Monday, May 5th, 2008 at 11:56 am  |  27 responses

Game Notes: Jazz @ Lakers, Game 1

Free Throws and Whiskey

by Marcel Mutoni

Before we get started, a confession: I missed much of the game, and what little of it that I saw, I can hardly recall.

Why? Simple: I spent the weekend in Montreal. And when you spend a debaucherous weekend in that wonderful city, debilitating hangovers on Sunday afternoon make it a little difficult to pay attention to Playoff basketball.

Still, there’s this little thing called the Internet, and here’s what I was able to glean from scanning the boxscore and reading a few columns:

1)Kobe shot a TON of free throws. The Jazz, as a team, only hit one more freebie than Bryant. It’s nice to be the MVP, yes?

(Of course, when the series shifts back to Utah, Kobe won’t get nearly as many whistles. Meaning the Lakers absolutely need to take care of business at home, and try to steal one game on the road.)

2)The Utah Jazz are an offensive rebounding machine. They had 13 more offensive boards than the sluggish Lakers, and according to my buddy Gustave who watched the game in its entirety, this was infuriating, and kept the pesky Jazz in the game.

(This is where the absence of Andrew Bynum – who’s almost certainly not returning this season – is felt. If Andrew can get his knee right going into next season, the rest of the League will be in very big trouble. The team as presently constructed probably won’t win a title this spring; next year, though, they are unquestionably the favorites.)

3)Stats confuse me, thus they suck. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for understanding the game a little better, and discovering new things. But do we really need +/- and PER and whatever else keeps John Hollinger gainfully employed?

(For instance, Deron Williams has a plus/minus of -10 despite nearly getting a triple double. The guy scored 14 points (mind you, on only 5-18 shooting), dished out 9 assists, and grabbed 9 boards. Also, no Laker point guard had a better game than Williams.

Even if you didn’t watch the game – like yours truly – you can safely assume that Deron Williams had himself a decent enough afternoon (poor shooting notwithstanding); the geeks and their tabulators don’t seem to agree, though.)

4)Both teams shot uncharacteristically poorly from the land of beyond. Neither squad converted on more than 5 three-point bombs, and Utah shot an absolutely miserable 21% from deep. I expect this to change in Game Two.

5)Jerry Sloan is unhappy, meaning his team will play a lot better on Wednesday night. Because otherwise, he’ll probably physically assault them.

(There’s no greater motivation than fear of a perpetually pissed-off old man, with sneaky old man strength.)

Work prevents me from going to Montreal during the week, so expect more comprehensive notes following Game Two.

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  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown


  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    I love Montreal as well! Except one time I went there and it was NEGATIVE 40 degrees with the wind chill!

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Myles the Janitor.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Oddly enough,one of my “things to do before you die” is to go to Montreal for the Comedy Festival.

  • Marcel Mutoni

    sign that you watch way too much basketball: in a club on saturday night, a jay-z song came on, and as everyone (including me) threw up the roc sign, i immediately thought of deshawn stevenson. i then ran to the bar in an effort to erase the image.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I want to go to Montreal too, but for a more primal urge.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Montreal Jazz festival…ridiculous time, beautiful ladies, great food and wicked hangovers. Try it sometime.

  • http://firemitchkupchak.com Jackie Moon

    Deron Williams did not have a good game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Myles, you were correct about Denver, but Utah is a TEAM.
    Lakers are impressive, nonetheless.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Marcel, you’re funny. Yes, we all watch too much basketball and no, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • http://nothinpersonal8.blogspot.com/ nothin personal

    I thought +/- was to compare people on the same team. And for the coach to determine lineups that work better together.

  • florida_evans

    I had no real interest in watching that game.it unfolded pretty much exactly how I thought it would.The thing I love about Sloan,Scott,Pop and their ilk is that they ABSOLUTELY demand maximum effort and execution.And The Jacksonian too.

  • B. Long

    I don’t know why but it felt like the Lakers never really kicked it in high gear last night. The game just looked way to damn easy and you don’t expect that against a Jerry Sloan coached team. That being said, the Kobe reverse bank shot was bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!!!!

  • http://birdmonster.blogspot.com tenorca

    Double parentheticals in a single parenthetical; Marcel is William Faulkner.

  • Daniel

    How can you say that stats suck and then base your entire anaylsis of the game on those stats. Deron Williams did have a bad game, and Fisher played much better. Also Kobe getting so many free throws was the result of how physical the Jazz were playing, if you watched the game you would understand all of this

  • Nate

    You idiot. The Lakers are the only undefeated team in the playoffs. They have the best chance to win the title, you moron.

  • B_Easy24

    The first time that the Lakers entered the series against the Nuggets I predicted a sweep. In this series with the Jazz I’m predicting a sweep if not maybe a game 5 tops. Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    Writing game notes without actually watching the game is highly immoral. Except when I do it, then it’s ok.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    Also, stats are for suckers about 79.4% of the time. Actually one of the best quotes I’ve heard was from tha coach of Scottish club Aberdeen, Ebbe something, who said: “Stats are like miniskirts…they give you good ideas, but what they don’t show is much more important.”

  • David

    Lakers, Hornets, Spurs, Celtics, or Pistons? Who really has the best chance of winning the whole thing? I don’t believe the Cavs, while they might reach the finals, can with the championship. I think the Lakers and Spurs are the best-coached, but I can’t confidently make any picks right now.

  • http://www.nba.com Hursty

    mutoni was busy today.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    David: One SLAM staffer said the Pistons before the Playoffs. He still has a sneaky suspicion he might be right.

  • RV

    Kobe’s getting the benefit of tmac’s noncalls

  • http://www.nba.com Hursty

    true that RV

  • http://www.nba.com Hursty

    Lakers Spurs Celtics Pistons. Timmy is back btw.

  • peter

    +/- is such bs…tim duncan had -32 in game 2.


  • Ken H.

    hey marcel, im from montreal. if u love this place so much come back in the winter and see how great it is! its FRIGGIN COOOOOOOOOLD. and i was here too, i still watched the game :-P