Lakers trot through a light practice
Thursday, while so many around the nation and Southland were enjoying some turkey on Thanksgiving Day, the Lakers had a little practice, nothing serious, just enough to get a sweat and perhaps to get in a little trash-talking in the process.
The Lakers held a scrimmage that Coach Phil Jackson calls the “Turkey Trot.”
It’s something he has done since his days as coach of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s and here with the Lakers.
“Instead of having a serious practice, we have a fun practice in which there is a lot of levity,” Jackson said. “We still try and get something accomplished because that’s part of what we do whenever we take the court.”
Basically, it was players 6 feet 4 or under, or the “smalls,” going up against the “bigs,” the forwards and centers.
Jackson explained how it works.
“We put our bigs at guards and our guards at centers,” Jackson said. “We let them play roles that they never get to play, but they still have to work it out in the offense.
“Last year, I think the … guys under 6-4 scored like 120 points. And our [bigs] got about 25 points, so it’s really tough.”
Lakers expect physical Jazz team
The Lakers know it will be all about business when they face the Utah Jazz on Friday in Salt Lake City.
The light practice Thursday, combined with no practice Wednesday, gave the Lakers time to heal their bodies and get ready for a physical game against the bruising Jazz.
“We just know when we go to see Utah it’s going to be a real intense ballgame,” Jackson said. “We have to prep ourselves for that physical nature and how they play it on their home court, the drive they have and how they are going to play.”
Lamar Odom said the Jazz likes to pack the paint and run its offense inside-out.
Still, Odom said physical play is not something the Lakers shy away from — whether it’s the Jazz or any other team.
“We can play any kind of style you want to,” Odom said. “We’ve got different kinds of lineups for that.”
Utah will put bodies on players and set hard screens.
“They are very physical,” guard Steve Blake said. “That’s the kind of players they have on their team. That’s the type of game they want to make it. There are no cuts when they don’t hit you. Offensively, they are always ducking in, trying to get their body on you to seal you. You’ve got to be ready for that.”