Preview and Chat: The Dallas Mavericks

Darius Soriano —  February 24, 2010

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Records: Lakers 43-14 (1st in the West), Mavericks 36-21 (4th in the West, 7.0 games behind the Lakers)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 108.8 (9th in NBA), Mavericks 108.0 (12th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 101.9 (2nd in NBA), Mavericks 105.9 (12th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Mavericks: Jason Kidd, Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Brendan Haywood

A note on game winners:  Last night’s jumper was the fifth time that Kobe outright beat a team with the last made shot of a game.  That glorious three point bomb joined his three pointer against the Kings, his running sideways three against the Heat, his turn around jumer against the Bucks, and his pull up jumper against the Celtics.  Environment doesn’t matter to our guy as Kobe’s made two of these shots at home and three on the road.  If you want to be less strict about game winners, you can add the jumper Kobe sank to untie the game against the Mavs back in January as another clutch shot that directly led to victory.  As I mentioned last night, this is a special player that his having a special year.  We should all enjoy this because players and performances like this don’t come around too often.

And for those debating clutchness, one measure of how a player performs in the clutch is what he does in the 4th quarter and overtime.  So far this season, Kobe has hit 18 shots that have given the Lakers the lead in this situation – tops in the league.  So when the game is close and the Lakers are within a basket to take the lead, Kobe is hitting more shots than any other player.  Pretty impressive.  Second on that list?  He plays for the team that we face tonight.  Dirk has hit 14 such shots this season.  He’s pretty good too.  (*Stats from ESPN Stats and the Elias Sports Bureau)

The Mavericks Coming in:  As we’ve covered a lot around here, the Mavericks have added some new faces.  The Butler and Haywood upgrade has been discussed and dissected everywhere so I won’t get into that now.  Not because it’s not important, but because in recent days the Mavs have made a couple of other really important moves.  That’s right – Von Wafer and Dwayne Jones are now Mavericks!  All joking aside, Von and Dwayne are recent signees of the Mavs and look to get limited minutes as insurance to some other injuries and depth issues the Mavs are dealing with.  One under reported consequence of the trade with the Wiz (and an earlier trade that the Mavs made with the Nets to reacquire Eddie Najera) is that the Mavs are really lacking in big man depth.  In losing both Kris Humphries and Drew Gooden in trades and with Eric Dampier in street clothes with a busted hand, the Mavs need some bodies to play behind their improved core.  Wafer and Jones are getting their shots with 10 day contracts to see if they can be those players to help out.  If not, the Mavs will look for some other player to step in.

Looking at the Mavs since their acquisition of Butler/Haywood, you see that the Mavs are back to their winning ways.  They’ve won four in a row by an average of almost nine points per game.  I say back to their winning ways because one of the reasons that Mark Cuban was even willing to make this trade (and take on the additional salary and coressponding luxury tax hit) was because the Mavs were in a real funk.  Over the 15 games before the trade, the Mavs had lost 8 games and a .500 hundred team is not going to inspire any confidence for a deep post season run, which is what the Mavs (and their owner) want and expect.  So, at this point the Mavs are back on track and are hoping to make a push into one of the top 3 seeds in the west and an avoidance of the Lakers in the 2nd round.  Can they pull it off?  A win tonight would certainly help with the confidence they’ll need to move in that direction.

Mavericks Blogs:  Rob Mahoney at the Two Man Game is one of the best bloggers around and deserves our attention.  He’s always getting fans meaninful information about the Mavs.  (He’s also one of the main contributors at ProBasketballTalk).  Go read his stuff.

Keys to game:  Tonight’s game will be a bit of a feeling out process for both teams while also serving as a measuring stick for both sqauds.  While all the pieces are familiar, this is a new Mavs team and one that the Lakers are going to need to take stock of.  And from the Mavs persepective, the Lakers are the team that they need to measure themselves against and with their new players, they need to see if the moves made have helped them match up better.

