Lakers-Jazz: Not Giving It Their Best, LA Still Victorious

Charlie JonesContributor IApril 20, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 19:  Trevor Ariza #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers moves the ball in the third quarter against the Utah Jazz in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Lakers won their first 2009 playoff game 113-100 against a shorthanded Utah Jazz.

By halftime the Lakers were up 62-40 and from then never led the game for less than nine points. Ariza, Brown, and Bynum all had good games considering it was Bynum’s first playoff start, Brown’s first true playoff minutes, and Aria’s comeback from missing the first playoff games from last year.

They actually had great games.

Yet it’s the way they finished the game that worries me. It wasn’t exactly a routing of a usually tougher Jazz team. Even Lamar Odom sees that there needs to be improvement.

“I’d like to see Adam Morrison get in the game,” Odom said. “I think this was a game we could have won by 25.”

Morrison was listed in the box score as DNP (Did not play)—Coach’s decision. With a team as deep and as talented as the Lakers not getting everyone playtime during these early runs might be a sign that the Lakers aren’t going to put teams away like they should, bringing fans more heart attacks than ever during a playoff run that should see the Lakers dominate almost every opponent. Bynum getting into foul trouble also concerns me.

The Lakers did walk away with a W but without continuing their dominating performance throughout the entire 48 minutes of each game we may see a lot of unnecessary minutes, and very unnecessary heart attacks from Laker fans, than is really warranted by such a talented and deep team.

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