Preview & Chat: The Dallas Mavericks

Kurt —  October 30, 2009

Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles
Records: Lakers 1-0 Mavericks 0-1
Offensive (pts per 100 poss): Lakers 101.6 Mavericks 100.5
Defensive (pts per 100 poss): Lakers 94.4 Mavericks 112.7
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum
Mavericks: Jason Kidd, Quinton Ross, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Erick Dampier

The Lakers Coming in: Once again, no Pau Gasol tonight, although he is possible for Sunday against Atlanta. Phil Jackson said something interesting about the team not rushing Gasol back: Ron Artest’s versatility is a key part of what makes that possible.

The one concern coming out of the first game was the play of the bench, which didn’t wow anybody in the preseason, either. Certainly, the return of Gasol, moving Odom to the sixth man role, will help with that. But Sasha got yanked fast after a defensive lapse in the first half Tuesday, Jordan Farmar seemed to really push looking to assert himself (and not always successfully), and DJ Mbenga returned to shooting like it is the regular season. (Yes, DJ hit jumpers in preseason, he does in shoot around too, but that is very different from regular season game action.) We will see tonight if the unit plays better, although to be fair the fourth quarter run that gave the Lakers the win included a number of bench players. Just something to watch.

The Lakers have a six game winning streak against the Mavericks, including a sweep last season.

The Mavericks Coming in: Dallas comes in off a disappointing season opening loss to the Wizards, in part because the Hibachi got hot. That game was won in the backcourt matchup — Dallas starters Kidd and Ross combined for just six points on the night. I asked Rob from Two Man Game a couple questions about that:

1) Marion was not the support for Dirk he was expected to be in game one. Is he still adjusting to the players and system?

There’s no doubt that Marion is still getting his sea legs. And it’s to be expected, honestly. Marion’s adjusting to a minimal offensive role after being (at least, theoretically) more prominent in Miami and Toronto, he’s adjusting to the strengths and weaknesses of his new teammates, he’s adjusting to the offensive and defensive sets, and he’s adjusting to Rick Carlisle. Marion’s incredibly aware on the court, but one of the reasons why his anticipation is so strong is because he understands spacing. He knows when to make the cuts, and he knows when to hit the boards. Those things take time to figure out when you’re playing with a completely different team, and as soon as Marion gets a better grip on the flow of the offense and each player’s spots, I’m sure he’ll shine.

He’s already had some tough critics for a one-game performance, especially considering he really didn’t play that badly. Marion still showed up his positional counterpart, Caron Butler, with some solid defense and a back-to-the-basket game I didn’t really know Shawn had.

2) The Wizards offensive numbers were fantastic, was that a matter of a hot team or bad defense (or a combination)? Was it the Pick-and-roll?

I always want to pick one of the polar answers on these types of questions, but basketball is such a middling sport. I’m not sure anyone expected Gilbert Arenas to get off to the start that he did, and his combination of quickness going to the basket and a pull-up game was a tough cover for the Mavs’ guard corps. Randy Foye and Andray Blatche also came out of relative obscurity to lend a hand in the opening night festivities, and those are, in my mind, the more grievous defensive problems. I can deal with Gil dropping big points, and hey, for that matter, I can deal with a role player getting hot from now and again. There are 82 games, and these are the inevitabilities. But Jason Terry’s defense on Foye was just miserable, and he was getting abused by Foye’s quick cuts and use of picks along the perimeter. Blatche showed more energy in this one game than I’ve ever seen him play with in the NBA, and just abused the Mavs’ bigs with his activity. Everything seemed a bit slow for Dallas, and Blatche took full advantage of the rust en route to a big night on the scoreboard and the offensive glass.

The Mavs’ inability to defend the pick-and-roll has been a recurring theme for the better part of a decade. Though they’re somehow capable of handcuffing San Antonio’s screen game, teams with a quick point guard and a finishing big have most of the ingredients necessary to topple Dallas. Gil and Brendan Haywood proved that theory in the first half ad nausem, ending in not one, not two, but three uncontested Haywood slams. Arenas also had the benefit of some extra room on his jumper, and though he couldn’t stick all of them, they were good looks. Honestly, this is probably the area that separates the Mavs from the true elite. They just don’t have the quickness, the anticipation, or the communication to defend the pick and roll effectively. The Mavs can and will still win plenty of games through their offense, rebounding, and other facets of their defensive game, but they’re at a real disadvantage to teams who know (and can) go to the pick and roll early and often.

Dallas has gone in to a “Win Now” mode — the five players who logged the most court time in the season opener (Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, and Erick Dampier) are all at least 31 years old. Which is why a loss to the Lakers and going 0-2 could play to the insecurities of that team and its fan base.

Quinton Ross is starting at the two because Josh Howard is out with a lingering ankle injury following off-season surgery.

Dirk Nowitzki apparently worked on his back-to-the-basket game this summer. I’ll be curious to see if the try to use it. Like the Lakers with Gasol, it makes sense to put him on the block like that against the teams with smaller fours, but with the Lakers size that is less of an easy basket.

The focus this past training camp for the Mavericks was getting better on defense, something they apparently did not carry over into the first regular season game. However, expect them to be a lot more focused on that end of the court tonight. Ross will get the majority of Kobe time, but others will have a chance.

