Lakers/Mavericks Game 1: Sunk Down The Stretch

Darius Soriano —  May 2, 2011

Game 1’s don’t seem to agree with the Lakers so far these playoffs. Just as with the Hornets series, the Lakers find themselves trailing after the first contest, with the Mavs winning 96-94 and stealing away home court in a game with so many twists and turns it should have been played on Lombard St. in San Francisco.

The game started with the Mavs doing what they do best, knocking down jumpers. They isolated Dirk on the left side of the floor (just as Phillip said they would) and the big German went to work, canning all variety of jumpers against whatever defense the Lakers threw at him. And when Dirk wasn’t hitting jumpers, the pick and roll actions that Dallas used with him was opening up the weak side of the floor when defenders would rotate to Dirk and leave their man open to do so. Dallas quickly recognized this Laker tactic and subbed out their non-shooters (Stevenson and Marion) for guys that were threats to make shots and space the floor (Terry and Peja) in order to fully capitalize against this strategy. And when those guys came in, they too joined the shot making parade to make L.A. pay.

Meanwhile, the Lakers hung tough through aggressive play from Kobe Bryant. Seeing an advantage against Stevenson early, Kobe was quick to look for his own offense and fired away with pretty good results. His jumper was falling (for the most part) and his activity set the tone early for his team. When Kobe wasn’t shooting however, Gasol was trying to match Dirk bucket for bucket and doing a decent job of doing so. The big Spaniard started out with a driving lay in, then hit a nice turn around after a strong post up, and finished off his brief flurry with a corner J that looked as sweet as the ones he knocked down all year long.

What started as a back and forth affair though, soon became the Lakers game to control. Near the end of the first half, the Lakers turned some silly fouls by the Mavs into made FT’s and put the Mavs behind the 8 ball. Jason Terry’s awful foul on a Lamar Odom half court heave gave the Lakers an 8 point cushion and then a Dirk technical foul after the last FT sent Kobe to the line to push the margin to 9.

When the 3rd quarter started, the Lakers took and even tighter grasp on the game by turning the the Mavs over multiple times and turning those steals into easy baskets. Soon enough, the Lakers found themselves up by 16 and the Mavs looked to be on their last legs. Before the priests could be called in to give Dallas their last rites however, a furious come back began. Bad shots and poor all around decision making led to easy Dallas baskets. Phil decided to let the group try to figure it out on their own (as is his m.o.) but sadly they never did. In the blink of an eye, the Laker lead was cut to three and the game would be a dog fight until the very end.

And down the stretch of a close game, the Lakers – as has been all to frequent this year – couldn’t seal the deal. The starters did a good enough job of matching baskets with the Mavs but the shots they were getting became overly dependent on Kobe creating in isolation and less to do with any semblance of an offense being run. Even when the Lakers tried to go inside (which wasn’t nearly enough) the spacing was bad and either turnovers or bad shots against the shot clock resulted. Meanwhile the Mavs just kept plugging away and running their sets. Dirk would hit a jumper or the ball would swing from one side of the court to other, quickly go inside, and the Mavs would get any easy basket.

In the closing minutes, the Lakers tried to go to what had worked the entire game (Kobe making shots) but on one possession a jumper went woefully long and on another (with under 30 seconds to go) Kobe drove to the paint and got caught in the air with no passing angle and committed a turnover. After the timeout and the Mavs only down by a single point, they ran an inbound play to get the ball to Dirk only Gasol fouled him to put him on the line. After sinking both freebies, the Lakers ran a hand-off play for Kobe but he got held/tripped up coming off the screen and the Lakers committed another turnover. (And yes, it looked like a foul. But, for the 100th time, if you allow the game to be that close at the end – as the Lakers did – you have to live with a missed call. The Lakers had many chances for the game to not come down to a single possession and didn’t do enough in those chances. I can understand the importance of that one call, but I also understand the importance of a 16-4 Dallas run in the 3rd quarter.) After more FT’s by the Mavs (Kidd sunk 1 of 2), the Lakers had one last chance but Kobe missed a great look at a three pointer and the Mavs held on.

