The (13-2) Lakers are in Salt Lake City, Utah to face the (11-5) Jazz at Energy Solutions Arena.
The Utah Jazz season has been defined by poor starts and spectacular comebacks. However, the Jazz have played three home games against playoff teams from last season and have dropped all of them.
Tonight will be the first of four games this season against the Utah Jazz. Tonight will also mark the first shot at revenge for the Jazz, due to the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers swept the them in last year’s playoffs. They’re a talented team that has been completely dominated by the Lakers. The’ve won 10 of 14 regular-season games, are 18-3 against the Jazz all-time at Staples Center and have gone 12-3 against the Jazz in the post season.
In Utah, the Lakers have dropped six of their last 10 regular-season games. They have to limit the multi-faceted assault of Jazz point guard Deron Williams. He’s one of the best point guards in the NBA and the centerpiece in the Jazz. The Lakers have had success defending Williams; in the playoffs, Lakers limited Williams to 38.7 percent shooting and 22 points. They will have to limit his impact on tonight’s game.
In a game that will close a three-game home stand for the Jazz, the Lakers will have to stop Deron Williams dribble penetration, do a solid job on screen and roll plays and keep a hand in his face to defend his outside shot. The Jazz don’t have an answer for Kobe Bryant which is fine because no one in the league does.
This writer wants to see the Purple an Gold come out and play at a high energy level and get everyone involved. Kobe Bryant will attack early to set the tone and wear the facilitator cap later in the game. Their front line has to start and finish the game aggressive. It would be nice to see the front line finish the game with 50+ points and 35+ rebounds. The front line needs to control the paint and out-rebound the Jazz. Both teams play intricate systems, but the Lakers have to execute their offense and control the games tempo. They need to attack the Jazz on the inside first.
The Lakers bench will have to come up huge again. The Lakers reserve’s a.k.a. the Killer B’s are having an impact in every game. The bench is destroying opposing reserves. Defensively they need to stop the ball, get back in transition, challenge every shot and rotate out to three-point shooters.
Tip-off: 6:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL-TV9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Utah: FS N Utah (Craig Bolerjack & Ron Boone)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Luke Walton)
- Utah: 1320 AM KFAN (David Locke, David James & Patrick Kinehan)
- Andrew Bynum (Right Knee) Out
- Theo Ratliff (Left Knee) Out
- Lamar Odom (Sore Right Foot) Probable
- C Mehmet Okur (Achilles) Out