On offense, the Lakers need to attack the Mavs in the same way that they started to attack the Grizzlies in the first quarter last night.  That means early post touches for Pau against Dirk and for Drew against Haywood.  The Lakers advantage inside may not be what it typically is against a team with good big men like the Mavs, that does not mean you go away from your strength.  Enter the ball into the post and then run the offense.  Last night against the Grizz, the Lakers got away from running their offense and the game turned sloppy as they turned the ball over repeatedly.  Tonight, the Lakers need to stick to the plan and execute the Triangle.  I know I say this every game, but the Lakers offesne – when run correctly – allows for a variety of options that almost always lead to an advantage when strung out.  Pass the ball, move, and then pass the ball more.  It will lead to open shots.

One aspect I’d like to see the Lakers offense improve on tonight is being aware of the Mav’s guards digging down to help on the post.  Recently, both with and without Kobe, the Lakers bigs have been going into their moves to score the ball and have not been aware of late help coming to swipe at the ball for steals and contest shots to get blocks.  Last night Rudy Gay was very effective at helping late to contest shots and Conley/Mayo were also effective in digging down to disrupt the post moves of our bigs.  Tonight, the Lakers face Jason Kidd who is one of the best guards in the league at this technique and they’ll need to be ready.  Our bigs need to be patient, but when they do decide to make their move it must be agressive while still done with awareness because the Mavs guards (and Kidd specifically) will be helping off our guards (who have struggled to make jumpers) to bother our bigs and are betting that our shooters not named Kobe will not make them pay.

On defense, it all starts with slowing down Dirk.  I could go on and on about a player that I think is one of the (still) underrated players in the game, but I won’t.  Just understand that the guy has 20,000+ career points for a reason.  He can hurt you in a variety of ways and marking him in both the half court and on the secondary break is key to slowing the Mavs attack.  Luckily, I think the Lakers happen to have two of the best defenders to throw at Nowitzki in Pau and Lamar.  Both of our guys must find him early in the clock and push him out of his comfort zone.  Make him drive right to shoot his jumper and always be aware that when the ball goes on the ground he loves to spin back over his right shoulder to shoot his pretty fade-away jumper.

The other key players on offense to watch are Kidd and Terry.  Despite his age, Kidd is still playing high level offensive basketball.  Watching him operate with the ball in his hands never gets old as he consistently makes the right decision and rarely forces the action.  The key to slowing Kidd down, I think, is to pressure the ball and make him work to get to the spots on the floor that he likes.  When left to move unimpeded, Kidd can execute you to death by picking out players with pin point passes that set them up for easy shots.  He’s truly like the quarterback that leads his WR’s perfectly so they can run after the catch.  So, in keeping the football analogy alive, I think you need to pressure the passer and make him beat you when feeling the heat.  As for Terry, he is a notorious Laker killer and he needs to be marked from the moment he’s sitting at the scorers table to come into the game.  He can light it up from anywhere and relishes his chances to stick it to the Lakers.  I think we’ll see a lot of Shannon on JET tonight and that means we need the disciplined defense that WOW showed against Portland and San Antonio to make sure that Terry doesn’t get that good feeling going.  One other player that needs to be mentioned is rookie speedster Roddy Beaubois.  The Mavs are high on him and for good reason.  He’s a blur in the open court and can create shots with the best of them.  Almost half of his shots come within the first 10 seconds of the shot clock, so you know he’s looking to push pace and get easy buckets.  Talent evaluators have compared him to Tony Parker and Leandro Barbosa which is high praise and means that we better be paying attention to him – especially since he is the type of guard that traditionally gives the Lakers problems.

Where you can watch:  6:00pm start here in the West, Nationally on ESPN and Locally on KCAL 9, also on ESPN Radio 710am.

Darius Soriano

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118 responses to Preview and Chat: The Dallas Mavericks

  1. warren!


  2. I thought I was going to be the first comment today. and give the warren shout out. But anyway.
    just about everybody struggled last night against Memphis. Andrew with fouls, Pau with turnovers and FT’s down the stretch, Lamar with everything, Fisher with FT’s, Artest, Shannon and Farmar with their shot. I expect the Lakers to bounce back and have the all around and balanced scoring game that many anticipated yesterday.

