Game Preview: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers 12/9/12

Duh-wight Howard on the post dawg - Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

The last time these two teams met the Jazz came out victorious and Mike Brown was death stared out of the Lakers organization.

Casting Call

Los Angeles Lakers (9-11, 101.4 ppg, 97.8 ppg allowed)

Utah Jazz (11-10, 100.5 ppg, 98.8 ppg allowed)

Showtime

6:30 pm PST

Plot

The Los Angeles Lakers return to Staples Center to take on the Utah Jazz after going 1-2 over their first road trip of December. The teams have already faced one another once this season, in Utah, in a game that will be forever infamous for being the genesis of the "Kobe Death Stare".

With a day of rest since taking a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder the Lakers should be rejuvenated returning home to wear the Sunday whites. It was only a week ago that the Orlando Magic pulled the Lakers collective pants down in Staples and defeated them. In the week that has passed the Lakers have gone 1-4, their only win coming against a depleted New Orleans Hornets team. Orlando exposed the Lakers defensive deficiencies, as did the Houston Rockets (along with the lack of hustle on the glass. Unbelievable that the Lakers gave up 21 offensive rebounds). The Oklahoma City Thunder? The Lakers played well. They didn't play great, or phenomenal, or anything above average, but they still played well enough to not be ashamed of the performance. But Russell Westbrook was throwing haymakers in the first round similar to the Juan Manuel Marquez counter right that put Manny Pacquiao on the canvas.

So, back home the Lakers go, still with no window on a Steve Nash or Pau Gasol return. Reports have surfaced that when Pau does return the Lakers may consider bringing him in off the bench in a sixth man type of role, but until the tendinitis in the knees is taken care of it's difficult to project which Pau Gasol awaits once he's freed from trying to move with cement blocks for knees.

When these two teams last met it was Randy Foye hitting daggerific three point shots to keep the game away from the Lakers. He ended the night with 17 points on 5-9 three point shooting. Al Jefferson had 10 boards and 18 points, and Mo Williams had 16 points and 7 assists. The final score on the night was 95-86, Kobe had his death stare, and Mike Brown was exiled from Lakerland (along with the millions of dollars he's still being paid). The Lakers offense had absolutely nothing going for it. Kobe put in 29 points, but on 7-17 shooting. The rest of the Lakers weren't doing much better and the Jazz walked off of their home court with a solid win.

It'd be nice to say this will be two entirely different teams going into Sunday evening's agme, but the Lakers are still showing the same tendencies they did at that point. Their performances are commonly littered with turnovers, poor defense, allowed offensive rebounds, and stretches of offense that are completely out of sync. The Jazz, however, are coming off of a 131-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors, and that was without Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors. Both big men are considered questionable tonight, but the Jazz certainly didn''t appear to miss two of their key front court players when playing the Raptors. Enes Kanter started in place for Jefferson, who is dealing with back spasms, and had 18 points and 8 rebounds. The Jazz's strength is the amount of quality, and potential, depth they have with their power forward and center position, and they certainly flexed that against the Raptors. Overall, they had 8 total players in double figures as they steam rolled Toronto.

Which is disconcerting for the Lakers defense. The Jazz are 2nd in the league in total assists, doing a great job of moving the ball around. Where do the Lakers struggle, perhaps the most, on defense? Adjusting to an offense that is constantly swinging the ball around and keeping them off balance. The Orlando Magic did a great job at spreading the ball and not settling for poor shot selections. Utah will do the same, fresh off of a victory in which they had 31 assists as a team while putting up 131 on their opponent.

With the Lakers now 9-11 on the season and a heavy road schedule still ahead as the month progresses, this isn't a "must win" or anything in that vein of hyperboles, but after losing one of their three home games scheduled in the first three weeks of December, a win tonight would be... welcome. Lets hope they cleaned the blood off of the Sunday whites that the Orlando Magic left behind.

On This Soundtrack

A Tribe Called Quest - Jazz (We got the...)