And really, that’s the story to this game: the Mavs held on. When they were down big, the Lakers allowed them to get back in the game quickly enough that it was like that big lead never happened. With the game close, the Mavs found ways to make shots and get stops to ensure that in the closing minutes they’d have a chance to get the ball to their closer and he delivered. It’s not that Kobe couldn’t match Dirk (because for the most part he did) but instead it was about the Lakers over-reliance on Kobe making those shots for them to win this game. And when you rely on one player in isolation the way the Lakers did, sometimes the shots just won’t fall. The Mavs proved as much by moving the ball in and out of Nowitzki’s hands in those final minutes to both get him good looks but also set up other players. The Lakers never adjusted and it hurt them in the end.

If the Lakers would have shown more discipline by going to the post more often to both Gasol and Bynum (especially when Drew was playing with the 2nd unit) the Lakers likely would have gotten better possessions and not taken so many bad jumpers that fueled the Mavs comeback. But, alas, that’s not the way the game unfolded. If there’s one lesson from this game it’s that the Lakers didn’t salt away the game when they had the chance. I don’t know if they expected the Mavs to fold or if their lack of patience simply yielded the worst results possible but it all ended up leading to the same conclusion. The Mavs fought their way back and the Lakers left the door open for them to do so. At this point, they can either sulk about it or come back the next game and not make the same mistake.

And in the end, I expect the latter. By now, the Lakers understand that the Mavericks are not a team that will go quietly into the night. In order to beat them, the execution must be game long not just something that comes and goes. Each possession needs to be valued or this team can and will take advantage of the mishaps. Falling behind in a series is a tough way to learn this lesson but hopefully now it sticks. The Lakers will have their chance to prove that they know better on Wednesday.

Darius Soriano

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40 responses to Lakers/Mavericks Game 1: Sunk Down The Stretch

  1. Once again the Lakers let one very bad stretch occur after building a large lead, reverting to stupid long jumpers and turnover-prone possessions to let the other team get run-outs for lay-ups and open threes.

    Feed the post, where size is a huge advantage? Nah, that would make things too easy.

    One would think this team would rid itself of the proclivity for repeatedly making the same mistakes, over and over again. But not these Lakers. It was like watching the Sacramento game all over again, but this time the ending sucked the high hard one.

    Never easy this season. Frustrating as hell to watch this team.

  2. 1- Ron Artest has played close to 200 games for the Lakers. Maybe 10 were good offensive games. He again stunk going 1 for 8 instead of throwing the ball to the bigs. One thing being a bad offense player, it’s another when you are to dumb to except it.
    2-Iam done with Gasol. If e is not fumbling passes, he is playing soft bad defense and finishing that up with a dumber then dumb foul 40 feet from tbe basket while you are up by one!

    (edited for trade speculation)

    3-nice coaching Phil, leave your starters on the bench in the playoffs for 6 minutes in the 4th quarter and then put Winnie The Pau on Dirk and bench LO when your up by one.

    We deserve to loss this game and the series to crying Mark Cuban!

  3. I put this loss squarely on Phil Jackson. The fact that our bench lost total control of the game plan and was getting destroyed is no new occurrence. The fact that he let them play so long into the 4th while holding Kobe out made no sense. And not calling timeout during that 3rd quarter sequence was disgusting. I understand his macro philosophy, but that is 100% inexcusable. He also switched up his usual “playoff lineups/substitutions” and it didn’t pay off at all.

    Also, at one point every starter was shooting over 50% except Ron who was like 1-8. And he kept shooting. They were HORRID shots. Fade away LONG twos. Random guarded pullup jumpers falling sideways. When every other player has it going and you’re shooting those shots that is also inexcusable.

    Bynum. WTF happened to him? He didn’t protect the paint, rebound or score well at all. They like to run and dribble. And it looked like it got Bynum gassed from running up and down the court nonstop. And they never fed him inside, nor did he look for the ball. This goes back to Phil. He messed with the normal successful rotation, kept an on fire Kobe out for in the 4th for absolutely no reason, and let that super run in the 3rd go unchecked. I’m sure every Laker fan is wondering why Dirk gets the call on a super flop while Kobe gets a no call after Kidd is holding on to his hips and trips him to the ground. Absolutely ridiculous. Still, we should have won this game. But when your coach is trying to teach lessons over win games in the playoffs, you might be screwed.

  4. Do assistant coaches have the right to say words of encouragement or words of wisdom during timeouts? I have seen fish do these a lot during the past playoffs, I mean Phil doesnt talk too much during timeouts and I even recall during the finals vs the Orlando Magic his imstruction during the timeout was “move the ball, cut off the screens, etchetera, etchetera”. I am no coaching genius and Phil Jackson is the BEST out there evidenced by his 11 rings but sometimes players needs to get nailed on their head that their regular season mistakes is no longer acceptable in the playoffs and pump up their adrenalin rush and wake them up from their slumber and tell them that the road to the championship is very close.

