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Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 10:30 am  |  33 responses

Game Notes: Jazz @ Lakers, Game 5

Home, Sweet, Home

by Marcel Mutoni

I’ll keep this brief…

-There are no great truths to be gleaned from the Laker victory in Game Five, except for maybe this: The Lakers, predictably fired up, came out and delivered the first series of punches and never trailed in the game. The Jazz, stunned in the early going, eventually picked themselves up off the mat, and though they lost, they were right there until the very end.

(Though the game remained close, not once did it feel as though Utah could pull off the upset. Of course, the very same thing could be said of the Lakers when they played in Utah.)

-Kobe Bryant must have heard the critics over the last few days, as he attempted an almost-unheard of 10 field goals. He made six of them, and spent much of the evening at the free throw line (as did many of his teammates), allowing him to finish with a team-high 26 points. Don’t worry, he’s saving his shot attempts for Game 6 in Utah.

-Are both teams’ offenses really that great, or is the defense on both ends of the ball simply non-existent? I’m leaning towards the latter. It’s so bad that even the vacationing Phoenix Suns are blushing at what they’re seeing.

(Neither team seems to be able to put the clamps on the other, and victories are simply being determined by who’s playing on their home floor. This is why I’m perfectly prepared to watch a stress-filled Game 7 on Monday night.)

-Next time you hear anyone make the claim that the regular season doesn’t mean anything, please, slap them for me. In the second round of the Playoffs, home teams are virtually undefeated. To date, only Detroit has managed a road victory in the conference semis.

-One completely unrelated, but sufficiently amusing note: Avery Johnson was in the TNT studio last night. During the halftime segment of the Lakers/Jazz game, wearing a suit that he apparently picked out from the Craig Sager Collection, the former Mavs coach may have set the new Guinness World Record for the number of times a TV analyst said the word “turnovers”. Just a stunning two minutes; you really had to be there.

-The good news for the Lakers as they head to Utah, and try to close out the Jazz, is that they’re coming off their most offensively balanced game of the series. The entire starting lineup scored in double figures, with three guys getting 20+.

(The bad news is that the game is being played in Utah, where not only are the fans some of the loudest – and most loathsome individuals – in the League, but I’m pretty sure it’s against the law for the Jazz to lose in that building.)

The first team to give defense a try will have plenty of reason to celebrate on Friday night.

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  • RV

    i think the lakers actually play decent D when it counts, but its usually late in the game, they did it in game 4, they’re very capable of it, but for whatever reason they don’t do it earlier. The last few minutes of last night’s game had the lakers getting very easy baskets, utah was bricking long jumpers and the shots they did make were tough.

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

    Marcel, I think LA and Utah are good on both sides of the ball. Guys were finally hitting shots and all ten starters scored in double-figures. I never thought that the defense was THAT porous.
    These games are all the SAME! I thought Utah WAS going to get this one last night, especially after DWill’s 3 knotted things with just 2 mins left, but then they realized they weren’t playing at the Salt Palace and lost.

    Also, are the Jazz faithful trying to suplant Philly fan????

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    And that’s who we call MVP…KB24, and Jazz play dirty just like Bowen did.

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    i don’t mean to it, but Jazz really play dirty, or ya’ll might says GOOD DEFENSE.

  • Kadavour

    Pau got away with consecutive fouls for rebounds when he pushed Memo in the back. But Okur’s b!tcha$s just took it without any kind of retaliation or appeal to the refs. Guaranteed he would’ve gotten the call the second time it happened if he alerted the refs after the first time

  • Kadavour

    Outside of Harpring, Utah “soft like wet flowers”

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

    Kad, I dare you to walk up to Carlos Boozer and tell him that……

  • http://spaceshipjay/myspace.com Spaceship Jay

    Yeah Marcel, No one is stopping no one. It’s just a matter of who makes a mistake first.

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

    Winning is good.

