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Old 05-01-2010, 03:01 AM   #1
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Default 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

The Utah Jazz, despite several key injuries, beat the Denver Nuggets in round 1.

The Los Angeles Lakers, struggling more than people expected in round 1, beat the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now, the Lakers and Jazz are set to do battle in round 2.

Discuss the Lakers vs Jazz matchup! The player matchups. Advantages each team has. Problems they face. Keys to success. Small but significant x-factors. Who will win, but MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW AND WHY?
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

Lakers in 5

Game 1 - Lakers
Game 2 - Lakers
Game 3 - Jazz
Game 4 - Lakers
Game 5 - Lakers

LAKERS keys to victory

1. Kobe has to demonstrate the right kind of aggression. Drive the lane to open up the court for his teammates. Utah are undersized. If Kobe can get inside, he should be able to collapse the defense and give Pau and Andrew easy dunks all game long.

2. Spacing and ball movement. Lakers have to space the floor correctly to keep Utah's defense off balance. Despite the Lakers talent advantage at several positions, too many ISO plays, helps the Jazz.

3. Focus. They cannot take Utah too lightly. Utah will fight and scrap no matter who they put on the court. They take their attitude from their Coach.

4. Rebound. Do not let Millsap and Boozer crash the boards to get garbage points.

5. Take care of the ball. No stupid turnovers. Don't try to do too much. Keep the game in the half-court by not giving up too many turnovers that become fast break opportunities for D Will and the Jazz.

6. Finish this series as quick as possible. If the Lakers can close them out quick, it will give Kobe the chance to rest and maybe get closer to healthy, because you know the Spurs/Suns series is going 7.

UTAH's keys

1. Do not double team Kobe. He is not 100% and he probably will not be at any point during the series. Doubling Kobe will open up the floor for his teammates. He will make the pass (maybe not previous years, but this year he will for sure) and it will lead to a lot of open shots for his teammates.

2. Attack the glass. The Lakers despite their size advantage can be outhustled by a determined, quick team. They have to crash the boards nonstop.

3. Work as a team. They are not going to win any matchups, save D Will in this series, they can only win with a consistent and determined team effort, screens, back cuts, off the ball movement, you name it. They have to move each other, move the ball and hope that their shots fall.

4. Outside shooting. If Korver can get off, he can be a huge asset.

5. Pray. That Deron Williams is healthy. If he's not, they have no realistic chance.
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakerspng
Lakers in 5

Game 1 - Lakers
Game 2 - Lakers
Game 3 - Jazz
Game 4 - Lakers
Game 5 - Lakers

LAKERS keys to victory

1. Kobe has to demonstrate the right kind of aggression. Drive the lane to open up the court for his teammates. Utah are undersized. If Kobe can get inside, he should be able to collapse the defense and give Pau and Andrew easy dunks all game long.

2. Spacing and ball movement. Lakers have to space the floor correctly to keep Utah's defense off balance. Despite the Lakers talent advantage at several positions, too many ISO plays, helps the Jazz.

3. Focus. They cannot take Utah too lightly. Utah will fight and scrap no matter who they put on the court. They take their attitude from their Coach.

4. Rebound. Do not let Millsap and Boozer crash the boards to get garbage points.

5. Take care of the ball. No stupid turnovers. Don't try to do too much. Keep the game in the half-court by not giving up too many turnovers that become fast break opportunities for D Will and the Jazz.

6. Finish this series as quick as possible. If the Lakers can close them out quick, it will give Kobe the chance to rest and maybe get closer to healthy, because you know the Spurs/Suns series is going 7.

UTAH's keys

1. Do not double team Kobe. He is not 100% and he probably will not be at any point during the series. Doubling Kobe will open up the floor for his teammates. He will make the pass (maybe not previous years, but this year he will for sure) and it will lead to a lot of open shots for his teammates.

2. Attack the glass. The Lakers despite their size advantage can be outhustled by a determined, quick team. They have to crash the boards nonstop.

3. Work as a team. They are not going to win any matchups, save D Will in this series, they can only win with a consistent and determined team effort, screens, back cuts, off the ball movement, you name it. They have to move each other, move the ball and hope that their shots fall.