    The lakers kicked Dallas’ butt the last two times they played, so I expect Dallas to come out firing. This is going to be a game that’s going to come down to shot making (like most games vs. dallas). The lakers have to keep up their energy and focus and not get lazy and sloppy like they did in the 2nd and 3rd quarters yesterday. As much as I would love to see another Kobe game winner, I would much rather see the game wrapped up in the middle of the 4th quarter.

  3. What I would love to see tonight, that I didn’t get to see last night in Memphis, was determined, focused, suffocatingly effective team defense. Especially in the second half. We started out so well last night, but we need to keep it up. Team defense, ball movement, and Pau and Bynum owning the paint while Kobe, Farmar, and Ron kills from the outside by making their jumpers.

    Go Lakers!

  4. If you want to watch tonight’s game with some local flavor, Joel & Stu will be calling the game for KCAL-9 at 6:00pm.

  5. Going to be tough tonight. Dallas is much better at center with Haywood and Butler and Dirk are a matchup problem for Lakers. Butler may be too fast for Ron and I would much rather see LO on Dirk otherwise Gasol is away from the basket and as we know Andrew dosen’t like to rebound because its not fun like shooting. Going to be tough to win on back to back tonight.

  6. Mark, I’ve updated the post with the local telecast info. Thanks for that.

  7. Well, if Andrew does not get at least 4 points in the first five minutes, then it will be downhill for him the entire game. Kid is good, he just puts way to much value on his offensive numbers and tends to pout if the offensive side is not going his way.

  8. I’ve seen a lot of people blaming Gay for going under the screen but I disagree. His mistake came as Artest and his man used Kobe as a screen to go towards the basket. Gay showed a second of indecision about whether to switch or not. Kobe showed no hesitation and by that point Gay wasn’t going to get to kobe whether he went over or under Pau.

    If he went over he’d have to cut in a way that still leaves him to kobe’s far right. There’s a chance he could have block the shot, but the odds weren’t great and probably favored him running into Kobe and giving up 3 FTs, if not the and 1.

  9. One thing I have to keep reminding myself is that we’re still on pace (knock on wood) to win 60+ games as the defending champs. Keep in mind people that we get every other team’s (and their fans) best shot. Winning by 1 against a Memphis team desperately in need of a win after we had a 4 day layoff is not the worst win in the world. Dallas will be tough, but I get the sense our team is about to go on a nice long winning streak.

  10. #5, another reason I want to see Lamar cover Nowitzki is that Pau is not as physically strong as Lamar is. Dirk is a big guy, we want a big guy strong and heavy enough to muscle him around, and that means either Lamar, Ron, or Andrew. Andrew is too inconsistent on defense, and Ron is too slow to keep up with Nowitzki, so that leaves us with Lamar.

  11. If the Lakers lose tonight it will simply be because it’s the 2nd game of a back2back. An older team on the road in this situation is a loss more times than not. It won’t be because of any additions the Mavs made.

  12. Ken,
    Based on the last time they played this season Butler was in no way too fast for Artest as Ron shut him down. If Rudy Gay wasn’t too fast for RonRon few SF’s will be when Artest is healthy.

    Our best matchups will be to put Kobe on Marion and Artest on Butler. Phil might be saving that for the postseason though. We will see tonight.

  13. Re: Kobe’s clutchness.

    With 18 seconds left, Kobe bricked a wide open 12 footer (and prolly shot it too soon), with 8 seconds left he took a baseline drive and had his floater blocked. So in the last 18 seconds he went 1 for 3. (Thank goodness Mayo bricked 2 free throws and Gay knocked the blocked shot out of bounds).

    If he takes every late shot for a good team that plays to its opponents abilities, he’ll collect winners, but I’d prefer to see a late shooting percentage instead of a counting stat.

