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NBA Playoffs, Lakers Jazz Game 4: It's over, but the Jazz want it to be over on their terms

May 10, 2010, 3:12 PM EDT

Bryant_jumper.jpgThree losses. By a total of 14 points. All where the Jazz had a fourth-quarter lead.

That is a tough out.

Tonight the Lakers look to sweep the Jazz in a series that is decided. The only thing not decided is how much the Lakers get before the Game 1 with the Suns next Sunday (it’s not official but you can bet that will be the day).

But the Jazz don’t want it to end like this, on the Lakers terms in four. After an improbable and fun defeat of the Nuggets in the first round, suffering the franchise’s first sweep ever would just suck. A huge let down.

It’s especially frustrating for Utah because it has been the little things at the end of games. Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant nailing threes, while Deron Williams gets a good look after a beautiful crossover that just rims out. The Lakers bigs making key plays inside, Wesley Mathews tip just rolls off the rim.

It’s part of what the Lakers do. It helps to have Bryant and Fisher, but credit their coach with some of that. Phil Jackson forces his team to be “problem solvers,” to use Kobe Bryant’s words. In December, Lakers fans are screaming at their televisions begging Jackson to call a timeout when a team like the Timberwolves go on a late run. “Don’t just sit there — do something.”

But Jackson sits there, outwardly as calm as can be. The team senses that. He talks to his team about being in the moment, not getting too high or low. And the team learns — sometimes because they lose those close games — that they have to adapt and adjust by themselves. They learn to deal with the pressure. They learn that the help has to come from inside, not some outside source. It’s all very Zen, but when the real pressure comes in the playoffs, they’ve learned, they adapt and adjust on their own.

It likely will be another close one tonight — these teams are not that far apart. Especially in Utah, especially with Andrei Kirilenko back. And the Jazz simply do nor roll over, they will not quit. They play with pride and passion, they want a win.

There’s not a lot of new strategy left — the Jazz worked hard to keep the Lakers out of the paint, with double teams and quick rotations, they made the Lakers into jump shooters last game. They will do that again and try to execute it better. The Lakers will counter — or should at least — with crisp side-to-side ball movement to let their big men get better position. Also, the Jazz will want to run again and the Lakers will be more focused on transition defense.

The Jazz may get one tonight, you know they will try. The series is over and they know it, but they are not going to act like it.

  1. Lee - May 10, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Let us hope that Utah can win at least one game, I hate the Lakers and their coach. He retired from Chicago and then comes back, it is all about money. Kobe is a thug and Gasol should be playing for a class act team.

  2. Jon - May 10, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Calm down Lee. You and the rest of the basketball world knows this series is over. This stuff about Phil Jackson and money is absurd. Phil doesn’t have 10 rings because it’s all about money. It’s becasue he enjoys coaching the game and he’s good at doing it. The buss family even wants to pay him less next season and he still said he will most likely be back next season. You see, he loves coaching the game. Kobe a thug?? No. And where else would Gasol want to play?? You’re a funny guy. Go Lakers!

  3. Lee's a dumbass - May 10, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Lee, your comment just made everyone else reading this website stupider.

  4. Lee hater - May 10, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    WTF are you saying? Can you back up your facts with reasons other than stating some incoherent ranting to a team that is inevitably becoming a dynasty.

  5. jazzman - May 10, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    Lee I am with you wanting a win and more but talent is undeniably on the Lakers side This series. The Jazz have played with a lot of heart even more than the Lakers. In all reality the Media and the League want to see Lebron and the Kobe crew play in the Finals That has been abvious.
    The Jazz fans need to petition Mr. Miller to pay the money for Stoudamire to really help the Franchise win a Championship. Alot of the puzzle pieces are there except another talented big man for D-will and Okur. Someone that is not afraid to play in the paint.

  6. chiliD - May 10, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    “Becoming a dynasty”??? Since the very beginning of the NBA, the Lakers have played in 50% of all NBA Finals series. They’re not “becoming” anything, they’re far beyond that…they’re “continuing” the dynasty.
    Even Mr. Utah Jazz, Karl Malone, had to finally give up & go to the Lakers to try to win a ring….too bad his knees were rickety by that time.

  7. ralph - May 10, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    as the NY Yankees of the NBA the Lakers have alot of haters and also alot of fans acroos the country wich is why Kobes shirt is the highest selling and also the Lakers are the highest draw in the league consistantly year after year.. of course all these wouldnt be possible if they werent consistant winners tru the years

  8. ralph - May 10, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    I totally agree with you .. even the Celtics cant make that claim !

  9. luffy - May 10, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    Hey Lee. seriously dude, stop hopin’ and hatin’. please accept the fact that the Lakers are really a better team. If Okur wasn’t injured maybe they could win 1 game.
    what do you mean by class act team? Perhaps Cleveland? where nobody wants to go for a vacation? LOL!

  10. Tony Bellini - May 10, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Lee, “hate” is a strong word.
    You are talking about a “game,” not life and death.
    You are “hating” upon people whose only “crime” is that they are winning a “game” more often tha your favorite team has won “games.”
    There are more important things to worry about.

  11. ocgunsliner - May 10, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    Guess we all agree. Lee is a dope.

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