One guy to watch on Dallas, if he gets in the game, is the rookie from France Rodrigue Beaubois. I was fortunate to see him a couple times at Summer League and he was one of the guys everybody wanted to watch — he is lightning quick, can pass and wasn’t a bad finisher. He is still learning how to harness all that into the NBA game, but he could be very good.

Blogs and Links: To learn more about Dallas, check out The Two Man Game.

Also, live chat as ESPN tonight if you want to go by, just log on here any time after the early game starts.

For those of you stat nuts out there, a new site to check out is Hoopdata, which tracks a lot of information including a lot of the expected advanced stats as well as charges drawn, shot locations, assist locations and more. It has stats from the last three seasons as well as this one. It’s too early to read anything into statistics for this year, but the site is well worth checking out.

Excerpts of the may never be released Tim Donaghy book are out, and I thought wondahbap made a great point in the comments.

Donaghy really didn’t tell us anything we don’t know. Some of you think it may change the way you view the game, but like the change of the “traveling” rule, it really shouldn’t change anything.

How many people here play(ed) basketball? How many times have you felt your team isn’t getting a fair whistle, but instead of whining, you tell your teammates to play through it and adjust to the whistle? The best team will, and that’s why they are better. That is what makes the difference between a good amateur player, and a good professional. Adjustments. Why do you think Kobe is as great as he is? Because when the money is on the line, he can score with defenders draped all over him, he can hit big shots in hostile environments, and make his free throws. The Lakers were the best road team last year because they could handle, good or bad, whatever the refs gave them and adjust.

Finally, a trivia question: Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki are two of the three NBA players who have averaged at least 20 points per game the last nine seasons. Who is the third? (Answer at the bottom of the post.)

Off Topic Question of the Day: Anybody using Google Wave? Thoughts?

Keys to game: While we were all watching the Lakers get their rings a couple nights back, Gilbert Arenas was carving up the Dallas defense on the way to a Wizards win. Dallas has long struggled to cover good shooting guards/small forwards, and apparently that has not changed. So this could be another very good night for those of you with Kobe on your fantasy team — he has scored at least 25 points against Dallas in 16 of the last 17 meetings between these teams, and has 40 or more five times.

One guy the Lakers need to watch off the bench is Jason Terry, who last year had the highest shooting percentage in the league on two-point jump shots (49.2%). He has killed the Lakers before with the midrange, you can’t help off him.

Odom, who has been playing with amazing confidence, will start on Dirk, but expect Artest and Powell likely to get some time. Obviously, slowing him is a key.

Transition defense will be important — Kidd is not as fast as he was but he still makes fantastic decisions in transition. Also, with Marion on the wing, he has a good option to dish to. Also, in his pregame interview at Lakers.com, assistant coach Jim Cleamons said that Kidd becomes a dangerous three-point shooter late in the clock — when he does not have an option to pass — and that the Lakers need to be aware of that and be there to contest the shot.

Where you can watch: This is an ESPN broadcast, starting at 7:30 Pacific.

The trivia answer: Vince Carter.

Kurt

Posts

203 responses to Preview & Chat: The Dallas Mavericks

  1. I didn’t even read anything yet, when I saw the new preview was up, I rushed to get this comment up for
    Warren!
    ok, now I can go back and read, but I do think we are going to have a real game on our hands tonight.
    we have to be careful not to let up, after basically beating the clips with a not 100% effort, there is a danger of coming in overconfident.

  2. Sasha is not a rookie anymore. He needs to show some maturity, and if it takes Phil yanking his chain a bit like some dog owners do, then that’s what it will have to be.

    Learn or leave.

    I remember 2007 and I like Sasha as a player, but he’s had enough time to understand his role on the team and all. Make your shots, control the ball within the offense, don’t make stupid defensive fouls 40 feet from the basket, and be calm and mature no matter what.

    Being calm and mature is something that affects his WHOLE game.

    (Going to the game tonight, no Pau!)

    Bye.

  3. Kurt, I believe the game is also on local FSW, is it not?
    I prefer our local announcers.

    with regard to Sasha, somewhere I read that another part of the reason he got YANKED, was that LO came to him to point out where he missed his cover, and he all defensive to LO, and PJ said he did not like the way Sasha handled that, something like “he’s gotta respect LO out there”
    sounds like a teenager, eh?
    time for him to act like a man. man up Sasha, play though it, just play, and play hard!

  4. So I bought the Bill Simmons book. I like Simmons. He’s funny and is fun to rail against for his anti-laker columns.

    So far, though, the book is a downer. While it has humor, the overall tone is entirely insular and solipsistic. He repeatedly phrases things as though us normal fans are ruining basketball through our inability to appreciate it on the sublime level he has- to recognize that the game transcends personal achievement (this is the much ballyhooed “secret”). And he states this “secret” as if it wasn’t one of the most common cliches of your average columnist or white haired coach, as though he uncovered it alone.

    The entire book seems to be his attempt to lay sole ownership of the league through his own lens and experience (he actually devotes a footnote to telling the reader how unbiased the book is- as though he’s the right person to judge). The result so far is that I’m put off by the thing because -go figure- I have my own experience and love affair with the game.