We got the jazz [X4]

[Verse One: Q-Tip]

Stern firm and young with a laid-back tongue
The aim is to succeed and achieve at 21
Just like Ringling Brothers, I'll daze and astound
Captivate the mass, cause the prose is profound

Do it for the strong, we do it for the meek
Boom it in your boom it in your boom it in your Jeep
Or your Honda or your Beemer or your Legend or your Benz
The rave of the town to your foes and your friends

So push it, along, trails, we blaze
Don't deserve the gong, don't deserve the praise
The tranquility will make ya unball your fist
For we put hip-hop on a brand new twist

A brand new twist with the homie-alistic
So low-key that ya probably missed it
And yet it's so loud that it stands in the crowd
When the guy takes the beat, they bowed

So raise up squire, address your attire
We have no time to wallow in the mire
If you're on a foreign path, then let me do the lead
Join in the essence of the cool-out breed

Then cool out to the music cuz it makes ya feel serene
Like the birds and the bees and all those groovy things
Like getting stomach aches when ya gotta go to work
Or staring into space when you're feeling berserk

I don't really mind if it's over your head
Cuz the job of resurrectors is to wake up the dead
So pay attention, it's not hard to decipher
And after the horns, you can check out the Phifer

We got the jazz [X4]

[Verse Two: Phife Dawg]

Competition, dem Phifer come sideway
But competition, dey mus' me come straightway
Competition, dem Phifer come sideway
But competition, dey mus' come straightway

Hows about that, it seems like it's my turn again
All through the years my mike has been my best friend
I know some brothers wonder, can Phifer really kick it?
Some even wanna dis me, but why sweat it?

I'm all into my music cuz it's how I make papes
Tryin' to make hits, like Kid Capri makes tapes
Me sweat another? I do my own thing
Strictly hardcore tracks, not a new jack swing

I grew up as a Christian so to Jah I give thanks
Collect my banks, listen to Shabba Ranks
I sing, and chat, I do all of that
It's 1991 and I refuse to come wack

I take off my hat to other crews that intend to rock
But the Low End Theory's here, it's time to wreck shop
I got Tip and Shah, so whom shall I fear
Stop look and listen, but please don't stare

So jet to the store, and buy the LP
On Jive/RCA, cassettes and CD's
Produced and arranged by the four-man crew
And oh [redacted], Skiff Anselm, he gets props too

Make sure you have a system with some phat house speakers
So the new [redacted] can rock, from Mars to Massapequa
Cuz where I come from quality is job one
And everybody up on Linden know we get the job done

So peace to that crew, and peace to this crew
Bring on the tour, we'll see you at a theatre nearest you

We got the jazz [X4]

[Verse Three: Q-Tip]

Hey yo but wait, back it up, hup, easy back it up
Please let the Abstract embellish on the cut

Back and forth just like a Cameo song
If you dig this joint then please come dance along
To the music cuz it's done just for the rhyme
Now I gotta scat and get mine, underline

The jazz, the what? The jazz can move that [redacted]
Cuz the Tribe originates that feelin' of pizzazz
It's the universal sound, best to brothers underground
In the one-six below, ya didn't have to go

Some say that I'm a sinner cuz I once had an orgy
And sometimes for breakfast I eat grits and porgies
If this is a stinker, then call me a stink, I ask
"What? What? What?" - now check it out

All my peoples in Queens ya don't stop
Now all my peoples in Brooklyn ya don't stop
And all my peoples uptown ya don't stop
That includes the Bronx a' Harlem ya don't stop

Now to that girl Ramelle ya don't stop
I say because Ladies First ya don't stop
And to the JB's, ya don't stop
And De La Soul, ya don't stop

To my Brand Nubians ya don't stop
And to my Leaders of the New ya don't stop
To my man Large Professor ya don't stop
Pete Rock for the beat ya don't stop

Everybody in the place ya don't stop
Ya keep it on, to the rhythm, ya don't stop
And last but not least on the sure shot
It's the Zulu nation

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @BallReasons

- Is SLC Dunk preparing for another 130+ point outing? Probably not, but check out their blog for all Jazz everything

- Buy Los Angeles Lakers Tickets click here

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