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
- Los Angeles: FS West 1 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz) & TNT
Utah: FSN Utah (Craig Bolerjack & Ron Boone)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
Utah: KFAN 1320 (“Hot” Rod Hundley )
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