We’ve talked about it all week … L.A. could still face any one of three teams in the first round: Utah, Dallas or New Orleans. While the Jazz (47-33) might be the most likely opponent at this point, we simply won’t know until Wednesday evening.
Nonetheless, Utah’s 15-25 road record, which includes just two wins over + .500 teams, is puzzling, and prompted a question towards Derek Fisher after Monday’s practice: Can Utah’s road woes be explained by their significant home court advantage being absent? In other words, since the Jazz get such a large mental boost at home, is there a letdown factor on the road?
Fisher didn’t think so. To him, their struggles had more to do with how many games they’ve missed to injuries from Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and especially Carlos Boozer. Regardless, Fisher said the Lakers won’t take the Jazz, or any playoff opponent, at all lightly, and particularly not just because of a regular season trend.
The playoffs, after all, are a different beast.