Game 6 in the Western Conference semifinals between the Jazz and the Lakers is tonight at 8:30 (Utah time), and I know one thing for certain: this will not be a game for the faint of heart (or the sore of back).
This is the first time the Jazz have faced elimination in the playoffs, and it will be interesting to see how they respond. They have a huge advantage being at home, but it's my personal belief that the Lakers will pull out whatever they have in their bag o' tricks to make sure this thing gets over as soon as possible. In other words, I don't think this will be an easy win for the Jazz.
Make no mistake about it- the Lakers are hurting. They are used to playing cupcakes like Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson. When Paul Millsap gives a little elbow to the kidney, Lamar Odom doesn't know quite how to respond. To prove my point, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Odom all sat out of practice after game 5 to get some much needed rest. Apparently the physical Jazz are giving the nancy-boy Lakers all they can handle. They want the pain to stop.
And that's where the Jazz need to have absolutely no mercy. They need to play the cheapest, dirtiest, most physical game they've ever played tonight. They need to throw elbows, lower shoulders and kick people when they're down. Some people may claim that this is a cheap way to play basketball, but you know what I call those people? Losers.
The Jazz need to blitzkrieg the Lakers into submission tonight. They need to hit them through the air, on the ground, and from the sidelines. After tonight, when the Lakers think about going back to face the Jazz one more time in a seventh game, their collective faces should twist and writhe into one giant agonizing grimace.
Then, and only then, will the Jazz have a chance to close the books on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Fearless prediction for Game 6:
- Boozer finds his game, scores 25 and pulls down 12 boards
- D-Will leads the team like the captain of a mighty ship
- Korver heats up from three point land
- Kobe thinks quietly about a long, restful offseason
- Jazz win 105-93