  5. shannon brown must have the lowest basketball IQ for a Laker

  6. Darius, I completely and respectfully disagree with you for the 100th time. The referees, and their call/non-calls are an absolutely critical part of an NBA game.

    We all understand that point differential in the playoffs is a very, very small margin. Rare is the utter blowout, outside of the first round match-ups.

    In a tight game, not only does the tone become tremendously affected by the refereeing style, but so therefore does the pace of play.

    I completely agree that a championship team learns to ignore the bad calls (something this Laker team has never been capable of) and play hard anyway.

    But, that is not to say that the utterly horrible call on Gasol vs Dirk, and the pure excrement of the non-call of Kidd vs Kobe did not create a huge difference in a game that came down to two possessions.

    As virtually ALL games do.

    (The cliche about tuning into the last two minutes of the fourth quarter to see the whole game is a cliche for a reason…)

    The rarity of calls made on contact against the Lakers is really distressing, and I hope that an executive in the front office makes a tape, and sends it into the league office for investigation.

    And, if I were the coach, I would have absolutely sent in Smith or Walton to foul someone hard, and loosen up the whistles.

    The simple question is this: If the referees don’t matter, why are they there? Of course they influence the game. They are there to interpret the action, and ensure a fair contest, while helping to control the emotions of competition.

    And tonight the bad calls at the end sealed it for Dallas.

    Hopefully the Lakers summon up the stones to play hard, pound the ball inside, and punish the Mavericks for the remainder of the series.

    We will see.

  7. Even the commentators admitted that Gasol didn’t foul Dirk, and that Dirk – and I quote – “flopped a little and did a good job selling it.” And when Kidd fouled Kobe, they said, “If you’re a Laker fan, you gotta wonder why that’s a foul at one end of the court but not here.”

    While the Lakers certainly stopped playing well and got lazy with the game (and perhaps deserved to lose), you can’t hide the fact that the refs stole the game from them at the end. Twice.

  8. Frustrating indeed. I wonder how many Lakers fans poked their eyes out last night, or considered doing so.

  9. Imagine if the Lakers had a savy vet instead of Shannon. Maybe Stackhouse or someone like that. Someone that would feed Bynum!

    There is something wrong when you see Kobe reposting Bynum, even when the kick-out gave a (semi) free threepointer, while Shannon just jacks up the longball without even looking to Bynum.

    Have you guys seen the NBAplaybook.com breakdown of the Kobe slip/Kidd push/Pau brainfart on the crucial handoff play down the stretch?

    Seems like it is first of all on Pau:

    In the first place he should have caught the ball on the three point line, not +1 meter outside it, then he should have passed it off to Odom after looking for the backdoor cutters, and then finally set a screen for Kobe, who would then curl for a three off the pass from Odom.

    Paus bad spacing make the angle very difficult for Kobe, and Pau should have kept his cool when he saw Kobe slipping, ripped the ball back and swung it. Instead he seemed to just desperately want to hand it off to a falling Kobe.

    I am missing the smart, level headed Pau this year. He had his great moments, but still something to be desired.

  10. I wanted to break something, or even beat the hell out of someone. Very frustrating. If I am a laker player, I would want to beat the snot out of this on wednesday and get some payback. And this time knock them down and dont give them life.

  11. From the game thread:

    “My question is why was Odom in the game at the end? dirk was getting every shot he wanted from ten to fifteen regardless of who was guarding him… And Odom really didn’t bring much on offense tonight (what happened to his three point stroke?)”

    Odom scored 15 on 5-10 shooting (0-1 from 3; 5-5 from the line), to go with 12 boards. The 12 boards are team high and the 15 points is 2nd along with Pau (after Kobe’s 36).

    Everybody’s Man Bynum otherwise went 3-8 with a monstrous 5 boards. And one can say whatever one wants about +/- being deceptive, but the fact remains that Everybody’s Man was -16. Shannon was well off that pace, but in next to last place with a -8. Barnes was a -3, Blake a -1 and Lamar a +3.

    Lamar is otherwise the only soul on the team with a hope in hell of making Dirk work for his baskets.