    It’s not the laker shots, or the celtic love that put me off, its the feeling I get reading it that I walked in on him having a prolonged romantic dialogue with himself. The thing isn’t 700 pages due to extra research and basketball lore- HE’s the one taking up all that extra space. To the exclusion of the reader.

    So far I’m very disappointed.

  5. Kobe has definitely owned the Mavericks, and I don’t think the Marion acquisition is going to do anything to slow him down.

    The acquisition that might, however, is Q. Ross. Fellow L.A. fans who watch the Clips when nothing else is on can attest: that guy was a defensive beast.

    They also mentioned him as having the only positive +/- (Wayne Winston didn’t get hired by Cuban this time around, but you figure they still pay attention to that) in the Mavs opener, and it seemed like Rick likes him.

    I love seeing Kobe go off against the Mavs (62 v 61 in three quarters anyone?) but I don’t want him to go into “hey this guy’s a good defender, i better trample his soul just in case we meet again” mode.

  6. Good article on Ariza and Kobe, I like the stuff Marc Spears writes, the angles he takes:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=A0LEa7aDa.tKw.EAAAO8vLYF?slug=mc-arizarockets103009&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    I’m a bit skeptical, or surprised, that they’re leaning on Ariza to become a go-to scorer. Without a better handle the guy just doesn’t have the game, Scola seems like he can do more things with the ball. But Ariza’s still growing.

  7. J.D. Hastings -

    I, too, bought the Simmons book. I’m only about 15 pages in, so I can see where you’re coming from. It’s a little self indulgent – but still funny, so far. I think it’s going to pick up once it gets to the pyramid sections.

    It’s still funny – I’m still enjoying it – but it is a little wordy….even for Simmons.

  8. 7- The chapter on “the Secret” was the one that put me off. Especially when he starts talking about how fans don’t understand it, yadda yadda. As it turns out, I’m a fan, Mr. Simmons, and ir comes off condescending and dogmatic in a “One True Faith” sort of way.

  9. Google wave is overhyped. It’ll have some practical application for work, but otherwise is too confusing for the general population.

  10. I am also reading the book. The laker bashing aside, the secrect is no secret, if guys can get alng and no their role you can have a winning team. ( no Kidding) hopefully the book picks up.

  11. 6- it was pretty selfish of Kobe to only send that text message to Ariza so that he’d share it with Mark Spears. Such a calculating jerk!

  12. JD – yeah, Kobe couldn’t have been sincere. It’s all an act for marketing. I bet he actually has a guy working for him checking ex-teammates stats and sending them texts. :-)

    On another subject, anyone else get the sense that the Lakers might be a little choppy the first part of the season – integrating, Artest, Gasol and Bynum gelling, settling into rotations.? I’m actually expecting some early struggles.

  13. I’m not among those who are concerned about the bench’s play in the Clipper game Thursday. With Pau out and Odom starting, the rotations aren’t what they will be. And I think Phil really increased their chances to fail Thursday by subbing in five bench guys at once, none of whom are really capable of scoring within the offense.

    Farmar gets his points on the break; taking his man off of a hard cut; or hitting the open three. None of those things can happen when you don’t have a scorer to occupy the defense’s attention.

    Powell needs to be set up for his open jumper. Again, not easy without a proven post threat, or scorer or Kobe’s caliber who will draw the D’s attention.

    Luke looks to set up others; he’s not a scorer.

    Shannon’s role is much like Farmar’s. He doesn’t create his own shots.

    And Mbenga only gets open shots at the elbow because teams know he’s not capable of making that shot consistently.

    If those are your five guys on the floor, you’ve got no chance — not because they suck as players, but because that’s just an awful way to construct a lineup.

    Having any one of those five sit while Pau, Kobe, Odom or Bynum plays and the defense is forced to adjust, letting the subs play their roles. But they can’t all do it alone, and won’t have very often as the season goes on.

  14. the other Stephen October 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    i didn’t know about googlewave, and i only just discovered something similar yesterday: http://etherpad.com/
    it seems like a great concept, so i’ve been contemplating using it with classmates.

  15. Going to the game… Floor seats!

  16. the other Stephen October 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    not related to this post at all: i was browsing dealnews, and i found clippers tickets for $1.

    http://dealnews.com/Los-Angeles-Clippers-Tickets-for-1/326894.html

    no, it’s not a joke. but it’s still funny.

  17. Floor seats?! Manny, next time you need to inviite me.

  18. Ugh. Mark Jackson is already bugging me.

  19. very poor passing so far

  20. typical first quarter, too much fisher, lazy defence, sloppy passing

  21. I miss Pau.

  22. 21. me too without him and kobe we resort to jump shot after jump shot

  23. Finally back home…! i missed parts of the first quarter, so is our shooting really horrible tonight, or does it just look that way?

  24. I wouldn’t say horrible, I would go with flat. Phil called it a “case of the slows.” Bench has looked a little better. Dallas is doubling Kobe on the touch, we need ball movement and someone else to step up.

