Quantcast
Saturday, May 17th, 2008 at 1:25 am  |  60 responses

Game Notes: Lakers @ Jazz, Game 6

Where Finally Winning a Road Game, and the Series, Happens

by Marcel Mutoni

I didn’t get nervous. Not once. Not when the Jazz cut the lead to single digits midway through the fourth quarter; not even when they sliced it to three with under a minute remaining.

Like any fan who invests way too much emotionally into their team, I have my rituals. They’re personal, and a tad too embarrassing to discuss in such a public forum, so I’ll spare you the details. Just know this: I didn’t need them prior to Game Six.

Maybe it’s that I was resigned to the fact that we would have a Game Seven in this series; why not, it certainly seems to be theme these days.

The Lakers had no intention of playing a decisive game. None. They came out scorching, took it to the Jazz from the beginning, and never let up. Utah, God bless them, scratched and clawed its way back in the fourth quarter, but it was too late. The damage had been done. Their season was effectively terminated in the first half of the game.

The difference, in the game and in the series, quite simply, was Kobe Bryant. The League MVP played beautifully, and kept knocking in daggers whenever Utah looked like it might really make things interesting – the most memorable being a long three, followed by an absolutely unfathomable fadeaway triple-pump jumper (plus the foul), with just over four minutes remaining in the game. The shot was impossible in every way, and it was the kind of thing that no team can recover from.

The truth of the matter is that this win was a complete team effort. Game Five had provided all kinds of hints that the Lakers were ready to make the leap (so to speak) as a team, and completely outclass a worthy opponent – sorry, but Denver doesn’t qualify – and it all came together in Utah.

The ball moved effortlessly, guys played with unflinching confidence, and the defense (for the first time in the series) was world-class. As a result, Utah shot terribly (save for a few miraculous threes during the final desperate seconds), they relied on the refs to bail them out (didn’t happen), Boozer fouled out, the crowd was a non-factor for much of the night, and the Jazz never had a chance.

And so now, L.A. moves on to the Conference Finals for the first time since 2004, and they seem perfectly capable of going even further still.

As for the decisive game of the Spurs/Hornets series, do me a favor, gentlemen: I don’t really care who wins at this point, just go into quintuple overtime or something.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: ,

  • Diogo

    maybe first. GREAT game. Quote from Kobe: “Stop me!”

  • G-O

    The Mambas came thur!!!

  • jay

    i was wayyy more nervous for game 5, than this one tonight, from the start you can just tell Lakers will pull this one off at any cost, and they did. just too happy to even express.

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    maybe second, kobe quote: “nobody can stop me” juz for fun, DIOGO…

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    plus a road win on UTAH home court…

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

    Once Jackson held mamba, gasol and odom outta practice, i knew they were gonna come into slc and KILL. Eight more games to go fellas…..

  • ryan gregory

    kobe bryant is playing for the perfect team , its hollywood….. with his acting like his back is hurt. it gives him the perfect excuse if the jazz do beat them, and if the lakers win, then he is a hurt hero, gimme a break! Phil jackson is too intelligent a person to do that press conference. come on , i saw it in his eyes; the refs gave him an easy one, and for him to do that after game interview, was pretty Sickening. Its clear that David Stern wants a lakers-celtics finals so the nba can make more money, Jerry Sloan is right , the refs gave LA the win. Its enough to make you wanna say rigged all over again.. Well, Im a Spurs fan, so i hope the trend of screwing over the home team continues! Sterns dinosaur butt should retire, and kobe should stick to making layups and not acting, Go Spurs Go

  • ryan gregory

    kobe bryant is playing for the perfect team , its hollywood….. with his acting like his back is hurt. it gives him the perfect excuse if the jazz do beat them, and if the lakers win, then he is a hurt hero, gimme a break! Phil jackson is too intelligent a person to do that press conference. come on , i saw it in his eyes; the refs gave him an easy one, and for him to do that after game interview, was pretty Sickening. Its clear that David Stern wants a lakers-celtics finals so the nba can make more money, Jerry Sloan is right , the refs gave LA the win. Its enough to make you wanna say rigged all over again.. Well, Im a Spurs fan, so i hope the trend of screwing over the home team continues! Sterns dinosaur butt should retire, and kobe should stick to making layups and not acting, Go Spurs Go

  • http://www.nba.com Hursty

    odom was sweet on the give and go with Pau and kobe, for all those dunks he had. 2nd Q was sick.

  • http://www.nba.com Hursty

    ‘Utah, god bless them’ nice mutoni.

  • http://www.win.com Jaron

    Kobe is not that great of a player, though the refs make him one!

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

    Am I the only Jazz fan in this building? Didn’t watch the game live, I’ll watch it in a couple of hours though, and I’ll be back with my bitter comments

  • peteb80

    Yeah, f u c k the Lakers.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Kobe Bryant.

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

    Come on! The refs practically awarded that half time lead. I am watching the game now, and I am disgusted. I don’t know how the 2nd half unfolded, but it seem’s totally irrelevant, with the Lakers up 19 and all

  • peteb80

    What the hell was wrong with Boozer in these playoffs?

