Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams and some other Utah Jazz players watched a film on their flight back to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles after Wednesday's playoff game.
They loved parts of it. Except the ending. People in Tinseltown might have enjoyed how it wrapped up, but the Jazz hated it as a viewing audience and as players. "It" being the video of Utah's 111-104 Game 5 loss and its frustrating finish, of course.
"I watched the film (of Game 5) on the flight home and it was a little disappointing," Williams said, "because we had so many chances where we could have took control of the game and just couldn't get over that hump."
Kyle Korver said he watched over the shoulders of Williams and Boozer, who sit next to each other on the team plane.
"Yeah, it was painful," Korver said. "There are definitely some plays that we'd like to have back."
While the Jazz can't ask the director for a new take reshooting those half-dozen misses when they had a chance to take the lead sure would be nice, though they can turn the next installment of the saga into a feel-good story when the Western Conference semifinals continue tonight at EnergySolutions Arena.
A win will give the Jazz a chance to produce a better Hollywood ending for them in Game 7 on Monday.
A loss will give the Jazz, who trail the Lakers in this best-of-seven series 3-2, several months off to watch all the movies and shoot all the family vacation films they want.
Though frustrated with how they botched an opportunity to win Game 5, the Jazz say they aren't discouraged or dejected about their chances of fighting off elimination.
"The biggest thing to do is wipe it off, get ready to go (tonight) and let's rock and roll and see what happens," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. "The most important thing is that you don't have to win two (tonight). You just have to win one game, and that's the focus you have to have. I think it's exciting myself. I always have loved to be in those situations."
So, too, do his players.
"We have all the confidence in the world that we're going to have a Game 7," Korver said.
"These are the types of games you dream about playing when you're a kid. We're doing that right now," Williams added. "We've got to get two more victories."
This scenario isn't new for most Jazz players, who were forced to win at home and then on the road in Game 7 in the first round last year after falling behind 3-2 to Houston.
"For us, there's one game left and that's (tonight). We win that game, there's one game left after that. And that's how we looked at Houston last year," Boozer said. "We were in the exact same position a year ago. If we can learn anything from that (it's) just to be focused and put everything all our energy, all our eggs into (tonight's) game."
The Jazz also dealt with the pressure of needing to win both games in Utah last weekend against the Lakers after losing the first two games in L.A.
"We felt those other two at home were both must-wins as well, so the mindset's the same stick to the same game plan," Williams said. "I thought we played an excellent game (Wednesday). I thought we executed well. I think our defense can get a little tighter and I think it probably will at home."
And are the Jazz ever glad to be there where they've posted a lofty 41-5 record this year for this do-or-die contest.
"It's definitely better being at home facing an elimination game, there's no way around that," Williams said. "We have more confidence at home. Everybody plays better as a whole at home."
The Jazz are hoping to get off to a smoother start in Game 6. They had seven turnovers in each of the first two quarters of Game 5, again putting them in a hole that proved to be a tad too deep.
"It's like we got lost completely to start off," Sloan said. "They got open shots. It looked like they were playing in a pick-up game. We've got to try to take them out of their comfort zone to start off with."
A good start, they believe, could help them force a winner-take-all finale.
"We don't want to go home," Boozer said, obviously referring to players' offseason homes and not EnergySolutions Arena. "Hopefully, we'll play loose, play focused and have a great game. ... We won't be nervous. We'll be very confident (tonight)."
As for the Jazz's film watching, it wasn't all as painful as being forced to sit through a Pauly Shore flick.
"We definitely played better than we did the first two games against them at their place. That's the most promising thing," Williams said. "We had chances to win the game and we were right there till the end.
"We just got to get back and protect home court, get another victory at home and try to go back and win Game 7."
Sloan admitted to taking a bit of a nap during the wee-hour flight, but the coach was glad his players stayed up and watched the game film. Doing things like that, he believes, is necessary "if you want to be a basketball player and want to get better.""They're young, they're exciting to watch, they're exciting to coach," Sloan added, "but there's still a lot of things you can do to get better."
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