Preview & Chat: The Dallas Mavericks

Kurt —  March 11, 2007

Lakers are back home. Since the team on the court has been hard to watch of late, maybe we should just focus on the top 10 Laker fans in the crowd.

It was the best of times.
Back in January, the Lakers played maybe their best game of the season, going on a late 10-4 run to beat the Mavs and end their 13 game winning streak, despite Lamar Odom being out. Kobe had 14 in the fourth quarter, but it was a team effort as Walton chipped in 21, Sasha 16 and Turiaf had maybe his best game of the season. It was back then that you could see the future of the Lakers clearly.

It was the worst of times. A depleted roster, role players being asked to do too much and what you get the last few weeks is the Lakers looking like a team that should be in the Oden/Durant sweepstakes. And frustrated fans.

Meanwhile, the Mavs come in erasing much doubt they are the best team in the NBA. They come in with a 16 game winning streak. They come in with the second most efficient offence and fifth most efficient defense in the league, a hard-to-beat combo. They come in with the guy who is going to win the MVP. They come in with the deepest, best supporting cast in the game.

Kwame starts? If you’re going to start Kwame, today is a good day because Eric Dampier is the kind of wide body the young Bynum struggles with right now. Not that Dampier is an offensive force, but Kwame can cover him and help off on Dirk or driving guards who get past our guards.

As for Smush and Shammond. Looks like no change is coming to the starting lineup. But both of them are free agents at the end of the season, and looking ahead of the Lakers bring in a veteran PG in the off season, I think Shammond’s recent play, and his reasonable price, would make a good third guard off the bench.

What to watch for tonight: Just how good the Mavs are playing right now, they are fun to watch as a basketball fan. Of course, if they were going to have a let down….

Watch Kobe, remember he put up 62 on them last year, and he may have to have another game like that for the Lakers to have a chance. With the depleted Laker roster, I’m curious how the Mavs choose to defend him tonight. Right now, teams are trying to deny Kobe the ball, doubling him and daring any other Laker to beat them.

What I may end up watching is The Amazing Race at 8 because I fear this game will be all but over.