The Lakers are back home tonight at the Staples Center to face the Utah Jazz in Game 5. Los Angeles realizes that they were a few made free throws away from taking a 3-0 series lead, letting a winnable game slip through their hands in Game 3.

The Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant, made some adjustments and put the Jazz away in Game 4. Kobe came out aggressive and looking to score early, he set the tone early and the rest of the team followed his lead.

He didn’t talk to the media, shake hands with other players or exchange pleasantries he was all business and focused on beating the Jazz. It was a bit of a change because in the first two games Kobe wore two hats, the facilitator early and the closer late.

In the last game, the black mamba was on the attack. This will cause the Jazz to make more adjustments not knowing how to defend Kobe. After another stellar playoff performance He will obviously draw the attention of all of the Utah defenders which will get his teammates several open shots.

The most important thing about this game is that the Lakers have won three playoff games and have 13 to go to accomplish the season long goal. A win tonight would provide the Lakers rest and more practice time preparing for the second round opponent.

The Lakers are an excellent team in closeout games and tonight will be no different. The focus for the Lakers to end this first round series should be on using excellent ball movement and excellent player movement, rebounding, taking care of the basketball by eliminating turnovers and playing defense without fouling.

The Lakers big men have spent too much of this series in foul trouble and out-rebounded that needs to come to an end tonight. The Lakers need to be all business tonight and put the Jazz away early. The Lakers need to continue to establish Pau in the post and allow him to go to work offensively or set the table for his teammates.

It has been proven that the Lakers can score but defensively is where every game will be won or lost. The Lakers need to limit the Jazz to one shot per possession, control the tempo, win the rebounding battle, get back in transition and rotate out to three point shooters.

The duo of Deron Williams & Carlos Boozer are Utah’s most dangerous players but both can be slowed. The Lakers need to play a complete game for a full 48 minutes not let up until there are a series of zero’s on the clock.

Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: FS West 1 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz) & TNT
    Utah: FSN Utah (Craig Bolerjack & Ron Boone)

Radio -

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

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • None to report.

Jazz:

  • None to report.
  • WifelovesLuke

    Obviously a win is going to be huge for the Lakers. No doubt about it. I do, however, think that it will be crucial to the mindset of a 21 year old (Bynum) to somehow get him some easy baskets. Granted, Drew needs to stop fouling so much and try to stay on the floor. But going into the next round against Portland or (more likely) Houston, Bynum is going to be extremely important. A little home court mojo is just what Drew needs. Feed the beast!

  • gugy

    Let’s close it tonight!
    Lakers!

  • LakerFaninAtl

    Time to finish this series and continue the race for the ring!

    I’m tired of seeing the Jazz players faces.

  • kb24

    how many sentences can you begin with”the lakers”…honestly i feel like im reading a middle shcool news paper article….

  • ilikebasketball

    [Comment ID #69259 Will Be Quoted Here]

    yeah, amen. kirilenko, korber and that rapist face boozer. tired of seeing them on my tv.

  • ilikebasketball

    [Comment ID #69259 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i meant korver(obviously).

  • lakers58

    let’s go lakers!!!!!

  • http://laker.com lakers_fan_in916

    AINT NO JIVE LAKERS IN FIVE!!!

  • Kobe8

    No complacency please.

  • http://yahoo.com markco2

    Lakers:

    None to report. ????

    How about Luke Walton? get well Luke..

  • http://yahoo.com markco2

    Injuries -

    Lakers:

    None to report. ????

    How about Luke Walton? get well Luke..

  • e-bucher

    [Comment ID #69262 Will Be Quoted Here]

    wtf is a “shcool”???…(notice how quotations are used)

  • Jason Kong

    [Comment ID #69262 Will Be Quoted Here]

    It is the use of parallel structure in writing. And he only used it to begin each paragraph. It helps establish clarity and makes the writing more direct. Sorry if not all blog posts are works of poetry for you.

  • Michael Perez

    Let’s do this. Can’t wait to play Houston. I hope Artest can piss off Kobe again so that he can explode with a ridiculous amount of points! plus, i want to see Bynum match up with Yao.
    Should be a fun series!

  • stdecker

    Luckily we wont have Luke, now hopefully Sasha will get deported before the game and we will really dominate!

  • sketch

    Yo, our boys gonna take care of business tonight!

    ilikebasketball!!!!

    Maybe you shouldn’t mention the word “rapist” in this blog site…Kobe might get a lil riled up! Hahaha! Nah, that will probably make Kobe even more P!ssed, which in turn will get him to drop about 45 on the UTARD’S tonight!

    GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!

  • pownomosis

    Clearly, the lakers want to take care business tonight! No question! Reggie Miller commented “which Kobe will show up…….triple threat or Black Mambo”. The fact that the reigning MVP can show versatility to be a facilitator and/or a scorer(looking for his shots)speaks volumes about what kind of player he is. I mean we are looking at the deepest bench in the NBA, one of the most feared “closers” in the game since MJ, and the only obstacle which could stop them from winning the CHAMPIONSHIP is the Lakers themselves. Yeah, yeah, yeah…I heard the doubters who say their defense is flawed, showing weakness, can’t close out games, yada yada yada……In some respects I even have concerns about the lakers defense as it appears they lose the intensity/concentration, or, suffer from boredom, maybe Coach Jackson tinkering with the bench trying to get everyone to play? Of course, the defense will be challenged even more as the playoffs goes on, but I have no doubt they will prevail to be the inevitable champions 2009. Oh yeah, the other eastern division team(kudos to Coach of the year Brown & Lebron Cavaliers)-maybe big maybe- next year because the lakers look like they will be repeaters!