Jazz on Game 1 loss to the Lakers
No fuss, no muss. A certain lack of ...
Well, you get the idea.
After all, it has been more than a year since the Lakers and Jazz last met in the playoffs. And the venerable Jazz coach did not disappoint. Last year, he said the Jazz needed to be "like an old fly" after the Lakers beat Utah in Game 1.
After Sunday's five-point loss, Sloan came up with another lively visual image.
“You learn something from playing against them if you want to make yourself better," he said following the Lakers' 104-99 victory. "They (the Lakers) will take your nose and stick it in the ground and turn around on their heels on top of you.
"That's how good they are. We have to learn to fight through that."
Later, Paul Millsap wasn't buying into any moral victory stuff being posed in the locker room. The reserve forward had his usual workmanlike 16 points and nine rebounds.
"We’re not playing to get close. We’re playing to win the game," he said.
Game 2 is on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Still, in some ways, the situation doesn't appear as dire as it was for Utah in the first round of this season's playoffs.
"I would say we’re in better shape, as far as team morale, than we were after Game 1 against Denver," said reserve Kyle Korver, who had seven points in 21-plus minutes. "That was tough. That was gut-check time. We know we can play better. "
They can do something about that. Some other things, of course, are out of their control.
Dazzling point guard Deron Williams, who had 24 points and eight assists, was asked how he was going to solve the Lakers' size advantage.
"Unless I grow another three inches before tomorrow, there’s nothing I can do about it," he said.
Photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol forces Utah point guard Deron Williams into a pass on a baseline drive in the first half on Sunday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times