4. Outside shooting. If Korver can get off, he can be a huge asset.

5. Pray. That Deron Williams is healthy. If he's not, they have no realistic chance.

Great post, agreed with pretty much everything you've said.
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

good post above.

i just came to say the scheduling is strange. lakers and jazz finish tonight and then play in less than 48 hours on sunday.

spurs and suns both finished on thurs. yet don't play til monday? come on they should get 2 days off if both teams finish the series a the same time.

edit: yes, this is mostly with kirilenko in mind
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooks_thompson
good post above.

i just came to say the scheduling is strange. lakers and jazz finish tonight and then play in less than 48 hours on sunday.

spurs and suns both finished on thurs. yet don't play til monday? come on they should get 2 days off if both teams finish the series a the same time.

edit: yes, this is mostly with kirilenko in mind

and then after game 2 on Tuesday, they do not play again until Saturday, 4 days. very strange scheduling, but heaven forbid you play the Spurs/Suns series on a Sunday ABC game rather than the Lakers. They need the numbers for their ABC time slot that a Lakers game generates. sucks for the Lakers and Jazz.
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

I'll give Utah the benefit of the doubt and say Lakers in 6.
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakerspng
and then after game 2 on Tuesday, they do not play again until Saturday, 4 days. very strange scheduling, but heaven forbid you play the Spurs/Suns series on a Sunday ABC game rather than the Lakers. They need the numbers for their ABC time slot that a Lakers game generates. sucks for the Lakers and Jazz.

im sure abc is in talks to trade hawks-bucks game 7 to cbs for masters reruns and joel osteen
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

Gah, I'm so dang sick of playing you guys..

Should be a good competitive series as always though.. Some things to point out that i'm sure lots of laker fans are wondering about: Deron Williams is fine. He bruised his left elbow at the end of the Nuggets/Jazz game. Nothing really serious at all and D-Will should still be a huge factor in this series.. Second thing, AK WILL be back for this series. There's a 50/50 chance he'll be back for Sunday's game, but it's looking more like he'll shoot for a return during game 2 of this series.

I think that the Jazz should put Wesley Matthews on Kobe (him and CJ did a decent job guarding Melo.. Anthony still averaged over 30 points a game, but he had to work hard and put up a lot of shots to get them.. Hopefully those 2 jazz players can put similar pressure on Kobe in the next round..) With that said, Jazz should stick AK on Odom, as he's been more of a "jazz killer" than Kobe in recent years. I think with AK guarding him, he'll be neutralized.. And, as mentioned above, the Jazz shouldn't double on Kobe. That "make other players beat you" thing doesn't work in this situation.. The other players CAN and routinely HAVE beaten Utah.. The Jazz need to just guard Kobe straight up and make him beat them. And if he averages 40 ppg in the process, so be it.

Which brings me to the next topic... The biggest advantage LA has in this matchup is their size. Bynum and Gasol are too big for Boozer and Millsap. Boozer and Millsap may be able to hold their own against them on the offensive end, but certainly not on defense.. I think the only way the Jazz are able to survive this disadvantage and win the series is with Fesenko stepping up and playing huge.. He won't even need to score for us. He just needs to play good enough defense so that the LA bigs don't have a field day in the paint all game (and hopefully limits the amount of "poster dunks" he has on him to a maximum of 10).

As for the Jazz's biggest advantage.. It's D-Will.
Lakers can't match up with him and they know it.. If they choose to put Kobe on him like they did with Westbrook, he can't sag off him and "dare him to shoot." It just wouldn't work against a player like Deron.. Still though, this is the Jazz's ONLY advantage this series.. He'll need to have 25/10 games routinely in this series just for the Jazz to just have a decent shot. And even then, we can't win unless other Jazz role players are able to step it up.

Geeze, long post... Lol, ah well.
Good luck to the Lakers!
But more luck to the Jazz hopefully!

The homer in me says Jazz in 6!
The realist in me says Lakers in 6 or 7

Last edited by Mewwem22 : 05-01-2010 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

I think Utah is going to do better than people expect. Look to see Wes Matthews get some deserved credit, he will give Kobe trouble in more than one game, probably only home games though. I am as optimistic as I can be as a Jazz fan and I really feel they can pull out a huge upset. I never do this but I am going with my gut instead of my head and saying Jazz in 6. Yea I will probably be wrong but thats just my gut feeling. Plenty of homerism there if I'm honest.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooks_thompson
im sure abc is in talks to trade hawks-bucks game 7 to cbs for masters reruns and joel osteen

Classic.



As for the series, I am happy to avoid the Nugs, who gave the Lakers hell last year, but yeah, Utah is never an easy opponent. I honestly think people NEVER underestimate them, just cause of Sloan and how hard-nosed they are.

Lakers are a bit tired, but a shorthanded/injured Jazz seems less of a threat to me than OKC. Just like last year, coming off Houston, the Lakers should be focused and dispatch the slightly undermanned Jazz fairly easily, IMO.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

Jazz/Lakers series is going to be quite different this season, I see this going 7 with LA taking it.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

I would say this series can go either way. IF Derron keeps dishing and scoring 20+ ppg and booze jumps on those boards and scores 20+ PPg. Lakers will have a though time beating them.

