Your Los Angeles Lakers square off against the Jazz to close out the first half of the season in their last game prior to the All-Star break. Some thought of last nights game as a trap game thinking that since this game was the second of back-to-back games, the Lakers would look past the Thunder with Utah in mind. Those people were wrong about the Lakers, again.

The Lakers came out lethargic and appeared disjointed early against the talented young Thunder. Kobe, Pau & Lamar led the way but the Lakers received production from everyone to get the win.

The Thunder had a job to do, although it wasn’t accomplished they came out strong, were competitive despite the fact that their thoughts and prayers were with family members & friends as a cluster of tornadoes touched down 100 miles south of Oklahoma City, claiming 8 lives and destroying 4,600 buildings according to early reports.

The Lakers have shown the resiliency to overcome the loss of Andrew, continue to move forward toward the season long goal of playing for a championship. The Jazz are a talented team, decimated by injuries, trying to go into the break with some momentum.

This is second game of the season against Utah; Kobe dropped 40 points on the Jazz as the Lakers won 113-100 on January 2nd.  A win tonight gives the Lakers the tie-breaker over another team.

The Jazz always play the Lakers tough and are still a dangerous team; one that will screen-roll you high and low, back screen and pick and roll you to death. When both teams are healthy this is a match up of two of the leagues best half court offenses.

The match up at the point is always nice to watch, Deron Williams, one of the best young point guards in the NBA going against the seasoned veteran Derek Fisher his former teammate. Williams has picked up the pace for the Jazz and has averaged 33.5 points and 7.8 assists in his last four games according to Stats Inc.

Lamar Odom & Josh Powell boxing out Paul Millsap will be huge. Millsap is a rebounding machine that has elevated his scoring output as a starter.

The Lakers need to protect the ball, execute their offense, go to Pau Gasol in the post early and allow him to attack the rim & set the table for everyone else. Lamar & the second unit need to remain aggressive.

The Lakers have an advantage with their long front line and will win by controlling the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.

Tipoff: 6:00 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: KCAL TV Channel 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lanz)
  • Utah: FSN Utah (Craig Bolerjack & Ron Boone)

Radio

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Utah: KFAN 1320 (“Hot” Rod Hundley )

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Knee)

Jazz:

  • Andrei Kirilenko (Ankle)
  • Carlos Boozer (Knee)
  • Lakers #1

    Lets Go Lakers!!

  • Michael Perez

    what kind of lazy writers are writing this blog?
    number 1:
    “The Lakers need to protect the ball, execute their offense, go to Pau Gasol in the post early and allow him to attack the rim & set the table for everyone else. Lamar & the second unit need to remain aggressive.”
    lamar doesn’t come off the bench anymore… should know that since you are supposed to be laker fans!

    number 2:
    “The Lakers have an advantage with their long front line and will win by controlling the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.” –> every pre game blog uses this line at the end… enough cutting and pasting!

    this makes thelakernation (and the lakers to a certain extent) seem very unprofessional… i for one would volunteer to write these and bring some professionalism back to the laker nation.

  • Michael Perez

    laker fans… speak up and let thalakernation know your thoughts… isn’t everyone annoyed with this poor reporting?

  • lainok

    yeah, I live in Oklahoma and had to go hide out in the basement for an hour or so. Of the millions of thoughts running through my mind at the time, one was that I was going to miss the laker game. luckily I didn’t, but I am way to dedicated to this team.

  • Jeff Little

    Mike Perez,

    I hear you attempting to make noise but since you want to complain and accuse the site of poor writing and play the role of professional complainer but nowhere in the two comments did I read anything about what the Lakers need to do offensively or defensively.

    This is a ‘game preview’ and we are discussing the upcoming game. Apparently the state of the economy had made you angry at everything such as accomplishing the items mentioned which is a proven recipe for success.

    I’ll tell you what legendary coach perez let us know what the team should do scratch that we’ll wait for the press conference. By the numbers:

    1) Are you happy with the Lakers defense in transition? Against 3-point shooters? Ask yourself the question “are the items mentioned being accomplished?” 2) from the information provided “what isn’t true?” 3) Oh and everyone knows that Lamar is starting but unlike you Laker’s fans realize that he needs to remain focused & aggressive, like you’re attempting to be.