  25. Lakers just three free throws so far (after 37 total in first game), sign of the lack of being aggressive.

  26. The shooting looks better now. Whatever Phil said to them in the break must have worked. :)

    I like that were keeping up and keeping the game close with Kobe and Ron getting some good rest. (That was a horrible call on Ron by the way, there’s no way that was a foul.)

  27. Flat is a good word. Sluggish is another. But it seems the Lakers (after two Bynum dunks) are picking it up.

  28. Dallas went with the small lineup to start the second quarter, Lakers go big and Bynum gets back-to-back dunks.

  29. Gotta love what Luke brings to the game.

    Grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled up court, passed to Shannon, got it back, dribbled inside, got Dallas big to commit and leave drew alone, gave bounce pass that led to Bynum dunk.

    Beautiful!

  30. downtown shannon brown!

  31. Shannon Brown doing his WOW thing…

  32. It took long enough, but good to see Brown finally taking Sasha’s spot in the rotation.

  33. Shannon wants that “First PG Off The Bench” spot.

    To be fair, Farmar has been playing solid enough so far. I like it. Too bad we can’t just replace Fish and save him for big games.

  34. Great play by ShanWow. Lakers still look out of sync.

  35. kobe esque from shannon

  36. Wow. Illegal. How is that a “great” screen?

    I personally hate when commentators try to condescendingly talk as if we don’t remember/understand the “good ol’ physical” era of basketball in the past. That screen was illegal, and that’s that. I don’t care how physical it was in the past, you can’t TURN into someone.

  37. Luke sat out last year a lot as well. But look it turned out for him at the end of last season.

    NBA is too long of a seaons to predict anything, but if Shannon shoots 3s like these then Sasha is easily obsolete.

    Kurt, do you know if Lakers have some special 3pt shooting coach?

    Ariza and Brown were never known for their 3-pt shooting before they got here

  38. It’s a fairly well known fact that Kobe took an interest in Ariza, provided him with helpful pointers and so on. Ariza openly credits Kobe for his improved shooting. As for Shannon Brown… didn’t Kobe tell him something about shooting the ball at some point?

  39. He missed, but who exactly leaves Dirk open at the three point line. There is no reason to double and converge down low on this team. Stay with the shooters.

  40. Mamula, they had Craig Hodges as a shooting coach, but not just for threes.

  41. please just keep going to bynum

  42. I’m on a tape delay so just ending the first quarter.

    Is it still pre-season?

    Why is Jim Carey on the Mavs bench?

    Has Dirk always looked like one of the Geico cavemen?

  43. Maybe it’s just me being half Spanish, but I miss Pau;)

  44. Kobe is cold. Hopefully he’ll warm up before Dirk.

  45. Bynum has left that little jump hook short a couple of times now. There’s really no excuse for leaving a 5 foot jump hook short.

  46. Bynum! You can’t let Dirk block you. Embarrassing.

  47. ron forcing it a bit too much on the block

  48. you miss humphries blatantly tipping the ball out of bounds, then T up kobe when he tells you you’re wrong?

    unbelievable.

  49. I like what Kobe just did there. Sasha was complaining to the ref and Kobe ushered him away to get a T himself. That’s what leaders do.

    LOL, LO with the “BALL DON’T LIE!” Terrible call, though.

  50. Way to go Kobe… retaliate by beating them!

    The refs make mistakes, and no matter how aggravating that is, pros and champions play through, adjust, and win anyway. :)

  51. rofl, Kobe is pissed. Gonna be an interesting 2nd half.

  52. Thank you, Humphries! Look for Kobe to dominate in second half. We needed something to fire up our team!

  53. Any other links?

  54. Odom is talking a lot of trash out there. And Kobe got into Humphries’ head a bit, until Kidd came over and calmed Dallas players down. The inmeasurable value of intanglibles that Kidd brings

  55. @Zephid,
    That made me laugh! My husband said the exact same thing just before your post showed up. :D

    On that note, aren’t there rules for who you get to mouth off to in this league? Trash talking is something you do with a rival, and rivals are by definition on the same level. If you’re Chris Humphries, you get to mouth off to Luke Walton or Jordan Farmar… Not to Kobe.

  56. We will adjust to not mishandling the ball in the second half, and it will be a good one.

  57. I was astonishingly backwards on Kobe v. Marion/Ross but I did not expect Kobe to attempt to post up Marion like that.

    Does anyone else think he’s going a bit full on late-Jordanesque a bit much now? I know it’s to extend his career but when he’s got someone bigger I’d much rather see him slash again.

  58. Lakers look so uninterested in this game.

  59. 18 to 5 for Free Throws…

    At some point you need to just play hard and ignore the referees, but still…

  60. Terrible call on Artest.

  61. maybe Donaghy was on to something when he said the refs would target known malcontents in games

  62. bogus call

  63. I think this might become one of the major drawbacks with having Artest on our team. He will get called for fouls others would get away with, and get Ts for things others would get way with, just because he’s Ron Artest. He’s a known headcase, he will automatically be on a shorter leash.

  64. That initial call on Artest was not very good.

    That said, Artest’s reputation precedes him. He would be well served to simply hand the ball to the referee and jog back down the court…for the rest of his career.

