Usually when you out-rebound a team 25-8 on the offensive boards you win the game, you know that, I know that, Boozer knows that. That’s probably why, as Jonathan Abrams wrote so expertly in his article for the LA Times, he still sounded confused when giving his interview after practice on Monday.

On Bryant’s free throws and stopping him from getting to the line, Boozer said at Monday’s practice…

“I think we have to send more people at him. Try to make some other people score as opposed to having Kobe shoot the ball. We know he’s a great player. We all know that. But him shooting 23 free throws hurts us.”

OK. And later, on defending Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom…

“We do a good job of defending [them] one on one. But the problem with Lamar and Pau isn’t guarding them one on one, it’s helping out with Kobe, that’s when they get all their stuff because he draws so much attention.”

So, the Jazz can either send the house at Bryant and try to stop him and free up space for others. Or let Bryant go to work — from the floor or the free-throw line”

Oh, in other news, Coby Karl was NOT named MVP, just in case anyone was confused.

Marquee Matchups -

Point Guard – Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar vs. Deron Williams: What happened to Jordan Farmar? His shooting has become inconsistent, his drives to the basket non-existent, and in general his play has been shoddy for about a month now. The good thing is, that Fisher is still able to play at a high level, the bad news is that he’s having to play way too many minutes, as Phil wasn’t confident enough in Farmar to give him even ten of Fisher’s minutes.

Hopefully, Fisher’s joking comments about his success in guarding Williams aren’t true, because otherwise this match up could get ugly. But even if Fisher continues to defend Williams well, you have to expect a better shooting game from the Jazz point guard, which will in turn open up the rest of his game.

Advantage: Jazz.

Shooting Guard – Kobe Bryant vs. Ronnie Brewer: I don’t know how many fouls Kobe drew in Game 1 but the boxscore shows that AK-47 and Boozer both fouled out while Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver each had 5 fouls. His ability to change directions almost instantly on the perimeter seems to go hand-in-hand with his ability to read double teams expertly. Together, those skills spell B-A-I-L O-U-T D-E-F-E-N-S-E, and until the Jazz show that they can adjust their defense to accommodate Kobe Bryant, the MVP of the NBA (doesn’t that sound good?) will probably still get to the line, get to the paint, get the ball to his open teammates, and get the win.

Advantage: Lakers.

Small Forward – Vladimir Radmanovic vs. Andrei Kirilenko: In order for the Lakers to stop AK-47 from prowling the paint and getting 5+ blocks, Vladdy has to do three things on the offensive end…

  1. Go to either corner.
  2. Stay behind the 3-point line.
  3. Shoot lights out (but as if the lights were on… i.e. No air-balls).

Or 1 of 3 thing on the defensive end…

  1. Shower-inducing hard, but clean, foul on the said AK-47.
  2. Successfully cuss him out in Russian to the point of tears.
  3. Brag about the one day a year he gets to spend with AK-47′s wife.

Personally, I’ll take the offensive productivity.

Advantage: Jazz.

Power Forward – Lamar Odom vs. Carlos Boozer: Lamar, along with Kobe will have to be really aggressive offensively against Boozer, because he tends to commit dumb fouls almost as much as Odom does and it only takes two of those before he’s out of the game in the first quarter. On the other hand, Boozer is looking to reach his regular season averages for the first time all Post-Season, so this match up could go either way.

Advantage: Even.

Center – Paul Gasol vs. Mehmet Okur: Observations…

  1. I know that profanity isn’t allowed on TLN, but honestly, how the fruit plucking, four-eyed funky monkey does Okur go off for 19 rebounds? How? That shouldn’t happen in the D-League Pre-Season, let alone the NBA Playoffs.
  2. Even though Pau failed to box out Okur, he must have been doing something right, as his +/- was a game high +16 (Luke was second with +9).
  3. Despite looking like he got out-muscled all night, he still shot really well from the floor at 8-13.

Advantage: Lakers.

Bench -

Kyle Korver is the X-factor for the Jazz, but you didn’t need me to tell you that.

One of the really nice things I noticed about the game was that Luke and Matt Harpring were going at it. This is great news for the Lakers, as it means that Harpring won’t be going after Kobe.

Sasha really seems to be taking controlled shots and has become invaluable off the bench, and I expect he’ll play a deciding role in this game, before it’s all said and done.

Advantage: Lakers.

Statistical Predictions -

Alright, I’m going to keep track of statistical predictions for the Post-Season!

Here’s how it works, copy and paste the below and enter your picks instead, closest prediction wins. Posts will only be accepted before the game starts, in this case 7:00pm PST.

