Lakers at Jazz Preview & Chat

Jeff Skibiski —  November 26, 2010

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Records: Lakers 13-2, Jazz 11-5
Offensive ratings: Lakers 116.9, Jazz 100.6
Defensive ratings: Lakers 105.4, Jazz 104.7
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Jazz: Deron Williams, Raja Bell, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson
Injuries: Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Theo Ratliff
Jazz: Mehmet Okur

The Lakers Coming in: The Lakers are coming off a solid win against the Bulls on Tuesday and should be well-rested for tonight’s affair, Thanksgiving food comas excluded. As been the case for much of the season so far, the Killer B’s have buoyed the Lakers, most recently led by Shannon Brown’s 21 points. Even without the injured Boozer, Chicago’s gritty style was a good test for L.A. after a couple of expected gimmes against Milwaukee, Detroit, Minnesota and Golden State.

The Jazz Coming in: The Northwest Division-leading Jazz are on the up-and-up after defeating early season titan New Orleans by a 105-87 margin on Wednesday night for their third win in a row. Utah was led by the sturdy Deron William’s 26 points and 11 dimes, but also got 40 points combined from Paul Millsap and newcomer Al Jefferson. Speaking of Jefferson, Carlos Boozer’s de facto replacement at the center-forward spot has pretty much picked up where his predecessor left off, averaging 17 points and nine rebounds on the season. Overall, the Jazz are still a bit hard to read at this point — they had some great come-from-behind wins a few weeks ago and have had a tough opening schedule, yet the jury is still out on where they’ll ultimately fall in the Western Conference pecking order. Either way, any game against a Jerry Sloan-led squad at Energy Solutions Arena is bound to prove challenging.

Blogs: Follow Jazz news out of Salt Lake City on Salt City Hoops.

Keys to game:

You could have written this 15 years ago and it still would have been true — the Lakers need to get out to a fast start to quickly take Utah’s rowdy crowd out of the game. As much as you think that noise couldn’t possibly bother a back-to-back championship team, especially one that has actually showed they’re more than capable of beating the Jazz on their home floor in recent playoff runs, Utah’s crowd is a factor that must never be ignored.

Another key to the game we would have been discussing 15 years ago is how to manage Utah’s production from the one spot. The personnel has changed from the Stockton era, but Deron Williams’ ascension to elite status continues to provide the Lakers with all kinds of matchup dilemmas. Williams ran a potent pick-and-roll with Boozer for several seasons and even though, Jefferson doesn’t have the same range, the duo has shown increasingly more chemistry in recent games. Williams has particularly killed the Lakers in the past with his ability to drive deep into the lane, so the onus will be on Gasol and Odom to provide some form of resistance down low.

Paul Millsap’s continuing emergence is one of the main reasons that Utah has been able to jump out to a strong 11-5 start despite losing some key pieces in the offseason. There was a lot of talk of whether or not the undersized four would be able to step up once Boozer eventually departed and he’s answered resoundingly through 16 games with a career-high average of 20 points, plus nine boards. Millsap is a hustler and always seems to be near any loose ball, so Odom, Artest and Barnes will need to make sure they have active hands tonight.

Statistically speaking, the Jazz, are a middle-of-the-road defensive team. Williams is solid from the one, Millsap can’t be overlooked despite being undersized in many matchups and Kirilenko remains one of the league’s bigger defensive pests. Where L.A. can really take advantage of Utah is with its depth — something the Jazz seemingly just don’t have the personnel to match at this point. C.J. Miles is averaging 11 on the year off Utah’s pine, but the drop-off is steep from there with offensive mainstay Okur out.

Where you can watch: KCAL at 6 p.m. or ESPN Radio 710 AM

Jeff Skibiski

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83 responses to Lakers at Jazz Preview & Chat

  1. For Warren!

  2. About the crowd-factor: I don’t want to sound like a jerk or anything, but how fragile mentally does a player have to be to be rattled by an american crowd? Even if it’s composed of mostly Mormons.