  14. Dariuys- thats an interesting stat you posted about clutch shots this season.

    One question: Yesterday on sportscenter they said that in the last (what was it? since 2003-2004 season) 5-6 years..surprise surprise Lebron has had 25 such shots and Kobe 24 (though this would have been his 25th? wasn’t clear). Just wondering if you could elaborate on that.

  15. #13.
    Yeah, shooting percentage does matter. In fact, last night I thought what was even more impressive than the game winner were the two shots Kobe made when he cut the deficit to three and then the three pointer he hit to tie it. Those shots would not show up in the stat that I referenced, but those were just as big (if not bigger) than the game winner that Kobe hit to actually win the game.

    However, even though I stated above that shooting percentage matters, the number of shots that Kobe makes in those circumstances matters too. Basketball is a game of momentum and the shots that Kobe hits do swing games (especially when you consider that before the 2nd Cav’s game the Lakers had some rediculous stat where they hadn’t lost – or lost only one game all year – when they’d led in the 4th quarter). Plus, and this isn’t to knock any of the other players, in the one instance where Kobe did pass up the shot with the game tied at the 30 second mark, he passed to Pau and he came up empty on that leaning bank shot. So, I think this could be looked at several different ways with there not being a definitive answer. I’m just happy that when the time came, Kobe hit the shot that gave us the lead – and this time for good.

  16. Nice play PJ drew up at the end of that game. If only we could of run that play against the C’s, Fish might not have takin that shot and we’d be on a 6 game winning streak.

    Oh well, just hope the team doesn’t go into Kobe watching tonight. Looking for LO or Bynum to have a great night. Mamba is gonna be clutch, Pau’s gonna get a DD, Fish should be able to keep pace with Kidd and Ron… well he’s RonRon.

    Lakers win another close one.

    Go Lakers !!!

  17. “Clutch-ness” is impossible to compute. When do we take the stats down? 20 seconds? 10? shots that could change the lead or win the game? Impossible.

    Comparing Lebron and Kobe and Big Shot Billups and Melo and Dirk is utterly impossible. To me it is all about who you have on your team. We have Kobe, so we know he will take the last shot unless he’s being guarded by 4 guys. Dirk will take the shot for the Mavs. Lebron will pick and roll or pull for a 3, Melo will post, face up. If you were a fan on any of those teams, you’d be confident with them taking that shot. Right?

  18. Let’s see if Kidd will light up Fisher tonight. At last Fisher plays someone in his own generation. Fisher is like an old car. It used to be reliable, but now it’s breaking down. And you will only get pennies on the dollar when you trade it in at the dealer.

  19. No Caron Butler tonight.

    Some allergic reaction to medication. So no Caron, no Dampier.

  20. Just an update as per Espn 710, Caron Butler is out tonight and Pau is questionable due to him being sick; not sure why Butler is out.

  21. anyone have a link for tonight’s game? Thanks in advance

  22. Is the game delayed or something? My NBA league pass broadband says that the channel isn’t broadcasting.

  23. OK, i’m sad butler isn’t playing. Seems like the team matches up really well with one another.

    And Dallas is pumped for this game. You can tell. The crowd is really into it.

  24. i want to say something nice about fish, he is the by the far the best player in the league at drawing offensive fouls

  25. I’m amazed at how Fish survived the league without knowing how to shoot layups. He is just like me on a fastbreak… plain ugly. LOL.

  26. Dallas really is looking at this game as a statement game. You can tell by the energy, and the fact that stevenson is actually playing with an intensity i’ve never seen before when he was Agent O’s sidekick. Every call matters for them in this game. Every non call too.

  27. @ Warren,

    That layup didn’t make sense to me at all. Fish jumped into his man instead of just going straight. I think his inability to be good at the hole is completely in his head.

  28. The Mavs are really trying to get out and run tonight

  29. Nice to see Drew grabbing some boards today. Hopefully this bodes well for his state of mind for the remainder of the game.

  30. how was that a foul on derek?

