Friday, January 2, 2009
Los Angeles Lakers (25-5) vs Utah Jazz (19-14)
Lakers first game in 09 will be against the Utah Jazz. As of late, Jazz have had a bad rep for not following the unsaid BYOB (bring your own booze) guy rule when visiting old friends. Carlos Boozer has been on the IL since mid November and is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery to repair his damaged quad tendon.
Also, Paul Milsap will be missing another week due to his sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his knee. Having said this, you would think Utah will be hurting in the paint, but actually they're doing okay. Let me explain.
Mehmet Okur is back in the starting line-up, fresh off of back spasms. He is averaging 17 pts. with 8 boards a game. This man has stepped up BIG for Utah. Let's not forget about AK-47, Andrei Kirilenko ended the year with a BANG (pardon the pun). His December production was critically needed to help fill the void Boozer left behind. Kirilenko serves as a defensive threat with his blocking abilities.
Okay, enough with my Jazz azz kissing. Lakers will own the perimeter in this game. I feel that Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Miles and Kyle Korver are inconsistent players but have been playing well in their last games. Depending on how well or badly they play, Kobe's numbers alone should be enough to win the SG/SF miss match.
Having expressed my confidence in Kobe, Utah will beat us at the PG position. I'm sorry, but Deron Williams is too strong for D. Fish and with Farmar out for 8 weeks and Sasha playing at the backup position, Utah will have to rely heavily on Deron's high scoring and high assists to keep Utah in contention.