    That was funny trying to insinuate that I didn’t know. Aw man true comedy 4) I can always smell a hater in the building and you fit the bill detective perez.

  • Michael Perez

    Wow, you really took this at heart. Please, don’t feel be’Little’d by my comments.
    I’m just pointing out that seeing the same exact text again and again is annoying.
    I have never complained about anything on a site; that was my first online blog response of any kind. I’m just a passionate laker fan, and I do like thelakernation blog… just wanted to make some constructive criticism… take it or leave it Little.

  • Big Freak

    I’m with Perez on this one. Sorry Little.

  • The Machine

    Finally someone says something about these previews. I thought I was the only one. Good Work Michael Perez.

  • chaunceyp

    go lakers. lamar as well as the second unit need to remain focused. not gonna lie, read it twice. i understand to misunderstanding because i thought the same thing.

    also i think the main points of the article are true, even though they sound cliche. “The Lakers have an advantage with their long front line and will win by controlling the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.”

    NO OPEN THREES and i’ll be happy.

  • Bynumite

    What’s going on here? Why are we turning on our own man Perez? The article he wrote was great. We need to stop doing this to ourselves or our blog will never be as good as redsarmy! Let’s pick it up guys and make this blog number! Come on Kam, LD2K, Jeff, Jaime!!

  • Retrospect

    [Comment ID #61751 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Hey, you don’t NEED to read the last parts. And the things they keep on repeating are things the Lakers need to keep on improving on/continuing to get an accomplished win. And yet again, you didn’t need to read the last 3 sentences of the article.

  • BIG BABY

    you suck little!

  • Dracul

    Ugh, this Utah team brings out all the annoying deficiencies of the Lakers – They run the high screen and roll which KILLS the Laker defensive assignments once the guard breaks free on the penetration, meaning 3 point shooters will be open all day.

    And that Okur guy is a center who can shoot the 3, something that this Laker team has a problem with – drawing out our big men opens up the paint to high/screen roll and dribble penetration – and with no shot blocker in the paint, it will be a layup drill.

    Plus Sloan demands desperation D and high effort output from his team all the time, so the Jazz always play very physical, something that we all know ISN’T a natural trait of this Laker squad, so they’ll have to actually match the physical intensity of the Jazz.

    And I wish we could get Deron Williams on the Lakers somehow – he’s got size, he can shoot, he can penetrate, he can take over, he’s been taught by Fisher, he’s got everything you’d want, and I think if healthy, I’d take him over Chris Paul.

    -Dracul

  • Michael Perez

    Dracul, now that’s what i call a preview!
    Trade Little man for Dracul! lol

  • Jeff Little

    Micheal Perez,

    I don’t have a problem with constructive criticism at all, it comes with the territory, but when I’m accused of being a “lazy writer” and knowing that’s not the case or reading you state “this makes thelakernation (and the lakers to a certain extent) seem very unprofessional… i for one would volunteer to write these and bring some professionalism back to the laker nation.” That is taking things a step further and leads me to ask if anything written was not true.

    We are all passionate Laker fans and I feel we can discuss the squad in its entirety at any time. Every Laker fan, well except big baby, have to admit that the Lakers have only really only lost four of the nine games in the loss column. The other games were lost due to not doing the items mentioned.

    First and foremost we all want to see our Lakers win our last game and hold up the championship trophy. The theme for the Lakers all season has been improving the defense and it is something the team needs to continue to work on.

    If the last sentence annoys you that much Michael you can stop reading at that point but just so you know it does change but the facts still remain. I’ll even request that we talk about different aspects of the game when its over, from one fan to another.

    I do want to thank you for reading the article and taking the time to comment.

  • http://www.truebluejazz.com CB Jack

    Jazz fan here. That was a great game. Of course I’m happy with the outcome, but I do need to give the Lake Show some credit. They played hard especially after a long game in the OKC. The Jazz gave them a lot of chances at the end. Kobe seemed to shoot the Lakers in the foot and sealed the deal for Utah.

    Had Bynum been playing? Perhaps a different story. He would have dominated Millsap as the Lakers would have put Gasol on Memo I would guess.

    Nice game anyway. Can’t wait to see you chumps in the playoffs!

    http://www.truebluejazz.com