20+ Points: Kobe and Gasol.

10+ Rebounds: Lamar and Gasol.

2+ Blocks: Kobe, Gasol, Turiaf.

3+ 3pointers: Sasha.

Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe.

Point Margin: Lakers by 14.

Out On A Limb: all 5 Jazz starters foul out

* a 20/10/6 will be considered closer than a 20/7/7 because player A is only short 4 assists while player B is short 3 rebounds and 3 assists, or 6 stat points in total, as opposed to 4 for plater A.

Game Information -

Radio: KLAC & KWKW.

Television: TNT.

Burning Questions -

4 games or 5?

Can we afford to keep losing the rebounding battle?

What’s wrong with Farmar?

Let’s win this for Fisher!

  • Sopi

    lakers win by 20!!

  • phaman

    man i wish i could be there tommorow…its gonna be crazy over there…

  • http://www.myspace.com/dbricks DBricks

    Did u guys all notice this…..what did he mean by the first part, “I really dont wanna say this..” it seems as if he still has anomonisty towards Mitch? No?

    KOBE BRYANT: “Which should be said, which I really don’t want to say, but imma say it anyway, is we have to give a lot of credit to Mitch Kupchack…

    (After that comment he let out a little laugh)

    In all honesty he put together this great team, he’s made incredible trades…..and put us in this position to win an NBA title, so you gotta give credit where credits due”

  • domz

    Let’s hope we win the boards tomorrow. Come on! We are a good rebounding as well. So I expect us to get more physical and grab those boards!!! If not, we can still afford to lose the boards as long as the D is be there (it’s a MUST), Lets GO Lakers! Lets hold the jazz under 30-35 % shooting!!!

    To our MVP and the world’s MVP, Go Go Go!!! Kill the Jazz and explode to another killer performance! Prove the world that you really are the Best Player in the Planet!!

    And another thing, Sasha is our X-factor here, so I am hoping him to pour those 3′s and kill the Jazz. Thus, the Music STOPS/DIES here. To farmar, you can do better than that bro, we dont have to bring Java back or another PG to make you better again. We want to see your slashing moves and the 3 point shooting!!!

    Lakers in 4!!!
    GOODLUCK LAKERS!!!
    BEAT UTAH!!!

  • Kobe08-09

    20+ Points: Kobe and Gasol.

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar and Kobe and Gasol.

    2+ Blocks: Odom, Gasol, Turiaf.

    3+ 3pointers: Sasha.

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 12.

    Out On A Limb: AK47 gets mad and gets 2 T’s

  • domz

    20+ Points: Kobe and Gasol.

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar and Gasol.

    2+ Blocks: Kobe, Gasol, Turiaf, Lamar

    3+ 3pointers: Sasha, Vlad

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe, Lamar

    Point Margin: Lakers by 15.

    Out On A Limb: Boozer and AK47 will be fouled out again. Okur will be fouled out this time.

  • The Mamba

    20+ Points: Kobe

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar and Gasol.

    2+ Blocks: Kobe, Gasol

    3+ 3pointers: Sasha,Radman

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Lamar

    Point Margin: Lakers by 8

    Out On A Limb: AK47 will get mad,and grab an AK47 :D

  • SiKWiDIt

    20+ Points: Kobe and Gasol

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar and Gasol.

    2+ Blocks: Gasol, Turiaf.

    3+ 3pointers: Sasha,Vladdy .

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Lamar.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 12.

    Out On A Limb: Okur gets cuts on his eye brows from plucking

    * a 20/10/6 will be considered closer than a 2

  • http://thelakersnation.com ThE NeXt FaRmAr 5

    20+ Points: Kobe, lamar, and Gasol.

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar and Gasol.

    2+ Blocks: gasol

    3+ 3pointers: Sasha farmar, and kobe.

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: lamar.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 19.

    Out On A Limb: boozer gets kicked out

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #34989 Will Be Quoted Here]

    It wasn’t animosity toward Mitch he was expressing, but an admission that Mitch knew what he was doing. Basically he was saying “Mitch, You got me!” “You were right”.

  • domz

    [Comment ID #34997 Will Be Quoted Here]

    AK47 wont take effect in the Machine’s skin..Sasha will show his RPG and fire it to the jazz’s bench

  • mfoznot

    [Comment ID #35004 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Ya I agree. I think Kobe was mad at Mitch and stood up there and told everyone that he was wrong. Kobe owned up to it. Thats MVP for you.

  • rahil

    20+ Points: Kobe and Gasol.