  • http://tasa201.wordpress.com/ Tariq

    pete80:

    He doesn’t match up well with Pau. He likes to take his man off the dribble, which he can’t do against Gasol.

  • http://tasa201.wordpress.com/ Tariq

    So he’s smaller and slower. His only advantage is his strength, which doesn’t really do him much good, since he gives up about 3 inches to Pau.

  • peteb80

    And what’s the excuse for his performance against Houston, where he put up pretty much exactly the same numbers?

  • http://tasa201.wordpress.com/ Tariq

    Um…lack of HGH?

  • http://www.lakerstoday.com Anthony Bass

    I felt the same way. I was not as nervous… until the last 2 minutes that is.

  • AutoRyan

    Ummmmm the refs hate him???

  • MeloMan13

    ummmmm… its T-macs fault

  • http://heavyasheaven.blogspot.com DP

    Deron williams is truly amazing man. I thought for sure the jazz where done like steak but between D will and Okur them mothaf*ckers were bombing like the army. But Kobe and the boys will not be stopped.Finals bound sukas. play wit it.

  • RV

    it was just a matter of time before the Lakers got them in Utah, the jazz never looked in control in any of the games, even when they won, the lakers weren’t too far behind and almost came back, Kobe’s dont a good job of picking his spots.

  • RV

    and booz has been in a funk since the end of the regular season, he had some streak going where he scored over 20 twice in like the last 16 games, including the houston series and like the last 2 or 3 weeks of the season, i think what started it is the Jazz are more perimeter oriented now, Deron dominates the ball on the dribble, everyone else either passes or shoots, including booze, so now he’s stuck shooting J’s or catching passes off the roll driving against taller guys, against Houston they just had tough D so that made it difficult for him to get his groove back and against LA their height is making it difficult.

  • http://tasa201.wordpress.com/ Tariq

    The WCF should be something.

  • tealish

    Lakers played great and overall they are the better team. But each and everytime I hear a Laker fan talk about the other team “relying on the refs to bail them out”…I don’t know, just puzzles me greatly. Anyone know the FTA totals for the Lakers v the Jazz in this series? Must be an embarassing discrepancy. I think Utah won the FTA once in this 6 game series and in the other 5, they were blown out of the water in that category.
    I want the Hornets to get by the Spurs, but if they do – the Lakers are advancing to the Finals.

  • tealish

    Ok, here it is: 231-172 FTAs in favour of the Lakers… meaning they averaged 10 more each game. That’s a nice adv. to have.

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    that’s because jazz play dirty, cost the lakers get more FT than they’re, ref’ didn’t choose their side.

  • B. Long

    @tealish: Of course they shoot more free throws, they’re the quicker and more skilled team. They create contact and keep defenses constantly off balance with their ball movement,which is the best in the league. People who act like the refs are just are randomly blowing the whistle on the Jazz more often make my brain hurt.

  • peteb80

    RV, would you then say that getting Korver was Boozer’s downfall?

  • tealish

    BL: I don’t diasgree that the Lakers are a more skilled team. But to that effect, they’re also hoist more 3′s while Jazz are also forcing the issue on offense to draw similar fouls given to the Lakers. I never said the refs gave this game or the series to the Lakers. I just think that they’re human and they’re affected by the aura of the Lakers and their allegience around the L, and consequently they give them more breaks than any other team. It helps to have 10 more free throws a game. That doesn’t dictate the outcome of the series. But that helps.

  • tealish

    Simone: How do the Jazz play dirty?

  • TonyG

    free throw disparity is a useless stat..one team fouls more and one team is more aggressive..that’s the difference..but the Lakers obviously have been getting more calls than anybody in the NBA, and the 4th quarter in game 5 was one of the worst officiated quarters in NBA history..regardless, the Lakers deserved to win this series..the Jazz had MANY opportunities to win, but couldn’t take advantage..I’m picking the Hornets or Spurs to beat LA though..

  • http://tasa201.wordpress.com/ Tariq

    Vince Carter would probably get -12 FTAs. Not because the refs are out to get him, but because he’d settle for jumpshots.

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    or i gonna say lakers play with more aggresive, they move the ball around each time, that’s pretty hard to defense, plus kobe get da ball to the rim a lot,i believe ya’ll watch da game, you know that jazz player had no chance but to bring em to foul line.

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    Lakers played the triangle offense, the team will be played fluent offensive, can be invincible, they can even lead defense,plus Sloan is a typical hard-liners, he asked in the competition should be strengthened physical contact…..i guess that’s da reason.

  • RV

    pete, possibly, i dont see them isolating boozer too much anymore, they’re going with ball movement, kicks outs, etc, but i feel like last year’s team was better, now they might actually have too many options. When you have so many different guys taking shots it makes it difficult for those guys who are rythm shooters to get going, and that’s Boozer.

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    tealish?

