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Lakers roundtable: Salt Lake Tribune's Brian T. Smith breaks down Lakers-Jazz matchup

The Utah Jazz's four-game losing streak didn't prompt the Lakers to express plenty of concern. In fact, that convinced many of them that could help spark Utah in ending its 16-game losing streak at Staples Center when the two teams square off Tuesday night. After all, the Lakers had lost to the Jazz on the road, 102-96, earlier in the season and they learned last week that a matchup with the Dallas Mavericks was all they needed to end their six-game losing streak.

Salt Lake Tribune's Jazz beat writer Brian T. Smith, however, believes otherwise.

"This right now is the toughest stretch for the Jazz," Smith argued, "and they're probably playing the Lakers at exactly the worst time."

There are plenty of reasons for that, including Utah's recent struggles, the team's admission that chemistry's been lacking and because the Jazz follows its matchup against the defending champs with a back-to-back against Western Conference leader San Antonio.

"It'll be a very interesting matchup," Smith summed up.

Among the topics of interest regarding the Lakers-Jazz matchup

--What's currently ailing the Jazz

--Why Utah has struggled beating the Lakers at Staples Center.

--Whether Coach Jerry Sloan will continue starting rookie Gordon Haywood in place of Andrei Kirilienko, a lineup shift that happened in Utah's road loss Saturday to Philadelphia.

--Who in the Jazz is worried about in the Western Conference.

You can follow more of Smith's work at the Salt Lake Tribune's website and by following him on Twitter.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
Comments () | Archives (30)

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Utah can't beat us at home, they've lost 4 in a row, oops, sounds like a trap game to me, ha, ha. Go Lakers!

I was going to post something about the Nets getting another win (against the lowly Cadavaliers), but then I saw this on hoopshype...

Someone started selling their Nets-Cavs tickets for 25 cents on Stub Hub the day of the game. Other people started out bidding them. Eventually, tickets for the game were going for 11 cents. LOL

11 cents to go see the Cavs vs the Nets.

Roll call ... checking in!!!

It would be nice to start taking care of home court on a somewhat permanent basis starting tonight. If we take care of home court and win the ones we should win on the road from here on in, that will translate into a nice seeding for the playoffs.

We've beaten this team at least a million straight times at Staples, but what better game to get the Jazz straightened out than this one especially with the Lakers having some rust on them after not playing since the Thuggets game? The good news? Kobe practiced with the team! The better news? I believe that His Logo-ness has just trumped Coach Eleven Rings in terms of challenging the team to play improved defense. Or maybe that was Eleven Rings' plan.

Philip: "Hey Jerry, I have a favor to ask of you. I need to coach Kobe and the boys through the media, but I don't want the attention."

Jerry: "Is that all? I'm giving a little talk at the OC Auto Association Dealers on Thursday. I'll weave it in for you. What would you like to me say?"

Philip: "You know, how the defense stinks and how we're getting old. Better idea if you don't mind. That we CAN'T play defense BECAUSE we're too old. You know, maybe Kobe will even dive for a loose ball and try to take a charge in Denver if you say THAT! Someone's bound to bug Fish about this, too. It's way too early in the season for me to give motivational speeches. Let them do it from something that YOU say."

Jerry: "Done. This will be fun."

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!

my concerns re: the laker's need for motivation.it's one thing to be on the top of the heap and going on automatic pilot. but the lakers have not demonstrated any ability to , dare i say it PLAY REAL HARD ALL THE TIME!, which means that whoever is out there is busting his hump. now with the the logo's comment. it goes to a new perspective that maybe they ARE playing real hard... but i don't believe it

Utah will win tonight, watch.

"A four-game losing streak to the Utah Jazz didn't prompt the Lakers to express plenty of concern. In fact, that convinced many of them that could help spark Utah in ending its 16-game losing streak at Staples Center when the two teams square off tonight."

Grammar.

"my concerns re: the laker's need for motivation.it's one thing to be on the top of the heap and going on automatic pilot. but the lakers have not demonstrated any ability to , dare i say it PLAY REAL HARD ALL THE TIME!, which means that whoever is out there is busting his hump. now with the the logo's comment. it goes to a new perspective that maybe they ARE playing real hard... but i don't believe it

Posted by: lance from da' bronx | January 25, 2011 at 12:09 PM "

That's what remains to be seen. They don't have age on their side so I don't think the issues like lack of speed on defense, inability to run out on offense, etc are self-correcting when playoff games start. It's moreso that the game tends to slow down in the postseason and teams with reliable halfcourt games prosper.