  31. Every year, John Ireland puffs out his hair even more to try and show us he is not losing it.

  32. Anyone have a livestream link that isn’t ustream?

  33. That was a solid first period for both teams. Kobe was held in check, but our inside presence was very good overall. Both Drew and Pau got the shots that they wanted and Lamar was active as well in his limited court time so far.

    Also, this version of Jason Kidd (less athletic, good jumpshooter from range, but still in total control) is a guy that can seemingly play for 5 more seasons.

  34. So, 1 quarter down. Drew with 7 boards, Kobe with 5 misses. For those of you actually watching the game (not the box score like me), how does the team look as a whole? It seemed like the Mavs got a few offensive boards that helped them. Is Kobe settling for the jumper too much, or is it coming in the flow of the offense?

  35. When the last time you have seen kobe o-o-o in a quarter?

  36. Havent looked at the numbers but it seems Lamar is shooting better from the 3 this season.

    Why on earth would anyone ever help off of Terry. His defender should stick to him at all times.

  37. #36. harris, I can’t recall it happening ever – though I’m sure it has.

    #37. lakergirl, Terry is a guy that just always seems to play well against the Lakers. And Shannon is gambling a bit too much considering the man he’s guarding. He needs to face guard Terry and let whoever is guarding Najera be the designated helper.

    Overall, I like Farmar’s gumption in attacking the paint, but he needs to understand that this kid guarding him is just as athletic, if not more.

  38. LO is a 6’10” guard out there.

  39. Ron with his first rebound and Kobe with his first basket all in the same sequence.

  40. I really have been impressed with Farmar this season. I’ve always written him off in the past as not being capable of being our PG of the future, and maybe he’s best suited as a backup played 25 minutes a game, but I’ve really liked what I’ve seen this year. It definitely doesn’t hurt him that Fisher has been absolutely worthless 95% of this season. The only thing I’d like to see Farmar work on is add a little bulk and really concentrate on his defense.

    That said, I think Fisher is really on his last leg. I’ve defended him in the past, but I cannot take it anymore. I cringe whenever he touches the ball now. His forays to the hoop have always been an adventure but he seems to try many more lately. I like that he runs the offense and steadies us at times, but we really need a more athletic point guard who can shoot and defend.

    To that note, what about the recently bought out Larry Hughes? I know he’s not a marksmen by any means from 3, but he is tall, athletic, and is a pretty good defender. His jumper can’t be that much worse than Fisher’s right now. And he just got bought out by the Kings so he’d be cheap. WIth Sasha and Luke sidelined, I like the move for depth.

  41. @sT (40): LO is my 2nd favorite player in the NBA. I love his skillset and think he’s perfect for the Lakers. His lack of aggression frustrates me at times, but I’ve learned to live with it.

    Also, Shannon Brown strays from the offense more than any player on the team. I hate how he seems to take these out of sync jumpers early in the clock. It’s not good at all, especially when he usually misses them.

  42. so today we get good odom

  43. Drew looks like Haywoods long lost cousin. They both have that knock knee trot coming down the floor and in the post.

  44. Looks like we got good Lamar & bad Kobe today. It often seems that they don’t fire at the same time this season. Hopefully the 2nd half will make a liar of me.

  45. Mavs getting a ton of offensive rebounds…really the only reason this game is close right now

  46. Just a quick thought after seeing von wafer on the dallas bench, why doens’t LA grab a Dleaguer for a ten day contract with sasha and luke out. Would it still be too expensive?

  47. Bynum 9 boards, wow. Yeah, Artest and LO are doing just great so far, 5-7 shooting I will take anyday.

  48. Brimshine, that’s a very good question.

    Lakers had a pretty nice run goin until the 2 minute mark, they got a few steals and converted on the offensive end. Ron’s layups are going in! Unfortunately the defense is not grabbing all the offensive boards, a few rotations have been slow thus leaving the 3 too open, and the Mavs have good Jet today.

    Should be an interesting second half.

