Caught in the Web: Lakers prepare for Utah Jazz
--The Times' Broderick Turner says the Lakers' defense is better than what Jerry West and Phil Jackson suggest.
--Hoopshype.com catches up with Kobe Bryant on the season.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky and 710 ESPN's Dave Miller break down the Lakers' inconsistencies on defense.
--NBA.com presents a midseason report card for the Utah Jazz.
--The Salt Lake Tribune's Brian T. Smith details the Jazz's recent struggles.
--The Daily Breeze's Elliott Teaford points out that Ron Artest doesn't make much of his recent string of impressive performances.
--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell presents a medical update on Barnes and Theo Ratliff.
Tweet of the Day: "I can't believe Jay Cutler hasn't even TRIED to come back... This is to go to the Super Bowl.. That's crazy" -- Matt_Barnes22 (Lakers forward Matt Barnes).
Reader Comment of the Day:"I love Jerry West as much as anyone. But he vastly underrates the importance of coaches. I'm always surprised that he does. He apparently doesn't think having his Lakers could have won more titles with Bill Sharman coaching them earlier instead of Bill Van Breda Kolff (who couldn't get along with Wilt) or Joe Mullaney (a college coach who never connected with the players). I have to disagree with my idol on this one. Sharman was as important as any player on the '71-72 team and he got Wilt's buy-in to playing defense and being a playmaker. West and Wilt were getting old and weren't the players they had been in earlier in their careeers, and Baylor hung his jock strap early in the season. Yet they played together and stomped the reat of the league. Yes, you need the players first, but the right coach is the key to putting a team over the top." -- Tom Daniels
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Kobe Bryant leans past Jazz guard Ronnie Price for a short-range shot in the first half of the Lakers' 102-96 loss Nov. 26 to the Utah Jazz. Credit: Steve C. Wilson / Associated Press