I don't think HCA has ever been more important for them than it is this year.

Yo, Fact Jack:
Do you expect Griffin to be named along with Shaq in that the federal class action lawsuit that claims NBA players endorse bogus Power Balance "performance technology" bracelets … (http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/01/24/33536.htm)? I notice Griffin wears a bracelet on each wrist. FYI, a Nov 2010 ESPN Outside the Lines report on scientific research by exercise physiologists at University of Wisconsin La Crosse for the American Council on Exercise (a consumer watchdog) debunked power bracelets. The UW research tested 12 men and 9 women (20 of them UW athletes) and found the $30-$80 hologram “Power Bracelet offers no performance benefit when compared to the $0.30 placebo bracelet.

Bay to LA

Considering that these Lakers have more playoff experience than any team in the NBA, I think that the need for HCA is LESS important this season than the 3 previous seasons.

That's the difference between a rationalist with an historical perspective and a major pessimist who is incapable of seeing the forest through the trees. Until you offer anything other than harsh criticisms about a 32-13 two time defending champion with a head coach who has coached 3 previous three-peaters, your opinions have zero credibility.

KobeMVP888,

So you like our chances in a game 7 at Boston?

Go Lakers!

KobeMVP888,

So you like our chances in a game 7 at Boston?

Go Lakers!

Posted by: Rocky | January 25, 2011 at 01:28 PM


Wrong way to ask him the question. This is how

KobeMVP888, what pulse do you sense on the Lakers in Boston for a game 7?

"Bay to LA

Considering that these Lakers have more playoff experience than any team in the NBA, I think that the need for HCA is LESS important this season than the 3 previous seasons.

That's the difference between a rationalist with an historical perspective and a major pessimist who is incapable of seeing the forest through the trees. Until you offer anything other than harsh criticisms about a 32-13 two time defending champion with a head coach who has coached 3 previous three-peaters, your opinions have zero credibility.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 25, 2011 at 01:16 PM "

LOL. Harsh criticisms? Where? I was saying that the lack of speed won't matter as much in the playoffs when the games slow down and the "old and slow" teams typically beat the young fast paced teams. I was downplaying the criticisms, not adding to them.

Who in the last 3 years did the Lakers ONLY beat because of HCA? Maybe Boston. I'm drawing a blank other than that. I don't think the Lakers can rely on Kobe to bail them out like they did in the past, I don't think they can get as many easy transition baskets as they did in the past. It will take a much more focused approach now. If they can get each series put away in fewer games and get more rest, that's a good thing.

This year the Spurs look tougher than any western opponent over the last few years. They're resting starters even more than LA is (Kobe would be 1st in minutes on the Spurs, as would Lamar and Pau) and I think playing any series against them with 4 games in San Antonio is a daunting task. If the Lakers have any way of stealing that top spot, they should certainly go for it.

Your "we have more experience" "we're championship tested" "we flip the switch in April" comments were repeated ad nauseum in 2003, 2004, 2008, etc. Optimism is great but if you want to speak from a history is always right stance, optimism hasn't always been supported by end results.

Bay to LA,

re: your comments to KobeMVP888....

you wrote: Your "we have more experience" "we're championship tested" "we flip the switch in April" comments were repeated ad nauseum in 2003, 2004, 2008, etc. Optimism is great but if you want to speak from a history is always right stance, optimism hasn't always been supported by end results.

my response: Ummm ... why are you trying to be reasonable with KobeMVP888?

He has clearly and repeatedly shown a disdain for facts & a preference for his
own opinion. I do wish to note that he is quick to point out facts that support
his opinion. He just ignores/disregards any facts which do not support his
opinion.

Just askin'

KobeMVP888,

So you like our chances in a game 7 at Boston?

Go Lakers!

Posted by: Rocky | January 25, 2011 at 01:28 PM
====

If they get HCA, I like our chances in Games 1, 3, 5 and 6.

On a completely different note:

I have become a HUGE fan of crazy glue!

Did y'all know that it works better than stitches?

I'm also becoming disenchanted w/ ironwood. It's starting to splinter after
a few measly days. I guess this is why God invented duct tape.

Duct tape can solve a multitude of problems. Cuts. broken bones.
problematic neighbors. Difficult girl friends.... :)

Go Kobe!
Go Lakers!!!

