The Lakers goal for the 2009 Playoffs is very clear: win the Championship. No other result will be enough in the minds of Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson. And this time they have all the pieces in place with the return of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in an excellent moment.
The Lakers are the number 1 seed in the Western Conference and have the second best record in the league which gives them home-court advantage in the West and also if they make it back to the Finals against any other team than than the Cavaliers, owners of the best record.
The Lakers will play against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs: The Lakers won their final season game against the Jazz sentencing Utah to the 8th seed and first-round meeting between the two old rivals.
The Jazz are supposed to be just the first step of the ladder. In the regular season the Lakers won 2 out of 3 games against Utah and one of them was the season finale. The Lakers got an easy 125-112 win and Phil Jackson gave his starters many minutes of rest.
The Lakers will also have a chance to improve their playoff record against the Jazz, which is one of the 3 negative head-to-head records in that category for L.A. at 9-13 (the others: Celtics and Bucks).