  65. What is Sasha doing out there? Where the hell is Brown?

  66. Can we get the replacement refs back?

  67. refs are in their head now big trouble

  68. Phil is going to force them to get into a rhythm first.

  69. Um… why did we stop passing and moving the ball? Is this some new complex offensive strategy I’m just missing the point of?

  70. Ugly, ugly game.

  71. well the sasha experiement has been a massive faliure

  72. This is just horrible offense. One pass, a few dribbles, and then a contested jumper. Pau needs to get back healthy ASAP.

  73. this is getting awful and am not making any excuses for them.

    if this turns out to be a loss…so be it.

  74. And it’s all the Lakers fault.

  75. at this point we may desperately need some kobe time stuff

  76. Just when I thought Phil had won my heart with his Farmar/WOW back court

    He comes right back with this Fish/Vujacic garbage

    Wouldn’t be so bad if they were just floor spreaders for Kobe/Lamar/Bynum instead of chucking away possessions that should go to those guys and playing bad defense

  77. Bynum is a beast!

  78. and i’d love to hear what these critics are going to say after this loss.

  79. This is not good, I have eaten like half of the Halloween candy that I was going to give out tomorrow, trying to de-stress here.

  80. We knew the Lakers would need wakeup calls here and there…but in the second game of the season?

    They seem to be unsure of what they want to do on offense and it’s impacting their defense. Too much frustration for a defending champ.

  81. Refs aren’t too good but the defensive effort is pathetic. Dunk after dunk after wide open shot. Get it to 12/13 by the 4th!

  82. lakers are unbelievably stagnant right now

    and when youre shooting 5/17 from 3pt range and only have 7 free throws, you need to stop shooting 3s and start attacking the rim

  83. Fisher is taking good shots. He simply isn’t hitting them.

    When you are that open, you need to shoot.

    On the other hand, that off balance, drifting, in the corner pull up three in transition by Sasha Sasha Sasha is inexcusable. Bynum was running the floor, and had a step towards the basket on his man.

    Sasha Sasha Sasha has to make that extra pass, get the foul (and maybe the And 1) and reward his big man.

    Sasha Sasha Sasha with the illegal defense where he was under the rim! Under the rim! What the heck is Sasha Sasha Sasha going to do under the rim?

    Sasha Sasha Sasha with the blocking foul.

    Sasha Sasha Sasha is getting on my nerves.

  84. We were coming back into the game down by 8. Till Lamar started his NY playground dribble and show.

  85. I really miss Pau.

  86. Why is Kobe not touching the ball?

  87. and this coming together with a trashing by boston of a potential eastern threat. this is indeed a wakeup call and we will see if the lakers rise up and destroy the next opposition. but this is no new record am playing. we are better than this (or is this just the lakers team we have to live with)

    pau…welcome back in advance

  88. lamar lost his head at some point

  89. oh dear Lord

  90. i really don’t like the body language of the Lakers on the floor right now…

  91. other than wow, no one on this team has played even a half-decent game – including kobe.

  92. Whoa, Nellieball lineup right here with Powell at center, Artest at PF, Kobe at SF, Farmar and Brown in backcourt.

  93. id like to see a shannon kobe ron lamar and drew lineup for some more minutes pushing and attacking at will and hustling back on D…

  94. the offense at the moment is dribble for 10 seconds then someone else dribble for 10 seconds

  95. after shannons first half, why did phil go with vujacic???… and yes, the officiating is pretty terrible. but still, why let it frustrate… just play.
    11 points in the quarter. 6 turnovers. this is one of the worst quarters ive ever seen.

  96. is the crowd booing already? just curious

  97. Farmar killed us 4 possesions in a row. Bouncing the ball of his foot?

  98. So.. wow, what happened?

    Just got home a few minutes ago and I immediately find out we’re down 22 to the Mavericks.

    D:

  99. kobe can’t even complete an and 1. farmar dribbles off his foot…. can they come back from 18 down?

  100. That was a very ugly quarter. Move ball movement must happen, and some Kobe time and Andrew dunking, and lots of ShanWOW.

  101. Yeah, the Lakers are playing with no rhythm or structure on either end of the floor.

  102. 18 point lead. yikes… now let’s put our best offense-defense 5 out there and take it to them. if in 5 minutes this is still an 18pointed let’s all soak in the small shame here and hope our boys take this as a battlecry…

    or a halloween spookfest miracle may just happen and dallas is the right team to burn

  103. eh, bad game. Time to go to bed before the whining starts.

  104. kobe getting dallas into penalty early…me like

  105. @Zephid,
    Whining? No one here would ever whine after losing a horribly played and poorly reffed game! Please…

    You’re hurting our feelings. :D

  106. Kobe with the Lebron bull rushes…

  107. I like this line up a lot.

  108. put artest on dirk and let kobe have his way because he’s the equalizer and just because he’s kobe…i like this aggression

  109. I still have confidence that the Lakers can win this game. But their heads have to be in the right mindset.

  110. WHOOO KOBE!

  111. Don’t go to sleep or you’ll miss the comeback.

  112. Kobe, save us!

  113. finnaly we decide to be agressive

  114. in less than two minutes kobe and some ron ron help with some humphries misses= 12 point game…WE BELIEVE

    wakeup zephid. this maybe a showcase of what our ron-be duo can do (i hope)

  115. Josh Powell has the best +/- at the moment for the Lakers, at +8.

  116. Well, the refs got in the Lakers’ heads at the end of the half and in the third quarter.

    Lakers just look completely out of synch.

