This is about as playoff as you can get without actually being in the playoffs. Both the Jazz and the Lakers have something to prove tonight.
The Lakers might have the one seed down but they just got back from a terrible road trip where they went 2-3. If there's something that the Lakers always get up for, it's playing the Jazz. The seem to have a little extra motivation when the Jazz come to town. Tonight's not going to be an exception.
The Lakers won't have Lamar Odom anchoring the bench as he's been put into the starting lineup with Bynum out. Our bench is a little thin as well given that AK won't be playing. I think that's where the game is going to be won tonight. CJ, Millsap, and Korver are going to have to be huge tonight. Of course they'll be out there with self-proclaimed Laker hater, Ronnie Price. I'm looking forward to seeing him play tonight. Of course Luke Walton won't be available for a block party.
The Lakers bench has struggled to put up points and of course that means that Sasha Vujacic will probably go off. Derek Fisher, despite his struggles, will probably shoot lights out.
The biggest thing the Jazz need to do is to get out to a good start. I don't want to see a jumper until we've made several layups/dunks/5-footers. LA is a good defensive team so they'll play the passing lanes well. They have struggled as of late with their D, giving up 100 points in three straight games. So the Jazz can put up points if they're patient.
Next, like I mentioned above, the bench is going to have to come out and either maintain or push a lead.
Finally, we're going to have to shoot well from the outside. They need to start inside but in order to open things up, they're going to have to hit some threes.
So good start, good bench, good threes. Got it? Good.
This is as big of a game in the league right now as any other. This is the number 1 and number 2 seeds from perhaps the best conference going head to head.
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