Los Angeles Lakers: All Defensive Team

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"We definitely got some work done today," Derek Fisher said with a smile Thursday afternoon in El Segundo following a lengthy practice and film session for the Lakers. "Any complacency, or guys thinking that they were going to come into practice today and just kind of go through the motions, Phil [Jackson] and our coaches were sure to shake that out of us pretty quickly."

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We'll have to take his word for it, since the media horde was let in the gym following the conclusion of the squad's film study. Therefore, we didn't witness the end of practice, but given their upcoming trip to Salt Lake City for Games 3 and 4 it's hard to imagine how any of the Lakers would have been complacent in the first place.

Asked why the Jazz are so good at home, Fish gave a professional and respectful answer. "Because they're good," he said. "It doesn't matter what kind of arena that you have, how loud the fans are, what bells and whistles they use. If the team's not good, it doesn't matter. Fact is, the Jazz have had good teams, so that's why they've been so good at home over the years."

Fair point, but the fans there make a difference. Those people are nasty, nasty, nasty. They say nasty things. Ford Center was loud and uninviting, but not like what you get in Utah. The OKC fans were excited to be there, and had a healthy respect for the Lakers. As evidenced by the minutes-long ovation they gave the Thunder after Game 6, they were there more to cheer for their guys than tear down the opposition. I respect that.

EnergySolutions Arena, on the other hand, is truly brutal on visiting teams. Mike Tyson-eat-your-children brutal. "A vastly hostile place," Jackson called it. Still, the Lakers have won there before, and believe (as I do) they can win again there this year.

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Nick Young
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0