The Friday night match-up gives the Utah Jazz another chance to keep the Los Angeles Lakers from stringing anything together. People think that I am crazy when I tell them that I think the Lakers will be able to sneak into the playoffs. The reason people think that I am crazy has to do with car accident that has become the Lakers season thus far. Everyone is taking their chance to take what many think is a free shot at the Lakers, and rightfully so. The Lakers have always been smug to other teams. After losing 10 of their last 12 games, the Lakers are hard pressed to put together some wins. Mike D’Antoni is being very aggressive with his system, the problem with that is the Lakers are old, the upside to that is that his system in Phoenix rehabilitated the both slow and old Shaq. What this will mean for the Lakers is watch for them to trade away Paul Gasol like many have suspected, but more importantly watch for the Lakers to start moving faster.
For the Jazz this game is a chance to snag a win on the road. A road win is precisely what the Jazz need after posting a losing record on the road. The best part about a win here is that they will most likely be featuring their two biggest assets Paul Millsap, and “Big” Al Jefferson. By giving those two a few extra minutes on the floor, they will be accentuating their abilities to potential trading prospects. Ironically some have whispered that they would like to see a trade that brings Paul Gasol to the Jazz. In that case look for them to place emphasis on the two. Though I think a trade like that would sit with Jazz fans as well as a chili cheese dog with extra onions, they would recognize that the trade would be worth it to the Jazz.
Exciting things to look for during this game is a lot of scoring, the Lakers have been giving up 101.5 points per game, the worse they have done in recent memory. The Jazz need to seize on that fact and get some perimeter shooting going. The think the Jazz need to watch out for is getting ahead of themselves and losing a large lead. However I predict a comfortable 10 point win for the Jazz.
Update: Not only was I wrong, I was really wrong. The Lakers blowout the Jazz 102-84. It looks like the Jazz woes are doomed to continue… Maybe time for a trade?