BYU Wins Holy War

BYU Wins Holy War
George, like Collie and Harline before him, is now still open!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Utah Jazz: Panic Versus Hope

The Officials have been far too visible during the Jazz/Lakers series, but that isn't the only element of the series that has been obvious during the series...

It happened. The Lakers got the calls to go their way at home. Was that really shocking to anyone who was watching the game? The extent that the calls went against the Jazz was a little shocking, but nothing that wasn't seen in both game 1 and 2 of the series. In game 5 there were many fouls that left one speechless.

Harpring tries to take a charge, and takes a man-sized hit from Pau Gasol...No call (The official has to make a call on that play. It doesn't matter if it is a charge or a block, a call had to be made). Andrei Kirilenko being called for a foul away from the ball when Sasha Vujacic dribbles it off of his foot, and the official isn't even looking at the play. Boozer being called for a foul while trailing Odom all the way to the basket. Memo getting pushed in the back on two consecutive trips down the court, allowing Gasol to get offensive rebounds and ice the game.

These calls were game altering in nature. Officials miss calls, it just happens. When an official misses a call it is okay for the most part. Why? They will miss some going for you, and some going against you. Overall, things will even out in the end. Yet, the officiating last night was horrid. They would allow contact on one end, and call it tight on the other. With it being understood that the officiating was against the Jazz last night, the Jazz still had a chance to win the game. They were within striking distance the entire second half. The Jazz just couldn't get the lead.

There are some facts that have been glaring through out the series. With each one you could take a positive/hopeful view of the fact or a negative/Panic view.

Fact: Boozer is having an awful playoffs.

Panic: The Jazz can't win without Boozer. Deron could carry the Jazz during the Houston series, but he can't get it done by himself against the Lakers. If Boozer doesn't show up Okur/Kirilenko don't have the consistency offensively to help the Jazz.

Hope: Kirilenko is having a great playoffs. He is making up the difference offensively for Boozer. Okur hasn't shown up every game, but he has shown up for most of them. When Okur does show up to the games he takes the ball inside, making up for the lack of interior scoring from Boozer. All the Jazz need to win is an average game from Boozer, and the Jazz could dominate if Boozer returned to his performance level during the playoffs last year.

Fact: Odom has looked like an All-Star during this series.

Panic: Boozer and Okur can't stop Odom, he is having his way in the series. It is too late in the season for Boozer or Okur to transform in the series. Odom gives the Lakers the second scoring option they need to beat the Jazz. If the Jazz can't stop Kobe or Odom then the series is over.

Hope: Odom has had big games, but the Jazz have still been in the games(With the exceptions of game 1 and 2). The Jazz have yet to put together a full game. If the Jazz put together a game, Odom could go off and the Jazz would be able to handle it just fine.

Fact: Derek Fisher is the X-factor in the series

Panic: Derek Fisher has been able to take Deron Williams out of his game. The physical play of Fisher, and the double teams of the Lakers defense has seemed to puzzle Deron throughout the series. Derek Fisher has also hit the big shots when it mattered. When Derek Fisher is on the court the Lakers seem to win.

Hope: If the series comes down to a Derek Fisher three pointer to win, how do you feel? If you are a Jazz fan then you should feel really good. It means that you are making someone else on the Lakers besides Kobe beat you. Deron Williams has been able to adapt to what Fisher has been doing on defense. All Jazz fans should remember Derek Fisher is streaky, he will win a game for you one night and lose it the next.

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