  117. .. and artest misses both….

  118. SHANWOW!

  119. great make them jumpshoot themselves to a loss

  120. Does it make me an evil person that when I heard that in his second game with his new team, Vince Carter was injured and had to be helped off the court, I thought it was hilarious?

    ShanWOW!!!

  121. Too many threes.

  122. shooting 3s too early

  123. Dallas is out of fouls and the Lakers are still shooting threes. Attack!

  124. Kobe just forced 2 turnovers on Jason Kidd

  125. Farmar really must not want his job. =/

    If anyone is going to chuck up an ill-advised 3, it should be Kobe, imo.

  126. that wide open artest 3 wouldve cut it down to single digits…: (

  127. That player named Shannon Brown should be getting more minutes in games, good things happen with him out there on the floor.

  128. Manny can you give the laker bench Kurts message…..ATTACK!

  129. give the ball to kobe darn it! let him eat them alive inside…everyone else…offensive boards! — that what the timeout was for.

  130. It’s funny because I was two degrees removed from Farmar at Taft and UCLA. I’ve been waiting for this kid to turn the corner as a basketball player for god knows how long.

    My patience has worn so thin that I can’t think of a good metaphor, I am so raged.

    This kid is a MORON

  131. Not only is Bynum a beast, but so is Brown.

    My goodness that was a furious rebound-drop it like it is hot dunk combo!

    WOW.

  132. what do you know, kobe’s trooping to the line. i’d rather have this than a choke 3 every time down now. worry about shooting come practice day

  133. Ugh. I hate long rebounds.

  134. man this game is really not for us.

  135. Don’t wake up Zephid for this.

  136. Okay, now I’m going to bed. Later, everyone.

  137. odom and artest have had shockers today

  138. Kobe had Marion on that last play and left him for the ball.

  139. Annnnd the Lakers have reverted.

  140. From the first two games my point guard depth chart goes – Brown – FIsher – Farmar.

    I’m thinking Brown is going to be this year’s Ariza.

  141. Does anyone have a count on how many times Kobe lost the ball driving to the rim tonight? He’s just not himself tonight.

  142. Kobe is really struggling tonight.

  143. Anyone notice how we stopped catching up after Fisher came back in? =)

  144. ayt, loss taken with head up high. learning time in LA no doubt. no excuses…pau was not there and shots were not falling sure but a lot of things were on the Lakers’ shoulders.

  145. This is painful to watch. Thank god this is early in the season.

    I thought I was the one that was in Latin America last week, not the Lakers…but their defense is saying OLE!

  146. I think this is a good loss for us tonight. There are issues that need to be addressed. P&R defensive responsibility and spacing. The shots will fall some other day. We miss Pau huh. I also hope the lakers send tapes to the league and have them ease up on Ron Artest.

  147. Ok I’ll settle for 71 and 11.

  148. That was the worst I’ve seen the Lakers play offensively in a looooooong time.

  149. It was predicted that we would lose 1 game out of the first 21, so I guess this one is that loss, huh.

  150. BTW whappened to Bynum? He disappeared after the 3rd qtr

  151. I came home from work turned on the game and I was shocked to see us down 14. I dont even know what the score is now, I just stopped watching it because it was kind of painful to see. Last year I never saw the Lakers play that bad on offense, though I guess you got to give some credit to the Mavs.
    Hey still no Gasol and its early in the season, this doesnt mean a whole lot.

  152. shanwow should join the dunk contest this year… for the second straight game, kobe has missed 4-5 layups. back to back turnovers by odom and powell ended their rally hopes. they definitely had a chance to cut it down to 8 or 7 early in that quarter but missed their oppurtunities.. we need pau back soon. nobody except for shannon brown played above average… he deserves to be the first guard off the bench. hopefully this serves as a wake up call.

  153. 151. Phil knows that Bynumball sucks and we only go to it to save Kobe’s knees.

    Ugh, this 2006 Lakers lineup… is just… well, I wish it came with 2006 Kobe :(

    And speaking of Bynumball, what has happened to the Kobe/Bynum screen and roll? We used to get like three open dunks off that a game. We got to #1 in the West without Gasol predicated on that and Odom fitting into his third banana role.

    Now it’s just post up iso, post up iso, post up iso.

    Must not cry for Gasol… must not cry for Gasol…

    Alright, take home lesson from tonight. What have we learned in defeat? Pretty much what we suspected all along: YES SHANWOW, NO FARMAR, NO VUJACIC, FISHER AS AN ANTHONY CARTER-ESQUE SECURITY BLANKET ONLY.

    Please pass that memo on to Phil.

    Also someone needs to tell Josh Powell to channel his inner Turiaf more often with his energy plays and sinking open jumpers and to channel his inner Kwame less with his stone hands.

  154. I think they took Bynum out to open up the floor for others to drive to the hoop.

    The Lakers deserve this loss. They need this loss; maybe they thought the league would just roll over for them. That’s not the case and I hope this is a wake up call. Either way, I’d hate to be in that locker room right now w/ PJ.