    Compared to any semi-decent soccer crowd, these places are simply dead and as far from intimidating as one can imagine. The reason being a mixture of Americans being too rich, too many old people, children and women at the games, plus a non-existent supporter culture. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (it’s certainly nice that young and old, men and women, attend the games), but the end result is a crowd that by soccer standards is totally dead. Let me give you a few examples just to illustrate my point:

    Italy: These are Napoli-fans arriving in Rome for an away game against Roma. Imagine Laker fans showing up in these numbers for tonight’s game:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVczsnRuOyg&feature=player_embedded

    Germany: The Germans like when it’s loud:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxdVh-NeTEo&feature=player_embedded

    Poland: Polish fans like to burn stuff:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMiF-Zo3m_8&feature=player_embedded

    Turkey: As do the Turks (including their arenas:D):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB3v8zMjbNE&feature=player_embedded

    Greece: This is actually a pre-season game:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ndV-zZRVCA&feature=player_embedded

    Brazil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p170mCnL0mM&feature=player_embedded

    Bonus: Turks again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr1AzPYjrtY
    And finally some bball-action from Greece:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0rMe2Vyb9E

    Not saying that one way is better than the other, but I for one would love to see some of these elements in American sports as well. (Only perhaps in a slightly more civilized manner;))

  3. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those high scoring affairs

  4. I’m thinking that everyone is going to have the ITIS from last nights dinner and it’s going to be a low scoring affair

  5. I don’t think this is going to be a low scoring game, I expect Utah to come out hard and try to prove a point that if they happen to see the Lakers for the 4th year in a row in the playoffs that things will be different for them.

    As for the Lakers, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Fish hit some big shots as he has a tendency to have decent games when coming back to Utah. Go Lakers!

  6. I would like to see the Lakers win tonight in order to keep pace with Spurs, Hornets however this is going to a tough game and I would not react to severly to a L. Going into to Utah and beating this Jazz team is probably a coin flip at best.

  7. Any running links?

  8. Kobe Bryant is looking to destroy Raja Bell in this game.

  9. I can’t believe I just witnessed Fish attempt to lob it to Artest on a fastbreak.

  10. I like how we’re taking it to the post, this should open up our outside shots later in the game. Great defense so far, the rotations are looking really nice.

  11. Another airball!

  12. This sequence at 4:47 in the 1st is a very good demonstration of why Artest is still playing well even though this stats may not show it.

    On a Kobe missed 3, Artest got under the basket and was able to keep the ball alive for a Pau offensive rebound, then he took the pass in the post and got the 2nd foul on Bell causing him to go to the bench. All of that resulted only in 1 pt off a FT in the box score

  13. Who has a link? :)

  14. That was a great 1st qtr by the Lakers, our offense just looks unstoppable at this point. Defense seems to be turning a corner (only 1st qtr I know), the rotations are crisp, we’re contesting shots and not allowing easy baskets.

    Here’s hoping for another 36 minutes just like this.

  15. I’ve gotta say, I’m watching this game in New Zealand, and the commentary by the Jazz announcers is horrible. I’m not sure what it’s like in some places in America, but localised commentary here is pretty neutral. This is just awful.

  16. 16.
    I have nba league pass so alot of the games I watch are the other teams crews. I agree that the jazz team is one of the worst.

    I would put the blazers’ team up there also

  17. This announcers are funny “Lamar Odom, you got posterized”. Uhm, did he jump?

  18. Time to get the starters back in…enough is enough

  19. Down to a 7 point lead, ugh. We can not buy a shot at the moment it seems like.

  20. Just a pitiful performance by the bench…pitiful

  21. well we knew they would make a run and the bench can’t do it every singe night. The key here is to maintain the lead until things turn around

  22. Yea but you cant have a 19 point lead and give it all up within 6 minutes, not in this place. It is inexusible.

  23. Typical Jazz, typical lakers.

    The Lakers offensive struggles can be characterized by everyone missing numerous open shots, then Fisher missing numerous highly contested shots.

  24. Wow. Only Jazz fans could protest a foul as blatant as that one.

  25. Kobe ballhogging in last 3 minutes. Run the offense with movement– has the team forgotten what worked in the first Q?

  26. ok we had a horrific quarter and they played fantastically at the same time and end result we are up by 4. I feel pretty good so far. I don’t think we will play that bad again

  27. Our defense is looking pretty atrocious. Every possession for the Jazz seems to have one Jazz player standing by himself about 22 feet from the basket.

