Utah Jazz vs. LA Lakers Game 2 NBA Playoff Preview and Pick to Cover the Spread

Utah Jazz (53-29 SU 49-30-3 ATS) vs. L.A. Lakers (57-25 SU 34-46-2 ATS) STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA 10:30 PM EST Tuesday May 4, 2010 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com

Point Spread: Jazz +5.5 / Lakers -5.5
Over/Under: 199

The Lakers lead this best of 7 series 1-0.

The defending champion L.A. Lakers host the Utah Jazz tonight in Game 2 of a Western Conference semifinals series. The Lakers won Game 1 by 5 points and the reason they won is how they played at the end of the game. In the last 4 minutes of the game Kobe Bryant took over and scored 11 points and the Lakers’ D really stepped up and held the Jazz to only 1 field goal. Utah has to play better at the end of the game or they will be in a 0-2 hole in this series.

This season the Lakers were 34-7 at home and the Jazz were 21-20 on the road.

Utah has to play better defense tonight, as in Game 1 they allowed the Lakers to shoot over 53% from the field. Every Lakers’ starter, with the exception of Ron Artest, shot over 50% from the floor.

The Lakers only won Game 1 by 5 points and even though they shot well they did commit 14 turnovers and they only hit on 2/12 of their 3-point shots.

Jazz SF Andrei Kirilenko has an injured calf and he will be a game time decision tonight. Utah really needs his defense, especially to help inside against the duo of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, who combined for 33 points and 22 boards in Game 1.

Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams both played well in Game 1 and even though C.J. Miles, Wesley Matthews, and Paul Millsap combined to score 46 points they were a combined 17/42 from the field. These guys need to shoot the rock better tonight for the Jazz to pull off the upset.

Boozer had 18 points and 12 boards in Game 1, but he did not take one free throw. He has to be more physical and get to the charity stripe for some easy points.

The Lakers won Game 1 104-99 on Sunday afternoon. The high scorer for the Lakers in the game was Kobe Bryant going for 31 points on 12/19 shooting and the high scorer for the Jazz was Deron Williams going for 24 points on 7/15 shooting. For the game the Lakers shot 41/77 from the floor for a FG% of 53.2% and the Jazz shot 38/85 for a FG% of 44.7%. The Lakers had more rebounds in the game (43-38) and also had more turnovers (14-11).

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Lakers rank 3rd (95.21) and the Jazz rank 5th (94.90).

Utah is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games as an underdog, 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5, and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 Conference Semifinals games including covering the spread in Game 1 of this series.

Utah has an Over record of 4-0 in their last 4 road games and an Over record of 4-0 in their last 4 Conference Semifinals games.

L.A. is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite, and 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 home games.

L.A. has an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 games and an Under record of 12-5 in their last 17 home games.

In the last 8 games between these 2 teams the Under record is 7-1.

On the injury front SF Andrei Kirilenko and PG Deron Williams are day-to-day for Utah and C Andrew Bynum and SG Kobe Bryant, yeah he won’t play tonight, are day-to-day for L.A.

Jason’s Pick: The Jazz covered the spread in Game 1 and I think they will do the same tonight, but I don’t think they will win. The Jazz always play the Lakers close, but they cannot seal the deal. Kobe will have another solid game and the Jazz simply can’t stop Gasol and Bynum inside even if AK-47 plays tonight. The Lakers will win another close game and take a 2-0 series lead, as they head to Utah. Take the Jazz and the points in tonight’s game.