The (55-21) Los Angeles Lakers are back to work at Staples Center to host the (36-41) Utah Jazz. The 77th game of the season will be the last in the season-series while the Lakers are seeking to get back on track and start a new winning streak. The Lakers lead the Jazz in the series 2-1
The Lakers had not one but two scary moments in the loss to the Nuggets. Pau Gasol went down and Andrew Bynum left the game. Potential injuries to two of the most important knees in Purple and Gold were causes for concern.
Andrew Bynum stated that his knee is fine after his latest bout with ‘friendly fire’ and vowed to play tonight. Pau Gasol had a precautionary MRI, stated that he felt better on Monday than he did on Sunday. Gasol went through a full practice on Monday. He’s not missed a game all season.
The Lakers are seeking their 18th straight home win over the Jazz. The Jazz, losers of eight straight and completely out of the playoff picture, are playing out the schedule.
Six games remain on the Lakers regular season schedule. They need five more wins to achieve 60 for the 12th time and third under Coach Phil Jackson. Actually, all seven of Jackson’s teams that have amassed 60 wins have won an NBA title.
The Lakers had five players score in double digits against the Jazz four days ago in a 96-85 win. The most impressive aspect of the win over the Jazz was that the Lakers overcame a 17-point deficit. The’ve taken the last four season-series against the Jazz.
The Lakers have had a lethargic start to their last two games that trend needs to stop. Since the All-Star break, they have had success playing like the hunter, but on Sunday, the Lakers played like the hunted.
The Lakers need to jump on the Jazz early, establish a lead and then build said lead to place doubt in their minds. They also need to control the tempo of the game, stop the dribble penetration of the guards, and communicate on defense as well as do a solid job defending the screen and roll play.
It is imperative that the Lakers take care of the ball, get back in transition and out-rebound the Jazz.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, P. Gasol, A. Bynum
Jazz: E. Watson, G. Hayward, C. J. Miles, P. Milsap, A. Jefferson
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Utah: FS Utah (Craig Bolerjack & Ron Boone)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Luke Walton)
- Utah: 1320 AM KFAN (David Locke, David James & Patrick Kinehan)
- Kobe Bryant (Sprained Left Ankle) Will Play
- Devin Ebanks (Stress Fracture, Left Tibia) Out
- Pau Gasol (Bone Bruise, Right Knee) Day-to-Day
- Theo Ratliff (Left Knee Surgery) Questionable
- SF Andrei Kirilenko (Bruised Peroneal Nerve, Left Knee) Out
- SG Raja Bell (Sprained Right Foot) Out
- PG Devin Harris (Strained Right Hamstring) Out
- PG Ronnie Price (Calf) Out
- C Mehmet Okur (Lower Back Rehab) Out