  • Kadavour

    Cub: Lamar Odom already did that for me MULTIPLE times throughout this series. Booz can’t hang. He doesn’t bang inside enough for someone his size, he’s SOFT. He’s should use his size better to get the Laker front line in foul trouble and the irony of it all is that the reverse has been happening. How many “don’t you drive in here like that” type HARD fouls has he committed? NONE. I reiterate, he’s SOFT. Save that love tap mid range BS for Alaska.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    It’s amazing… the “best regular season ever” has actually had an impact on the playoffs! The biggest game of the year so far may have been the Lakers beating New Orleans in the Kobe/Cp3 showdown game.

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

    And Pau did push Okur in the back on that offensive board.

  • Kadavour

    wordpress is eating my comments again. i just posted something likening Booz and his perpetual Blue Steel pose to an inmate who’d call guys “Tatalalicious”. maybe it was the cuss words.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Myles, Pau also should have been whistled for an offensive foul on that layup he got late over Okur as well. No offense, but the refs were pretty shameful last night.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    I don’t think Booz is soft. I think he’s just not incredibly skilled. He doesn’t have a jump hook in the post, and he’s undersized. His jumper can be streaky and his off the bounce game needs work. Plus, he had a tendency to struggle on isos. He’s not soft, just somewhat limited and those limitations are being exposed.

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

    Both teams shot about the same amount of free throws though, which was something that had been lopsided in every previous game of this series. I did notice a lot of chippy play on both ends but it did seem like the refs were intent on letting them play and maybe they lost control of the game towards the end. Those were two crucial non-calls, but Ill take em.

  • Kadavour

    you should run for office Allen.

  • B. Long

    Pau quite possibly pushed Okur or Okur quite possibly flopped. Either way Lakers in 6. Bring on Nawlins! I’m in the Weezy so I will def. catch at least one game in the series. Bourbon St. ain’t ready for this.

  • KJ

    If the refs called pushes in the back everytime they occured in this series, Boozer and Okur would foul out in the first quarter every game.

  • B. Long

    KJ: WORD.

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    but winning is winning, nothing gotta change it, PUSHING is including one of the skill on court. Bowen’s Kicking which is way more than pushing, what about that guys ?

  • MC Welk

    You’re dead to me, cadaver.

  • Michael

    Defense being nonexsistant? Completely disagree. The Lakers were pressuring the ball all night thats why the Jazz had so many turnovers. And the truth of the mater is both offenses have been shut down. Utah is getting almost all of their points from Deron Williams or off offensive rebounds. Where the Lakers are depending on Kobe and Lamrars penetration to get easy baskets instead of actually running the triangle.

  • RV

    i wouldn’t say the Lakers’ offense was shut down just because they went with what is working rather than their set offense.

  • thasam

    Okur DEFINITELY flopped on Pau’s putback and I’m glad the refs let it go, it would have been more discraceful than the call made late in Game 2 of the Houston series when either Okur or AK47 (can’t remember which one) clearly flopped on that offensive foul call on Scola when Scola barely touched them and negated Bobby Jackson’s 3. I hope the refs are waking up to that s**t – notice how Vujacic (can’t spell his name) flopped before he got called for the T for barking at Korver.

  • B. Long

    I love the way “The Machine” has been playing this year but last night someone should’ve told him to shut the fu(k up. That late tech could have cost us.

  • phanb

    Utah is just a sick pathetic team to watch, outside of DWill & Milsap… every player is dirty and they all flop to boot… I’d hate to see them make it any further…

  • http://firemitchkupchak.com Reggie Evans

    Matt Harpring is a living, breathing foul.

  • B. Long

    @Reggie: LMAO…

  • John E. Sanford

    B. Long, I noticed that Odom and Kobe got on “The Machine” and told him to calm his hyper ass down. Crunch time isn’t the time to become Mr. Macho. Korver probably would have whipped his ass anyway.

  • http://www.kb24.com kobe24bryant

    wat a hater u r

    anyway
    LAKERS WORLD CHAMPS 2008

  • tealish

    I’d like to see future Game 7′s to be played in a neutral city where this year’s ridiculous home court advantage doesn’t dictate who moves on and who doesn’t….only partly kidding.

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

    Yeah, I was wrong about both teams shooting about the same amount of free throws. But it seemed like it to me for a stretch. Of course I’m probably biased.

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