  155. Hey coach, when’s the game starting?

  156. Wow…so that happened. Good thing championships are won in June and not in October. Hope this beat down wakes them up. I feel bad for all the people that paid to go to Staples tonight.

  157. I’d feel bad for the Staples crowd too if they didn’t suck as bad as the team did tonight.

  158. Do we need Rambis back, cause I didn’t see any defense being played out there tonight. There was some gambling that lead to a few steals, but pretty po(o)rous defense otherwise. I enjoyed last seasons start better when they came out determined to shut down the opponent and putting fear into every team. This team hopes to be fearsome just by championship rep alone and I don’t think it’s going to work. Good thing it’s only the 2nd game of the season.

  159. i hope phil and the lakers realize that this is not 2001 and 2002 where homecourt advantage is not that important. the season is early but from what im seeing, the lakers can get to the finals without homecourt in the WCF but if they face a healthy boston / orlando without homecourt, thats not goin to be easy. every game counts and they should start acting like it. i’m glad we played the clippers on opening night because if that was a better team, we could easily be 0-2.

  160. i didn’t like how farmar and walton were visibly yukking it up on the bench at a time when the other lakers were trying to psyche themselves up and get back into the game. man, get your head in the game.

    i’m actually a little glad the lakers had their bell rung. hopefully this serves as a wake up call.

  161. I went to a Halloween party tonight. Should I even bother watching the ESPN replay? OK, nevermind.

  162. Actually, #164, you should. Just to see Shannon Brown’s monster putback on Powell’s face (Yes, you read that right. Shannon Brown dunked on Powell).

  163. That was the worst home loss since this game on December 30, 2007:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=271230013

    And considering Dallas hadn’t won in LA in a long time, maybe we were just due?

  164. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s game two (and without Gasol against an opponent fired up after being embarrassed in their opener). What matters is that this does not become a pattern, but we are a long way from that. We can be sure there are few more games we will think are ugly in the coming 80 games. What I hope to see is them take out their frustrations on Atlanta.

  165. Please stop with the Fisher hating. Brown has had one good game. Fisher does things on the court you cannot see.

  166. no fisher does things off the court we cannot see. important things.

  167. Yea, that loss is all of Fisher, he was certainly the entire problem.

    If you are going to use the first two games as an example, we also need a new two guard who is consistent.

  168. Grats Aaron on managing to miff even your tongue-in-cheek Fisher hating.

    We need more depth at the Forum Troll position. PG is a second priority.

  169. I think the game was very inconsistently called… the refs took out Ron’s groove with all those charging calls. I think he gets charging calls due to the fact that he is Ron Artest.

    Lamar Odom never guarded Dirk like the last 6 games against Dallas. Maybe Khloe got the best of him last night…

    It was a bad game. No excuses. Blame it all on Fish.

  170. It wasn’t that bad. We were missing shots we normally make, playing good D (esp. Odom on Dirk) initially. But when the going gets rough everyone started jacking up bad shots, reaching after missed shots and compounding their mistakes. This was pure arrogance and anger – which reflects the personalities of Artest and Bryant. I’m not saying this will continue to be a problem and the Artest acquisition was bad, but when you have so many good players who can play 1 on 1, and you have been preaching confidence to the likes of LO, they must humble themselves instead of going 1 on 1 and taking bad shots whenever there’s rough stretch.

  171. Fisher was GOD-AWFUL. He needs to be nothing more than a 10-15 minute situational player when some 3 pointers are needed. Period. Shannon Brown needs to start.

  172. Dallas played with more energy. Shots weren’t falling for the Lakers and they let the refs take them out of their game.

    As I wrote at the start, the first part of this season is going to have some bumps.

    Obviously Gasol is missed.

    I think Brown will replace Fish this season or at least take up a lot of his minutes.

  173. Two games and we already have this team’s problems doped out and solutions in place. Are we fans, or what?

  174. I see I didn’t miss much after going to bed. Sigh.

    Ah well. If we were going to have a really embarrassing and ugly loss this year, hopefully this was it and we got it out of the way early. We’re playing with lineups and rotations that will change once Pau gets back, and were probably still a bit high off of the ring ceremony mood.

    Newsflash, champions: The rest of the league will not roll over for you just because you beat them all last year. They will try even harder to beat you back. You’re the big main target now. Adjust.

  175. “We need more depth at the Forum Troll position. PG is a second priority.”

    Thank you Shaky

  176. I have had time to think about what happened last night and also re-stock all of the Halloween candy that I ate in last night’s loss. It was a combination of things, such as Artest being taken out of his rhythm with all of the calls against him, Kobe just had a bad night and our PG situation would be better with more minutes to ShanWOW. Heck, just having all of those shots that did not fall, go in. PJ and the team will adjust without Gasol, but it will take a little time, that issue is affecting the team rotations for sure.

    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it” – Albert Einstein

  177. I’m just now watching the game now. And in the second quarter, the Lakers are playing good offensively, namely Bynum is getting tons of good looks inside from his teammates. The defense was/is a little suspect. Hopefully the lakers work that out the next game.