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar, Kobe and Gasol.

    10 + Assits; Kobe

    2+ Blocks: Kobe, Gasol, Turiaf.

    3+ 3pointers: Sasha.

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 14.

  • e-bucher

    wow ab4sure…i’m shocked…i thought you were going to add to dbricks comment…but you didn’t and i think you’re right…kb finally admitted it…

  • LakersAllDay

    20+ Points: Kobe, Gasol.

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar, Gasol.

    2+ Blocks: Gasol, Turiaf.

    3+ 3pointers: Sasha.

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 8.

    Out On A Limb: Since officially becoming the MVP, Kobe will have his Kobe Powers to the max and come up with his craziest play of the year

    Burning Questions -

    4 games or 5?
    Maybe 5, ill say the Lakers lose one on the road since the Jazz are pretty good at home.

    Can we afford to keep losing the rebounding battle?
    Of course not! its always good to outrebound the other team! But if the Lakers can’t get those rebounds then let’s hope their offense will keep them in the game.

    What’s wrong with Farmar?
    i really don’t know but maybe its playoff jitters? He was playing well in the season but as the post season arrived, his inconsistency began.

  • DCLAKER

    Lakers 113-Jazz 95 (tacos again).

    MVP!MVP!MVP!.com,Where finally happens.

  • Al

    What’s wrong with Farmar? Phil is great at killing his player’s confidence. We see it year after year.

  • RoWyN

    20+ Points: Kobe and Gasol.

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar and Gasol.

    2+ Blocks: Lamar and Mbenga.

    3+ 3pointers: Fisher and Radmanovich.

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Lamar.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 8

  • http://myspace.com/plummerrocks Machinehead18

    20+ Points: Kobe and Gasol.

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar and Gasol.

    2+ Blocks: Lamar, Turiaf

    3+ 3pointers: Sasha, Fish, Vlad .

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 9.

    Out On A Limb: Sasha sets a post-season record for most defensive flops in a game, and they are all offensive fouls.

  • RoWyN

    Out On A Limb: Boozer still wouldn’t know what to do.

  • DingleBerry

    [Comment ID #34989 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I think the comment was kind of i cant believe you made me do this but whatever, it got me what i wanted. now everyone is happy…..

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #35021 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Even when kobe admits that Mitch was right you still try to rewrite history. Do u still deny the holocaust and believe the govt. was behind 9/11??? Boy your ignorant. What a Dingleberry!!!

  • GeorgeM24

    20+ Points: Kobe, Gasol

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar, Gasol

    2+ Blocks: Odom, Gasol, Turiaf

    3+ 3pointers: Radmonivic, Sasha

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe

    Point Margin: Lakers by 13

  • DCLAKER

    Can we please stop questioning whether or not Kobe is still questioning Mitch’s Managerial(or GM) skills and just celebrate the fact……KOBE IS MVP!!!

    THEKINGLIVES.com,’BOUT DAMN TIME!

    ….and I went on KB24.com and there to MY surprise was a article(though an old one but nonetheless)about my NO.#3 favorite FREE AGENT Gerald Green(Yes,him again)and it said we should(or should’ve)get him because if you put him under Kobe’s tutelage he’d be UNSTOPPABLE(remember what he did for Caron Butler).This is before they got Ira Newble(who doesn’t even play).

    IHOPEPIETRUS,JOANDGERALDGREENCOMETOLA.com,at least Air France and GG,cheaper players and we’d be covered even passed the Kobe era.

  • lakeshow88

    lakers are gonna win by 10-15 points tonight. i think the first half will be close, but the lakes will pull away in the second half. kobe will have 30+ and pau 20+ points, odom is the leading rebounder 12+ boards…lakers 113 utah 101.

  • Phant0M

    BIG GAME.
    GO 2-0
    LAKERSS!!
    WINN!!

  • BringDFishBack

    20+ Points: Gasol, Odom, Fisher.

    10+ Rebounds: Lamar and Gasol.

    2+ Blocks: Odom, Gasol, Turiaf.

    3+ 3pointers: Fisher(5), Farmar.

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Luke.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 3.

    Out On A Limb: Kobe is the 4th leading scorer among Laker starters.

  • sean

    the second doctor said they will know in 3 weeks if bynum can play in the playoffs! so he could return for the finals

  • http://www.infowe.com/ny/bikes/ new york bikes

    I think we have to send more people at him.

  • http://www.bestfruitmachines.me.uk fruit machine jenny

    Wicked blog – the guys commenting here are full of it! I’ll be keeping up with your posts :)