Utah is a very good team. If no injuries this year to Boozer, Williams, or Okur, they would have been a 2 or 3 seed.
If this Laker team really wants the title this year, and understands that DEFENSE and ROAD WINS are the key, they will make a statement tonight.
The odds are against the Lakers. It is extremely difficult to beat any NBA team 4 times in a row in 10 days. But the Lakers can actually play better than they did in the last two games -- too many turnovers, too many shots early in the shot clock (make the Jazz use energy switching on defense and manning up, its ok to play half court offense with a lead and when your bigs tower over thiers), still giving too many second chance points, and not getting to the line enough. If the Lakers step up the defensive intensity (IF IF IF Fisher can somehow play D. Will better), the Lakers will have a chance for Kobe and Pau to close out a win tonight. They must get the ball to Pau more, and Drew needs to learn how to pass out of double teams more.
If Memo doesn't play, this game will show whether the Lakers are ready to play the way it takes to win a championship -- they all say they have another gear. Let's see it. If they lose, the next game will be twice as hard to win, and will mean that the odds caught up to them, and they still have some growing to do to be as good as they can be. When will this team peak?? I hope I start to see signs of it tonight.