  49. @22, 33: here’s my stream is a great site, bookmark it

  50. Fisher with the burst. Damn he outran Stevenson

  51. Have we really earned only 2 free throws for the entire game thus far?

  52. What’s with the rebounding margin?
    31-18 right now.

  53. The offensive rebounds the mavs are getting, are they bad bounces or lack of hustle from the lakers?

  54. get it inside with haywood on the bench

  55. bestill my heart. we got an offensive rebound

  56. Bad bounces

  57. Find the shooter in transition. It’s not that hard.

  58. The Lakers have no idea what shooters look like since there isn’t one on their team…

  59. Pau should be killing Eduardo N. on the block.

  60. Kostas & Jaded:
    Thank you for the links!

  61. That’s why when you have a foul to give, it’s not always the right thing to give it.


    this is the best of them all.You have to download veetle first.

  63. try passing the ball drew

  64. Bynum just does not look to pass the ball at all

  65. Exactly what Darius talked about…post help by guards.

    Brown is not PG. I don’t like it when he handles the ball.

    We just need to stay close until Kobe comes back.

  66. Haywood is a problem

  67. I’m sorry, but Bynum has no post moves. To work with the player with the most points in the history of the NBA and look like you are in High School is the Worst! BTW…does the NBA players look at these posts?

  68. ahh rebounds

  69. Whoever said it is right…Bynum is like a blackhole. He doesn’t even look pass. I don’t mind when he gets deep post position but he can’t be setting up 10 feet from the basket and ignoring everyone else when he gets the entry pass.

  70. If we lose this game, it’s entirely on rebounding. That’s gotta be the 5th or 6th rebound we’ve fumbled/bumbled out of bounds, not even getting into the offensive boards we’re giving up.

    This team gets mighty lazy on the boards on the 2nd night of a back-to-back.

  71. We’re really struggling to secure defensive boards today. This has plagued us all season in my humble opinion. Just giving the ball back too many times on our defensive end.

  72. 69. Nice joke.

    Unfortunately, Lakers cant seem to hold the ball for the rebound, another that somehow goes out of bounds…. ugh.

    Oh cool, can’t seem to buy a call while the mavericks are getting free throws the rest of the way for bumps by players off the ball…

  73. if we lose its cos of rebounds simple, but its a back to back so i wont be too mad

  74. The defense looks very lazy. They’re allowing Dallas to do whatever they want with screens and mismatches then watching the ball when it goes up instead of boxing out. Not a recipe for 4th quarter success on the road.

  75. jay,

    is it lazy or tired? i’d go with tired. But yah, it needs to be cleaned up. Listening on the radio after my work out, seems that the referees are deciding the winner?

  76. 77. calls defo arent going our way

  77. The Lakers are losing their composure.

  78. The mavs are just flat out hustling the lakers, and when the lakers do get to a rebound or loose ball they cant hang on to it

  79. This is looking awfully like last night, except Kobe’s not on like he was last night. We’re going to need some good stops down the stretch – and to actually grab some boards.

  80. james, yah i just saw that with haywood’s push off.

    I’ve watched only 2 quarters of this game, so correct me if I’m wrong. But Dallas post trade has really umped their argument for legit contender. They match up really really well against the Lakers. It will make for an exciting series. If they make it to us.

  81. Someone explain to me why Bynum is on the bench? He is 5-8, 10 pts, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block and 2 fouls.

    What, exactly, does he need to do to be considered an offensive weapon in the late game?

    Gasol is not getting it done right now, give the ball to Bynum.

    (( Wow. Bynum is in. He got the rebound, got good position, got the ball and got hacked, but got no call… Sad, but better than I hoped. Thanks for listening Phil. ))

  82. 77
    I’m not sure whether lazy or tired is more accurate, but the eyeball test is telling me lazy. Gasol, Odom and Bynum are much better rebounders than this and sometimes they just let a board fall when moving 2 feet to either side would have gotten the rebound.

    I’ve seen this happen pretty often in back to back situations. I know our record is actually quite good in back to backs, but even a lot of the games we win, our lack of effort gives inferior teams a chance.

  83. We need stops… LO with the 3, then Kobe with the layup, and 57 seconds to go and we are within 3. I just love NBA ball.

