Tuning up for the Playoffs against the Jazz

The Lakers (54-21) have been in a bit of a dry spell lately, particularly at the reserve.

They’re hoping to get back to their winning ways back home against the Utah Jazz (50-26).

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L.A. is coming back after a dissapointing 2-3 road trip that featured a most recent blowout lost to the Atlanta Hawks, 109-92. The bench was outscored 46-26.

Defensively, they haven’t played up to par, allowing 100 points in 3 straight games.

The Jazz have been on a roll, winning 3 straight with Deron Williams coming off a season-best 19 assist in a 128-104 win over the Warriors on Wednesday.

The last meeting between the Jazz and the Lakers at Staples Center was December 9th where L.A. won 101-77 after an impressive fourth quarter push.

They’re hoping to extend the home streak against Utah to 14 games.

Defense will be a priority for the Lakers. They must be able to contain Deron Williams & Carlos Boozer. Who average 16.3 points, 9.7 assists & 11.3 points, 10.0 rebounds respectively.

The perimeter defense of the point guard will have to be emphasized, as that has been the Achilles’ heel of the Lakers defense. Especially 3 point shooting.

PROJECTED STARTERS:

LAKERS:

(C) P. Gasol
(PF) L. Odom
(SF) R. Artest
(SG) K. Bryant
(PG) D. Fisher

Lakers X-Factors: Perimeter Defense, bench scoring, rebouding & overall consistent efficiency.

Injuries:
A. Bynum (Left Achilles) is out.

JAZZ:

(C) M. Okur
(PF) C. Boozer
(SF) C.J. Miles
(SG) W. Mathews
(PG) D. Williams

Injuries:
A. Kirilenko (strained left calf muscle) is out.

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