  178. Am I insane if I say I see some of Wade in Tyreke Evans? For those who’ve seen more of him than me – does that make me crazy? I see the same poor shooting as a rookie, the tremendous size and athletic ability, the ability to get into the paint (admittedly Wade’s first step and change of direction is far superior), the combo guard role….I don’t know. I guess there’s a lot of young players that fit that bill. It just hit me, the more I see of that kid, that he may grow to be a slightly lesser (but similar) Wade, which is pretty damn good.

  179. I really am missing Ron Artest.

    -Guy is a streak shooter.
    -Doesnt cut to the basket like Ariza did.
    -Doesnt seem to have the footspeed on defense. Great hands though.
    -Not a good shooter. Known for his low 40s shooting.

    Missing Ariza and Rambis.

  180. So you are missing Ariza, Rambis, and Artest?

  181. Two things that really bothered/worried me:

    - Odom displayed some very arrogant ‘swagger’ and the rest of the team acted like they felt they were entitled to something more than they were being given.

    - Bynum was bothered by Dallas’ physical approach to guarding him. Being pushed and shoved wore him out and he stopped taking good shots. Boston is gonna eat him alive if he doesn’t learn how to play through that.

  182. PJ sacrificed this game for the season. He could have called a time out, but he didn’t and things just got out of hand. I just hope the Lakers learn a lesson from this.

  183. Ariza 33 points against Portland tonight. Sorry, someone had to point it out.

  184. That’s awesome! I still cheer for Ariza (so long as it doesn’t lead to a Lakers loss). He deserves to shine.

  185. the other Stephen October 31, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    the mavs just shamed L.A.
    twice. they won’t win a championship, but they sure know how to hurt other teams.

  186. Hi, on ESPN.com, the Insider Rumors link says “Rumors: Gasol’s hammy hurts a lot”

    Not that I’m asking anyone to engage in copyright infringement, but can someone elaborate? Either confirm or deny the rumor as dependable or completely off-base?

  187. so is gasol playing tomorrow? this so that if we drop another of these games, the “we didn’t have gasol” excuses stop and let the lakers really wake-up from the honeymoon stage. time to man-up.

    i agree, boston will eat bynum alive and will eat the lakers alive the way they’re playing (my hope tells me they’re burning out themselves too early).

    is arenas back or what?

    and is ariza the one who should’ve gotten sasha’s contract or what? sasha still doesn’t sell as the korver-type threat off the bench that a lot of teams do. i think the lack of this type of player and the ariza-type wing is hurting the bench. thank God for wow.

    enough of my excuses. GO LAKERS!

  188. play of the day from manu..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xo1gLYK5AA

    flat out stole the “most dangerous predator” title.. the black mamba has got his work cut out for him.

  189. Levedi,

    PJ’s teams have been to 12 Finals and won 10. We all know his teams learn their lesson. It’s nothing new. It’s why his teams are good in the crunch time, and good on road. When it matters the Lakers have the focus to plow through. They aren’t trained to know the coach will give them a break fom the pressure. Why sweat it?

  190. Lakers fans are prone to excessive perspiration.

  191. Ariza has had a 24pt game and now a 33pt game against portland! man, i don’t see artest going for 33 this whole season and even though some may say its because our talent and depth wouldn’t justify it; on nights like last game when kobe’s off and the rest of the team looks like scrubs by all means shoot the lights out artest! But its not going to happen because artest is struggling with fitting in and finding a good offensive rythem on the floor. I was all for the AR4AR swap this summer but now i am having a felling we bit our selves in a**. FARMAR& VUJACIC for ARIZA! please MITCH work your magic!

  192. ….It’s been two games….. two …..Jesus, why do I even bother?

    Sigh. I propose Kurt introduces a Youtube-like system where we can mark certain comments as “downers” or “pessimism to the point of ridiculousness.” That way we can read the comments we want to read without getting bogged down.

  193. Any word on Gasol for tonight?

  194. Gasol is out for tonight.

  195. JeremyLA24,

    How soon we forget. Do you remember Ron Artest doing the same things for Houston Last year? Do you also remember Ariza having to feel his way through as well. It’s easy to be a bit over reactive because you last memory of Trevor is the post season run when he was 100% comfortable in his role. What you’re forgetting is he had to find his way as well. Ron will too.

    As much as I like Trevor, I feel our ceiling can be higher when Artest does settle in.

    I really hope Kurt doesn’t need to put up another “Chicken Little” post.

  196. #193
    I completely understand that. I’d be living under a rock if I didn’t know that. But I think that mentality helped contribute to the loss. Is it worth it in the long run? Of course. But PJ didn’t help the short term effort of trying to win the game by leaving the guys out there to learn a lesson. Long term benefit: yes. Short term: no.

  197. I feel that Friday night’s game was just one of those nights. Kobe was WAY off, no one else could hit a bucket and the Lakers found whining and complaining to the refs more enjoyable than playing basketball.

    I see no overall trend in the results. Shrug it off and go on to tonight’s game.

  198. Although, I’m both surprised and happy for Ariza. I didn’t think he had it in him to score that much and shoot so efficiently. My guess is he still can’t create his own offense so much, and that a lot of it was predicated off Brooks’ penetration…but either way, the ability to hit those shots is still fantastic.