineup of Utah has Milsap and Boozer at 4 and 5, nobody’s a bonafide shotblocker and so there’s a lot of incentive for Kobe to just drive to the basket as he did today in the closing minutes.

  154. Flags at half-mast. Just saw a guy in a Jazz jersey come out his front door holding his head in his hands. He walked around in circles jabbering then took a poop on the lawn

  155. Farmar needs to tape his ears back so he can cut quicker

  156. The 2nd unit started the 4th quarter by jacking up long jumpers without going into the post. Then when they finally did get it in to Drew, nobody cut while he was being double-teamed, everyone stood around, and they forced a turnover. Same thing happened with LO on the next possession. He got it down low, got double-teamed, and nobody made any cuts.

  157. 161. No way. Why do you think the Lakers know what play Utah runs after a timeout every time? Farmar’s ears pick up Sloan’s voice in the opposite huddle and he relays the play to his Laker teammates.
    http://tinyurl.com/ygbe4zt

  158. re Lamar talking about the 2nd unit: he’s just saying they’re not playing with enough energy, and they have to play better. No big deal, nothing new. We all know that already.

  159. #14

    You are right & the better classical scholar. Poor Sloan, he’s been watching massive power forwards charge down the lane in the decisive moment and hit their face on the rim his whole life practically

  160. I missed this earlier tweet from Kevin Ding:

    Fesenko absolutely transfixed by the Kiss Me Cam on the scoreboard in this timeout.
    about 3 hours ago via TweetDeck

  161. Finally, the most relevant tweets about player health from Kevin Ding:

    Bynum on surgery: “If I don’t need it, I’d rather play like this.” He felt “sharp pain” on Q1 landing but it went away.
    17 minutes ago via UberTwitter

    Bynum said minor surgery (sidelining him for maybe 2 weeks) is possible eventually for his knee but isn’t necessary now.
    21 minutes ago via UberTwitter

    Phil on Kobe’s health: “He felt very good today.”
    36 minutes ago via UberTwitter

    http://twitter.com/KevinDing

  162. Kobe on Fox Sports West right now, after JA Adande asked him how tough it is to sit on the bench while the 2nd unit squanders the lead:

    “It’s tough, real tough, but if it gets really bad I’ll just check myself in.”

    General hilarity ensued, but Kobe kept his poker face.

  163. When Pau got fouled on his 4th quarter and-1, the Lakers were 10-17 from the FT line…the team then made the next 10 of the game to finish 20-27. That was key.

    Pau & Kobe were each 7-7 from the stripe. Everyone else was 50% or less. Have to step that up, can’t be giving away free points.

  164. Looking thru the box score, I see that Farmar, Brown and Walton combined for *zero* assists. Wasn’t able to watch the game; how indicative is their o-fer of their lack of ball-movement when they were in the game?

  165. When she was good she was very, very good. When she was bad, she was horrid.

    Sounds like our 2nd unit.

    What bothers me is that this was a home game. I am not sure what to expect in SLC, except the signs saying, “The only good Laker is a Salt Laker”. They really know how to put words together in Salt Lake City.

  166. 170. Pretty much, although a couple assists didn’t happen because Utah twice sent Luke to the FT line instead of letting him make two layups.

  167. Yeah, a lot could be said that is negative here, but we WON game #1 in this 2nd round series, and kept the all important HCA. Fisher, where did this guy come from, he seems to be doing just what we need a Triangle Point Guard to do, lately.

    Good job Lakers…

  168. Sorry, all…had to take care of some stuff. Lamar basically ripped the 2nd unit, saying stuff like “we act like we don’t even know each other and that’s scary disappointing at this point in the season.” He also said they are completely foreign in terms of communication. Sandoval actually changed the subject when Lamar had more to say, seemingly due to the discomfort of the topic.

  169. Hey Darius,

    Holla at your boy “Wil-G”. Felin gave me the 411 haha! All this time I didn’t know you were representing. Writing is in the blood.

    Peace
    Willie