+ Wesley Mathews can do some damage. The Lakers strugle against quick Athletic players. We saw it this year aswell when they played Utah and the Heat.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

This series will be over in 5 or 6 in LA's favor. Hopefully im wrong though.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

This is not the regular season and everyone should remember this.

But being a Jazz fan for about 20yrs, I hope the Jazz take it to 7, but I think it will end in 6, and not in our favor.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2010 2nd round preview: Lakers vs Jazz series

A few things I wanna add as a Jazz fan.

First of all, the Jazz aren't as disciplined as it often seems and as the teams we beat build us up to be. This has especially been the case against the Lakers. The Jazz are a well-run team, which means they generally tend to beat less talented teams easily, as well as grind out wins against more talented teams that are poorly coached. The Lakers are both more talented and well-coached, so the Jazz struggle. The most telling game this year was the one in SLC right before the ASG. The Lakers, missing Kobe and (I think) Bynum, won handily. The Jazz are so used to their offense taking undisciplined teams apart that quite often, when the other team doesn't fall apart, the Jazz don't know what to do and just abandon their own game plan and start taking bad shots.

Case in point, Deron has a tremendous advantage over Derek Fisher. He's faster, bigger, more determinded, and flat-out a better player than Derek ever was. He needs to take the ball at him, and he needs to do it consistently. The problem is that the Jazz are so used to sharing the ball and getting everyone involved that they can go away from the hot-hand just for the sake of team chemistry. Deron needs to attack Fisher early and often and force either fouls or other Lakers to help. Matthews, Miles, and Korver can all make shots, so make the Lakers choose their poison.

Along these lines, Matthews and Miles did a great job guarding Carmelo, but they can't rest on their laurels. There is no reprieve in this series, they gotta take turns guarding Kobe. Unlike Carmelo, Kobe is not 100%, but also unlike Carmelo, Kobe is one of the greatest players of all time. He's not going to have a bad shooting game AND not get his teammates involved at the same time. You have to accept that "stopping Kobe" would involve only one of those. Also, as stud as Matthews has been, his playoff shooting percentage of 38% is far below his regular season mark of 48%. He has got to shoot better in this series. Also, with Kobe being hurt and almost 10 years older than C.J. and Matthews, they really need to keep him working on the D. The guys got young legs(incongrously, the 5-year veteran C.J. Miles is 6 months younger than the rookie Matthews and has just turned 23) and need to take advantage of that. If the Jazz keep games close, Kobe is playing 40+ minutes a game, and you want him to have to work hard on both ends of the floor.

Down low. Against the Nuggets, Boozer has averaged 22.5ppg and 13.3rpg, while Millsap has put up 17.3 and 9.8. They've shot 58% and 61% from the field, respectively. If you believe the NBA, which lists them both as PFs, the Jazz have gotten a combined 40ppg and 23rpg on 60% shooting combined from the PF position. ;) Of course, that's not really the case, but it's still impressive for a front line. At 6'9 and 6'7, they're giving up too much length to the Lakers' duo of Gasol and Bynum, which is going to really show on defense. I think the Jazz in this situation need to realize that they can only stop one of these guys, and they gotta go after the weak link. Bynum is having an MRI today and perhaps the Lakers fans have more info about what's going on, but he simply cannot pass consistently out of the double team. The Jazz need to trap him every time he gets the ball in the post and simply live with the results. Also, since he doesn't seem to be playing excessive minutes, play Kyrylo only when Bynum's on the floor.

Lastly, we have the issue of AK47. He's coming back this series, hopefully in game 1, but definitely before the series goes back to SLC. His contribution will depend on how much the injury has healed. He's obviously not at 100%, but he's also rusty. He hasn't played in more than a month, I think. The Jazz basically had a 7-man rotation without him, so it's important that he provide quality time for the Jazz, even if it's less than 30 minutes. I don't think coach Sloan will put Kirilenko on Kobe at any point this series, and Artest is not that serious of an offensive threat anymore(pull up threes from 2 feet behind the line are something he can shoot as much as he wants, as far as I'm concerned), so Kirilenko may actually get an easier assignment on defense than he would've had he played agains Denver, where he likely would've guarded Carmelo. A lighter defensive load will help Kirilenko get into game shape quicker, but it's his offensive contribution that will be crucial. If he can provide the Jazz with athleticism on the break, a few acrobatic tip-ins in the paint, and an occasional jump shot, it will help the team tremendously. As spectacular as Jazz scoring has been, 5 players have been responsible for 85% of the scoring output. Of the 7-man rotation, those five players all averaged 13.7ppg or more, but then you have Korver with just over 7 and Fesenko with a little more than 3 points a game. Kirilenko is desperately needed to put some points on the board, because you cannot expect 5 players to all score 15 points or more against the Lakers.

Either way, this is going to be a great series and I'm excited as hell.
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