  28. Bench players are like bullpen pitchers in baseball. Because just like a relief pitcher in baseball, if you’re a bench player in the NBA there’s something seriously wrong with you as a player (Age, injury history, huge holes in your game, etc). If you were a good player you wouldn’t be on the bench, so expecting consistently good production from your bench players is unrealistic.

    Same thing in baseball. Relief pitchers are almost always failed starters. That’s why year to year you always see much wilder fluctuations in performance of relievers than of any other players on the team. You just don’t know what you’re gonna get. Shannon Brown can give you 20 points one game and 2 points the next. Now there are some exceptions. Ginobili with the spurs is one example. But this is extremely rare. That’s why these “deep teams” (code word for having a bunch of good players but no great ones) almost never win it all. Blazers were “deeper” than the Lakers in 2000, Kings were “deeper” than the Lakers in 2002. We all know the results. Heavily depending on your bench is not a recipe for success.

  29. I expected our defense to struggle this game, the Jazz execute really well. But offensively Kobe is trying to do too much. We are not getting good shots.

  30. Jeremy don’t speak to soon. But LO’s defense has been terrible. He’s the help defender but isn’t there to help nor is he anywhere near his own man. The lakers are better off just playing man to man. Fisher needs to start passing up on all of those bad shots.

    *right on cue he makes a play

  31. Kobe seems like he’s been in takeover mode ever since coming back in in the 2nd. He’s not getting good shots at all.

    Granted, no one else really seems to be either.

  32. Bell hits a three with no one in the same zipcode to defend him. Ouch.

  33. Blake cannot buy a bucket right now. 2 consecutive wide open looks he’s missed.

    Lakers aren’t hitting shots, Jazz are.

  34. DWill gets Blake into the air and draws the free throws.

    Not Blake’s best game.

  35. Honestly the shooting problems look like bad luck more than anything to me. A lot of the misses have been in and outs or close to in and outs. Additionally none of Blake’s shots have been forced or outside the offense.

    I still feel good about the game.

  36. Anyone else think this game has the same feel and tempo of the Denver game?

  37. Am I crazy or is Lamar taking over the game right now?

    And no, I’m totally not bored, sitting at my parents’ house, drinking rum punch and watching the game on my laptop via my SlingBox.

  38. OK, I was crazy. Lakers can’t get the bucket to get them over the hump.

  39. Matt Harpring shouldn’t be allowed to comment on any game, he is by far the worst in the business.

  40. I have a feeling Kobe is going to try and take over the game, with the way the Lakers are shooting. This does feel like the Denver game a bit, but this game is very winnable. Lakers just got to play better defense, cause offensively they are just off.

  41. Lakers really just can’t buy a bucket. They’re getting some open looks and not hitting them while the Jazz are getting open looks and draining them.

  42. Stop shooting threes. Pau needs to just take the shots inside and stop dishing for the open 3’s. We aren’t making them.

  43. so many missed three’s tonight

  44. Both our PG’s should just stop shooting tonight. Artest comes through for us, good timing Ron-Ron.

    There you go Kobe, with the trey. Stop, Kobe Time folks!

  45. The lakers are ice cold…so frustrating to watch but in the long run its just the regular season

  46. And then as we all ask for the threes to stop, Kobe drains one to tie the game.

  47. And another for the lead.

  48. Black Mamba time!

  49. Wow this is vintage Kobe killing the jazz

  50. Well…thank god that Kobe man came alive!

  51. Kobe doing work. This is one of those games where you say, “I’m pretty glad we have Kobe Bryant on our team” in the 4th quarter.

    The man is en fuego.

  52. Thanks Joel, I forgot the exact way it is done. This has turned into a really fun game now.

  53. Kobe on a 14 point run. Yikes.

  54. Kobe with the Lakers last 14 points
    3 pointer, 3 pointer, 2 , 3 pointer and 3 FT’s (fouled on a 3 pointer swing through)

  55. no where near the rim

  56. That Deron Williams kid just may stick in this league.

  57. I cannot stand DWill but he is so so good

  58. God what a horrible turnover

  59. And like that, from 3 up to 2 down and the Jazz playing 5 on 1 defense.

  60. Awful shot by Ron, yikes. And what the hell is up with this shot clock?

  61. We needed that stop soooo bad.

  62. Why is Fisher in the game..?

  63. This game was bs. Can we say homecourt advantage. The lakers get into a rhythm then magically Utah gets 5 timeouts.

    But the lakers haven’t mad a shot that has hit the rim. Not one shot since the first quarter has “rimmed in”. The only shots that were made were lay-ups, ft’s and swishes.