"He has clearly and repeatedly shown a disdain for facts & a preference for his
own opinion. I do wish to note that he is quick to point out facts that support
his opinion. He just ignores/disregards any facts which do not support his
opinion.

Just askin'

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 25, 2011 at 01:52 PM"

LOL. Well I think KobeMVP and I both know we're probably not going to convince the other of anything at this point.

@HOBBITMAGE... “On a completely different note: I have become a HUGE fan of crazy glue! Did y'all know that it works better than stitches?” LMAO, hobbit. What works even better than crazy glue is the world’s greatest invention after the wheel and toilet paper – good old duct tape. LOL.
.............................................................
TOM

Kobe MVP888-"If they get HCA, I like our chances in Games 1, 3, 5 and 6."

huh? games 1, 3, 5, and 6?? Looks like I'm wasting my time here.

Go Lakers! Beat the Jazz!
Go Aztecs! Beat BYU!

Utah Sucks!

KobeMVP88,
The PSP wonders if you could answer the question you were asked by Rocky directly, instead of going into a 'spin zone'.
Thank You
PSP Secretary

LakerTom,

I have not had the opportunity to use Duct Tape on a wound.
If/when I do, I will *certainly* let you know if it works. [grin]

LakerTom good one lol!

Here's hoping lakers don't fall in that trap and lose to a team thats been on a loosing streak. Seems to snap theirs against us, so fellas don't fall asleep just win baby.
Go Lakers!

This is scary game to watch. Clippers lost to the Warriors the previous night by a big margin before they beat the Lakers. The Mavericks lost 6 straight games including a lost to Memphis and lowly Pistons and beat the Lakers. Utah lost 4 straight including a lost to Pacers and Sixers. Will this be another lost by the Lakers to a struggling team? It seems that a struggling team only needs to face the Lakers to end their misery. On the bright side Popovich was named coach of the West for the All Star game so we don't expect the Lakers to throw games anymore. Phil hates the All Star games. Do I need to explain any further?

Dear Mr. Policeperson [ practice season police ],

re: KobeMVP888 answering direct questions.

Direct questions? There are no direct questions in basketball!

In any case, it doesn't matter. This is just the practice season as
touted by the greatest blogger you've never heard of. What? You don't
know who I'm talking about?

That's your fault mister! I'll be citing you for "not knowing" the unknown
unknowns.

If it comes down to a game 7 in Boston, I would be very concerned...

But I still like our chances...

But that's how I roll...no need to show stats or trends...

That's how I support my Los Angeles Lakers...

So sue me for my opinion...

LEWSTRS,
The Practice Season Police would like to remind you that the question was directed at KOBEMVP88 and not one of his ... The PSP will be issuing only a warning this time sir, but keep to the speed limit.
Thanks
PSP Officer

Practice Season Police -

So you all gang up on him, because he has made you all look silly with your ridiculous posts...

So go ahead and come up with another handle...and post something about 888 because he gives you all a hard on...

This is a Laker Blog not let's all gang up on KobeMVP888...

And he can hold his own anyway and doesn't need my help to make all you guys look silly, start looking up stats, or digging into the archives...

LOL whatever rocks your boat...

Practice Season Police -

So you all gang up on him, because he has made you all look silly with your ridiculous posts...

So go ahead and come up with another handle...and post something about 888 because he gives you all a hard on...

This is a Laker Blog not let's all gang up on KobeMVP888...

And he can hold his own anyway and doesn't need my help to make all you guys look silly, start looking up stats, or digging into the archives...

LOL whatever rocks your boat...

@Lew - thanks. I just boarded the bus and here's my roll call. (Check out the video to catch the flavor)

My name is LRob
The Jazz is slumping
They'll lose again 2nite
I see a Laker thumping

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTjJJiu2lC0


LEWSTRS,
The Practice Season Police has no clue what you are rambling about. The PSP would like you to point out *1* instance where KOBEMVP888 has made the PSP look silly.

The PSP did not gang up on anybody; the PSP asked a simple question and you came running in to interfere!

And what's that about the PSP having a hard on? Mark Medina, if say ouchhh or yello made a comment like that they would be gone in a flash. The PSP demand that you issue a ticket to LEWSTRS to maintain fairness on the blog.

Thanks
PSP VP

Sorry no ticket...no profanity...no attack...no harm, no foul, no blood, no ambulance...

Just stating facts...but nice try anyway...lol


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