  84. Bynum should have riding the bench most of the second half, Lamar has played well the entire game and Bynum has stunk it up

  85. LETS GO LAKERS!!!!!

  86. Kobe saves the ball.. Lamar gets an and1..

    Kobe dishes to Lamar for a 3…

    Kobe drives to the basket for a layup

  87. can’t make em all…

  88. I’ll say it. that was a terrible shot.

  89. We really needed that FT defense to be working today!

  90. Kobe makes 2 of those bunnies in the 1st half, we win this game. That’s how I’m looking at this one.

  91. Oh well, you can’t win them all, right?

  92. This team will be scary come Playoff time, with Caron and Haywood they are better than ever before . . . but that was an ugly second half on the Lakers part

  93. Everyone relax… it was a good game. 2nd nights of a back to back are always hard and Dallas is a solid club. You can’t win them all. The rebounding disparity is a direct result of tired legs. The Lakers won’t be playing any back to backs in the playoffs… of that I am certain. And the Lakers only rotation players in their 20’s are Bynum, Faramr, and Brown and they don’t get many quality minutes in the 4th.

  94. Tough loss.. Alot of little mistakes cost LA. Im going to chalk up the rebounding problems to the back back.

    Haywood is a disruptive force

  95. Darius, I urge you to use your moderation powers as often as you can.

    Second game of a back to back, on the road, against a good team.

    Can’t win them all, and the schedule accounts for some of those losses. There is a reason that there are no back to backs in the playoffs…

  96. I hope this was a back2back effect. Kobe scores 20 points… on 23 shots. Fisher scores 12 on 13. Everyone else shot well, but didn’t shoot much. Bynum and Pau both with 8 points.

    Can someone (i’m sure the wrap up will say it) but was the offense not moving well at all? Was the ball stuck in kobe’s hands? I need this analysis.

  97. I say the Lakers are in pretty good shape in a seven game series versus Dallas when they can keep the game this close despite their two best players having off nights offensively.

  98. If Kobe’s mini-surge allowed him to make that three to tie it, a different ballgame.

    Still, this team won’t really scare me in a 7 game series.

  99. Bad bounces and disappointing performances from star players will average themselves out over a 7 game series.

  100. Didn’t watch this game but how is it that fisher takes more shots than gasol, odom, bynum and artest???

  101. or Lakers don’t give up a buzzer beating 3 to Kidd at the end of 3rd.. it could’ve been OT (I’m not counting the free throws that Nowitzki got with 1 second left in the game.)

    Interesting, the Lakers were being outscored throughout the 4th even though Dallas didn’t actual score a field goal until 6:30 left in the quarter.

    Would this game have been tougher with Butler in the mix? Honestly I think for now that he negates some of Terry’s scoring punch, and I trust Artest on defense more than our guards.

  102. No excuses. Lakers play differently when Kobe is around. Even a kid could see the difference.

  103. Did you see that, AB said in the locker room interview that they were playing 8 on 5 tonight, wow, someone will get a fine tomorrow.

  104. Bynum is going to get fined. Post game interview

    “It’s tough going 8 on 5. It’s tough going 8 on 5”.

    I just watched it and he is sulking at the locker room. Now, he has a point on the travel call, but you don’t say it. You just play through it and you shouldn’t let it affect you. I saw him sulking during a time out. When things go against him, he does get really down on it. I don’t like that.

    And yes, during the interview, he did say “I didn’t get any touches in the second half.”

    I think he is an important part of our team, but he will never close with that type of attitude.

  105. I keep hearing variations on “It will be different in the playoffs” for the Lakers.

    Well, let’s hope so.

  106. I thought it was a case of one team wanting it a LOT more than the other team. The Lakers didn’t bring their A game nor A effort, but Mavericks did, maybe not their A game, but definitely A effort.

    Kidd has developed into a solid 3 pt shooter when he’s left wide open, and we repeatedly left him open. Jason Terry always has big game against us. Dirk was just Dirk. Haywood was a lot more active than Dampier. If they have healthy Caron, this team could give us some trouble taking us to 6 or 7 games even.