    But this collapse could have been avoided with a simple 20 second timeout in the second quarter. But that’s not Phil’s style so it basically cost the lakers the game.

  64. Horrible job finishing this game, a wasted incredible 4th quarter performance by Kobe

  65. Up by 3 all I could say was “don’t give up the three” and the Lakers gave up 2 offensive rebounds and then the 3.

    Then the turnover to go down 2, then Artest bricks the open 3 in the corner to make sure that we, as a team, are consistent.

  66. Frustrating, we had all the momentum and just gave it right back…

  67. The shot clock thing was a problem, for sure…

    But, that being said, if the Lakers (in this case Gasol, and then Artest) cannot hit the open looks they get off of a Kobe double team, then the Lakers are going to be in trouble in the last few minutes of a game.

    On the other hand, you can tell the relative differences between the team by simply watching the way that Utah’s crowd is celebrating an early season win against the Lakers.

    If the Lakers had beat Utah tonight Los Angeles fans would have been ho-hum about it.

    I am hoping for 16-4 in the first 20 games, and Phil and Co. are still on pace for that.

  68. Followed by the Lakers missing 2 (3?) shots right at the rim to tie up the game with a bow for the Jazz.

  69. For once Kobe was the only guy who could hit a jumper tonight. Frustrating. Oh well, good win Utah.

  70. It will take me a while to get over this game, ugh . . .

  71. What was worse is my stream was the Utah feed, couldn’t find an LA one, had to listen to Matt Freaking Harpring for two and a half hours.

  72. The only good news tonight is that at least the Spurs lost too, so we don’t drop another game behind them.

  73. Yes those were probably the worse announcers I ever heard. I cant wait to get this team back in LA.

  74. What a way to waste Kobe’s beautiful stretch in the 4th.

    14 straight points by Kobe, then what do the Lakers do?

    Odom dribbles the ball around until there’s 9 seconds left on the shot clock and AK47 pokes it out. Turnover after inbound.

    Then with the shot clock about to expire, Artest runs across the paint and throws up an ugly, 180-turn-in-midair fadeaway shot.

    Then, another turnover.

    Ron Artest then misses a wide open 3-pointer.

    WTF.

  75. meh these types of games are going to happen. We just shot horribly but did not take terrible shots. Its happens.

    If anything I came away with very little fear of the Jazz. If that’s what they have to offer I would be happy to see them come playoff time.

    Also Harping is like a mid 80’s professional wrestling announcer. Absolutely awful to listen to without a degree of depth behind anything he said.

  76. The Lakers should have closed this one out up 5 with three minutes to go, but other than Lamar Kobe and Pau nobody showed up

  77. I try not to take an early regular season loss so seriously, but this one is pretty freaking frustrating.

  78. Fisher, Blake and Brown were a combined 3-22. And they still nearly won, if not for the shot clock tomfoolery in the final minute. An irritating loss, but a fluky one.

  79. Steve Blake 0-7 (-9)
    Derek Fisher 1-7
    Shannon Brown 2-8 (-6)

    Matt Barnes shot well but was -10 for the game.

    Our starters were OK. A collective +3, but our bench was a collective -33.

    That’s why the bench is the bench. The bench wins the game for us in LA and hangs a massive albatross on us on the road.

    These games are going to happen. The bench can’t be perfect all the time or they’d be starters making $30M a year. To be honest, without the free throw advantage (31 attempts for us vs. 17 for them) we could have lost by a much larger margin.

    I’ll take a close loss on the road to a team that frankly is hard to beat in their own house in the regular season. I’d prefer the win, but let’s chalk it up to some bad shooting and bench jitters and move on.

  80. this one hurt. i see the loss as: 50 percent the result of horrible 3 point shooting by all non-Kobes, and 50 percent DWill’s brilliance. And we were still close at the end, although i must admit i don’t know how…

    i didn’t mind the RA missed 3, but his runner through the lane was old-school crazy.