NBA Playoffs Conference Semifinals:LA Lakers vs. Utah JazzMay 04, 2010 by Bryan Polks

On Tuesday night, the LA Lakers will host Game 2 of the NBA Playoffs Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. The Lakers leads the series, 1-0.

In Game 1, the Utah Jazz were poised to deliver and upset win against the Lakers but faltered down the stretch after Kobe Bryant decided to take matters in his own hands. The Jazz are missing the services of the injured Andrei Kirilenko. Kirilenko is known as a tough defensive player who could contain an opposing player. His absence in the line up has made the Jazz vulnerable against Kobe's 4th quarter heroics.

The Lakers were in control most of the time in Game 1. However, when Phil Jackson decided to rest his starters, the bench players failed to protect the lead. The Lakers' bench players must play more cohesive as a unit while their starters rest at the bench. It is important to give Kobe a short rest so he could perform well up to the end. Fatigue usually sets in during the last 6 minutes of the game.

To win Game 2, the Utah Jazz must find a way to contain Kobe Bryant especially in the last quarter. For the Lakers, bench players must contribute during the game while their starter rests at the bench.

The basketball handicappers have installed the Lakers as a 5-point favorite to win Game 2. If Kobe waxes hot just like in Game 1 then the Lakers will win this one but if the Lakers bench players played lamely and disoriented then expect the Jazz to grab the chance to tie the series.