    Still, I like our chances as the team was only a break here and there away from a solid road win. We need to shore up our defensive rebounding and avoid leaving the shooters (all the guards)!

  107. Wow two games back, wanted Kobe to revert to old form, not whole team..
    Mavs are smart doubling Bynum – they know he’s not gonna pass it even if he had three guys on him. Kobe Bynum and PJ’s (switch onto Dirk? Really?) hubris tonight was astonishing and sickening for the game of basketball.

  108. I really don’t like the way Bynum and Shannon Brown compete.

    Brown regularly has brain spasms. Why did he save the Jason Terry 3-point airball? He couldn’t even be bothered to foul Nowitzki at the end. Kobe ran from the far end of the court to do it.

    Bynum has loads of talent but when things don’t go this way he looks to blame someone else first. And his lazy running gave up an easy bucket to Haywood.

    Kobe, Lamar, Gasol, Artest, Fisher, Farmar… they make plenty of mistakes, but they battle.

    And Kobe throws plenty of glares around the court, but he’s also hard on himself.

  109. The turnovers were just brutal tonight……

    starting the 4th with back to back ones….then Bynum closes out his evening with a series of turnovers…

    Ouch. also, we got ravaged on the offensive boards….

    Agree with above posters, Dallas is a major problem for us, though not because of Butler but because of Haywood, who pretty much eats Bynum’s lunch every time they see one another….the Laker bigs struggle with players of equal size

  110. How can any team continue to start and play Fisher. Another 3 for 13 while Terry 30 points and Kidd 14 or for that matter anyone who is on the court with Fisher has a free rein..

    He is so slow he couldn’t even foul a guy at the end of the game.

    He is the worst starting point guard in the NBA yet he actually thinks he can shoot and takes more shots then Gasol and Bynam. 13 shots!

    How can Phil set there and not stop this?

    And for those who complain stop with the Fish bashing. Not as long as he continues to hurt this team and make a mockery of the point guard position.

  111. Ken,

    Terry scored on everyone who guarded him. Fish shot the three point shot when he had space.

    Fish wasn’t the reason this game was lost. Sorry.

  112. I know how you all love short, critical comments. lakers suck and will not even make it to the final!! Bounced by Portland, Denver, or Dallas.

  113. I know Ray. But when he(the worst % shooter on the team) is taking more shots then Bynam, Gasol and Artest you have to wonder. I expected Kobe to be tired and expected Dallas to win this one. I just have trouble watching Fish.

    Go to 82 and look at his numbers in every catagory compared to the other 29 starters. It really bugs me that Lakers couldn’t see this coming.

  114. ken, did u watch the game? I only watched the first and the fourth, and remember seeing only one shot where fisher attempted to get a foul on a layup.

    I don’t remember going “wtf?” at all during the fourth. He also got a pretty important offensive foul call on terry in the last few minutes of the game.

    I think your fixation with Fisher’s numbers make you more biased. Triangle is a flow offense, and to keep the flow, he is supposed to take shots when the opportunity is given.

    Yah, he’s not Magic. He’s not Van Exel. He’s not even Sedale Threat at this point of his career.

    There’s plenty of blame to go around for this loss.

  115. I watch every game either as a ticket holder for 30 years or on TV. I don’t want Fisher shooting. He is shooting 5% lower this year from 3 then last year at 34 and his37% is the lowest for any starting PG in the NBA.

    The guy is one of the hardest workers on the court but he hurts the team on offensive and defense. When you play either Brown or Farmer with the 2nd team you get 2nd team results. When Kobe was out they played mich better then Fisher.

    Every team has a scout and they know how to hurt the Lakers, go at the weakest point Fisher on defense and let him shoot on offense. Several of my friends are former players here in Newport Beach and they call out Fisher the same as I do and even worse then me.

    He will make a good coach but his time has passed. Willy Mays stayed one year to long and hit .240 that year. Fisher stayed one year to long and he is hurting the team.