  • RV

    The jazz foul too much period, they led the league in fouls committed during the season and in the first round the assumption that the jazz would obliterate Houston was believed by many, even the refs. The jazz were not being called for every foul they made and were seen as just being aggressive, late in the series houston sent tape to the league of tmac being fouled every time he got the ball and faced up. The league knew the jazz would defend kobe the same way and couldn’t afford to let the contact go again, so they fixed it.

  • http://slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Mutoni, you know I love you man, but can we call a moratorium on the “Where something happens” motif? It’s making me gassy.

  • thasam

    The FTA in Game 5 were rather even until late in the game when Utah kept fouling to keep the game moving. It also seemed like the home team got the calls in each of the first five games of this series. It’s no secret that the league wants the Lakers in the finals, but this series wasn’t anywhere near as awful as the 2002 Lakers-Kings WCF – that was a shameful travesty. Besides, if the Lakers play the Spurs in the WCF would anyone (other than Spurs fans) really have a problem if the refs gave LA most of the calls, especially if it prevents us from seeing another Pistons-Spurs finals?

  • http://www.kb24.com Kobe24Bryant

    LAKERS 2007-2008 CHAMPS

  • peteb80

    Kobe Bryant fans for kindergarten 2008.

  • 800lb

    I’m a bit Jazz fan, but the two things that worried me all season were Boozer’s play in clutch situations and the free throw disparity. I think Williams is a superstar, and most folks agree after watching him these playoffs. Boozer however just hasn’t performed. Hey can’t create his own offense, and he relies on an incredibly streaky jumper to bail himself out. He also doesn’t rotate well on defense, which is why the triangle has been blasting them. In fact, the whole team has had trouble with this, and it’s probably the reason for the free throw disparity. They miss an assignment off the screen, there’s penetration, and then they foul to cover their mistake.
    So the Lakers responded, Kobe hit inhuman shots, and the Jazz are going fishing (or to France). Oh well. I’ll watch Lakers/Hornets, and Lakers/Celtics-Hornets/Celtics if they happen. There’s good basketball still left.

  • http://firemitchkupchak.com Reggie Evans

    Would love to see Lebron in the Finals against the Lakers, only to see Ryan Jone’s head explode as LBJ’s inferior team makes everyone proclaim “Kobe is better”.

  • http://firemitchkupchak.com Reggie Evans

    Dammit, I meant Jones’ head.

  • RV

    at least AK got his visa taken care of, since that was the most important thing to the jazz this week

  • http://www.nba.com Hursty

    he also managed to miss a dunk and get ‘ka-booyad’ on by Lamar Odom in the 2nd Q.

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

    I’m happy. For now.

  • JoeGym

    Anyone know where I can see this game like a d/l or stream?

  • andrew

    nice work lakers.. u gotta watch out for da team gettin hot durin playoffs and it looks like da lakers are clickin at da right time… how da hell danny ainge got gm of da year and not mitch is beyond me (kwame brown for pau gasol people!!! and bringin back fish :) ) he didnt trade away half his entire roster juss for three people and id love to see dat salary cap wise in a couple of years.. anywho call da lakers butter cuz dey are on a roll.. props to deron williams and ak for showin heart and not giving up its the kinda things u get remembered for

  • tealish

    Simone: I’m sorry, I wasn’t expecting to start a dialogue; just thought I’d ask and see your answer later. Which…still doesn’t explain how the Jazz play dirty?
    Anyway, I know the Lakers do draw a lot of warranted fouls by their play, but you can’t deny they get the officiating edge. Kobe’s name alone gets him the largest benefit of the doubt calls. It’s beyond ‘superstar treatment’, it’s MVP treatment. You can say he earned that. I just don’t like seeing fouls and free throws playing that large a role in playoff basketball (see 2006 finals).

  • tealish

    And don’t construe this as Laker-hating. I do recognize them as the better team, possibly even the favourite to win the ‘chip given Boston’s collapse in the postseason. I just wish the Jazz had a more fair shot. They’d probably still lose in 7, but it’s nicer to see the players decide that.

  • http://www.nba.com Hursty

    and the rockets wouldnt have liked to go 7 games in the 1st round?… maybe they woulda lost but thats why you play the game….just saying that if Yao was on that team with the way they played the last half of the regular season then it may have been a different scenario. Kobe = getting all of the T-Mac non-calls.

  • http://slamonline.ciom Simone Lawy

    sorry, i said jazz play dirty cause i’m a die hard lakers fan, i didn’t mean to it. it’s playoff basketball, anyway jazz are tough to beat…this is real

  • B. Long

    @tealish: The players did decide that and anyone who thinks otherwise is a tool. Tim Doughnay isn’t reffing the games anymore jackass.

  • tealish

    BLong: It’s nice to see how receptive you are of differing opinions.
    For the record, I didn’t say the refs decided the outcome of the series. I’m just saying there was an officiating edge. Whether you agree with that or not, I won’t call you a tool. But I guess I am, that’s cool.

  • John

    In my many years watching the NBA and leagues around Europe I still cant believe how terribly officiated this series was. Jazz had 2 opponents. Game 5 was possibly the most biased calling Ive ever seen.

Advertisement