Live from Staples: Lakers vs. Jazz
During a conversation about Luke Walton's upcoming turn behind the mic (he'll take over for Mychal Thompson next to Spiro Dedes during Friday's game against the Wolves and again Saturday night in Salt Lake City), Phil Jackson said he's sure Walton can take care of himself, and know what he should and shouldn't say.
Q: Is there anyone on the team he's be concerned about doing that job?
Other notes for tonight's game:
- If you missed it, the Jazz are playing very well (8-2 over their last 10), but they're seriously beat up, too. Among the names you'll recognize, Ronnie Price, Kyle Korver, Andrei Kirilenko, and Matt Harpring are out. (Kyrylo Fesenko has a stomach virus, but that's rather less impactful.) The silver lining for Utah has been a chance to get guys like rookie guards Wes Matthews and Eric Maynor on the floor. Matthews, starting at the two, has had a big impact, particularly on the defensive end, and Maynor is contributing as well off the bench.
- Carlos Boozer is playing well again, averaging 21.3/10.9/3.6. Has he found the light? Is he just trying to get out of town? Doesn't really matter, because the end result makes him a tough cover. (PJ did take a mini-swipe at him in his pregame media session, though, noting how he "likes his game on offense." He didn't have to specify which side of the floor, you know.) Deron Williams is Deron Williams. Really freakin' good. Defensively, Andrew Bynum will draw Boozer, and the more mobile Pau Gasol gets Mehmet Okur.
- I saw DJ Mbenga before the game. Turns out the injury he suffered in Tuesday's practice was to his right ankle. A little treatment, and he was good to go today, taking part in shootaround and hopping vigorously on his right foot in front of trainer Gary Vitti in the locker room to demonstrate his fitness. He seems fine.
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