Utah Jazz @ LA Lakers

Discussion in 'NBA - The Association' started by Tom7, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Tom7 Administrator

    Two of the NBA teams I follow most closely play each other in a few hours.

    When the Jazz play at home they are tough -- only one loss at home season -- and that loss came with an assist from the NBA's officiating crew. And while the loss remains on record, at least the NBA acknowledged the call was bad and warned Billups for flopping.

    Unfortunately for Utah though, they are not playing in Utah. Although the Jazz beat the Lakers on November 7 (95-86), and even though Steve Nash and Pau Gasol won't be playing tonight, the Lakers are probably favored to win tonight. The Jazz are only 3-9 on the road; the worst road record amongst the top 8 teams in the west -- and the top 8 teams of the east for that matter. Moreover, Al Jefferson won't be playing.

    Then again, the Lakers are a mess. The Buss family hired Mike D'Antoni for his offensive system, and it is starting to look as if perhaps that is all they got with the hire. Coaching is more than Xs and Os, systems and putting the right pieces in the right places. There are people to build and develop, and we are waiting for evidence of that from D'Antoni.

    D'Antoni was supposed to bring "Showtime" back to L.A., however the Lakers' offense is only ranked 7th in the NBA in points scored. The Jazz? They're ranked 8th.

    If the playoffs were held today, the Utah Jazz would have the 6th seed in the Western Conference, and the All Star roster would be watching them play from their sofas. The Lakers are under .500 and are 11th in the Western Conference.

    Everyone expects the Lakers will start to right the ship, including me, but when the Celtics put together their superteam, they did much better than the Lakers, and won a championship their first year together. The Celtics were well coached, and frankly, they played excellent defense. The Lakers are, well, an interesting and extremely expensive experiment being conducted while Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Antwan Jaimeson get older, and Dwight Howard gets closer to being an unrestricted free agent.

    But hey, it wouldn't be Hollywood if there wasn't high drama, right?

  2. Tom7 Administrator

    POST GAME thoughts.

    I thought the Lakers had the edge at home against the Jazz, but I was wrong.

    The Lakers are 1-4 in their last 5 games, and 2 of those 4 losses were to teams with losing records. In other words, the Lakers seem to be getting worse, not better.

    And while many are saying the Lakers' offense is fine, it is there defense that is broken, I beg to differ.

    As I watched the game, I was taken by the extreme differences in offensive philosophy between the 2 teams.

    Jazz Scoring Distribution:
    o 46% of the Jazz offense was points in the paint (54 points)
    o 18% of the Jazz offense came from the free throw line, a benefit of inside play (21 points)
    o 15% of the Jazz offense came from the 3-point arc (18 points)

    Lakers Scoring Distribution:
    o 30.9% of the Lakers offense was points in the paint (34 points)
    o 13.6% of the Lakers offense came from the free throw line (15 points)
    o 41% of the Lakers offense came from the 3-point arc (45 points)

    Again, 15% of the Jazz offense was 3-pointers, 41% of the Lakers offense was 3-pointers... with all those long rebounds, it is NO WONDER the Jazz outscored the Lakers on fast breaks 19 to 4!

    I was disappointed in what Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said after the game. He seemed to have blame for the loss for everyone but himself.

    ''We're not doing it. We're not running back. We're not doing the little things. I just don't think we've had a gut-check moment yet. At some point we're going to draw a line in the sand and that's it, you have to fight. It seems like things happen on the court that get us down. Are there possessions we just throw away? Yeah. We have too many guys who will take a possession off.''

    Funny, but these very same Lakers were doing these things when Bernie Bickerstaff was coaching them earlier this season.

    The Lakers have a system, but do they have a coach? It seemed like D'Antoni spent trying more time trying to coach the referees than he did his own players.

    Maybe the most interesting quote of the night though, came in the closing minutes of the 4th quarter. With 5:06 left in the game, broadcaster and analyst Matt Harpring told the television audience that he talked to Jack Nicholson before the game... and Jack said, "It's not too late to bring back Phil."
  3. Tom Moderator

    Here is an interesting interview with Magic Johnson.

    EARVIN JOHNSON — God bless him, Mike Brown is a good guy and a good coach. I think he’ll be good for somebody else. His coaching days are not over. But he’s just the wrong guy for this team. OK, so we made that mistake. But then you turn around and fire him so fast . . . wow. OK. Then you reach out to Phil [Jackson]; they shouldn’t have even talked to Phil if they weren’t going to do it for real. (They) got all of us excited. I was excited; L.A. was excited; the whole country was excited that Phil might come back maybe. And then you turn around — without even negotiating; you didn’t know what he really wanted. Then you hire Mike D’Antoni, a coach who wants to run. But you don’t have a running team. Does that make sense? It doesn’t make sense to me, but hey, I’m going to give him a shot. I’m hopeful that it will work out because I love the Lakers. But I still feel that if he doesn’t change his system to fit the talent that he has, it’s not gonna work.

  4. Tom7 Administrator

    I was getting my hair cut in Sports Clips this morning and Stephen A. Smith was saying D'Antoni was a bad fit all along for the Lakers, and enumerated several solid reasons. I can't see the Buss family eating crow though. Even with the highest payroll in the NBA and huge luxury tax penalties, they seem like they would rather miss getting a title than admit they were wrong. We'll see I guess.

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