    Lastly, this loss is clearly on Phil. In reverse chronological order, there’s Pau’s subconscious asserting its dominance, i.e., his subconscious entirely aware that from that far out Dirk will simply drive past him to the basket, or hit the open jumper should he hedge back, so he might as well foul him now (should have been Lamar out there), and then there’s the violation of Rule No. 1, which in this series is that both Kobe and Lamar need be on the court whenever Dirk is on the court. As I suggested last series, well, this is the perfect series to go with the Bynum, Pau, Lamar, Kobe and Ron lineup (Ron can play a step off Kidd to avoid the penetration and make him a jump shooter and his height and weight will prevent Kidd from posting him up). Or Ron can join the 2nd unit. Either way, both Kobe and Lamar need to be out there whenever Dirk is out there. And since the team does not want to surrender the Bynum-Gasol advantage that means that Ron either replaces Fish on Kidd or joins the 2nd unit.

    Lastly, for those criticizing the 2nd unit in the game thread, what did you expect? 16 went down to 3 and then back up to 7 with those 4 Gasol FT over the last two Lakers’ possessions of the 3rd. No way on earth that Dallas risks having its 2nd unit on the floor to start the 4th. What with the lineups to start the 4th it wasn’t going to end well and so it didn’t end well. Not their fault. Also not the fault of the rest of the 2nd unit that Phil fails to understand that Shannon needs to see the least minutes possible.

  12. It’s been frustrating watching them do this all season long. They settle for contested shots when they have the lead, and abandon the triangle near the end of close games. If they would continue to pound the ball inside and have Odom drive on Dirk, it’ll make it easier at the end.

    The Mavs had no business winning the game, but the Lakers let them get back into it with the bad shots and turnovers. Game 2 they must come out and be the bullies that have won the the past 2 championships.

  13. I had a bad feeling about this game after the play when Shannon Brown did not hustle and dive to save the ball for a turnover fast break to Kobe. Championship teams have players that make those hustle plays, a la Jordan Farmar last year in the finals. The Lakers are not playing hustle, championship basketball. Alas, I guess it is too much work and sacrifice to expect of millionaires.

  14. Just rewatching the game… and damn Kobe missed some open jumpers in the beginning. They seem to be more or less baiting him into shooting pullup jumpers.

    Kidd gives him so much room, which combined with him being slower, less athletic and with shorter reach gives Kobe a more or less free jumper every time down.

  15. What a crappy close out from Barnes on Terry wtih 8:40 to go. Barnes just gives up on the play, runs over there and shows Terry to the ground.

    There have been several plays like this, where either communication is missing or effort. Shannon had a chance to dive for a loose ball and flip it to Barnes on the break, but tries to run it up and bend down instead, Odom has been closing out on Dirk with his hands down.

    It is an easy reason to point to, but there does indeed seem to be missing those last 2.5% that you only get when you play with urgency.

  16. Renato Afonso May 3, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Failing to execute down the stretch as usual. I’m not even going to mention the final minute of the game, but.. Seriously?

    Why do we stop running the triangle and why are we not keeping Bynum in the game since Odom is not producin enough on offense? I’m mesmerized and losing my patience with this team… Real champions hustle, play D and execute their sets when they need to. They DO NOT COAST based on their talent alone. And while I think we can win once or twice in Dallas, I also think that they can win a couple of other games just like this one. Ugh!

  17. Dirk significantly outplayed Bryant, contrary to Soriano’s claim.

    Not sure what game you were watching. Better shooting percent, rebounds, assists, steals. If you punched up the EFF dirk absoltuely crushed him

  18. Another problem really is how Dirk removes a bigman from the key.

    Almost every time someone beats his man of the drible, the Lakers look really thin on the help. It started of with Chandlers completely free alley oop, as Fisher was beat and both Kobe and Andrew step up to help.

    Later it is Terry dropping a shufflepass to Haywood. And if Odom is on Dirk, he has been dropping down to avoid this and crowd the paint, but that leads to Dirk jumpers from the elbows.

    I am not sure how the Lakers will solve this, as that long jumper from Dirk, is exactly what they usually want to give away, but because of his length, Dirk can move in closer for that jumper, as he does not have to worry about the close out, and those shots become just deadly.

  19. This game wasn’t lost at the end. It was lost by the Laker’s play throughout.

    I saw relatively little triangle play, but a lot of isolation, by all the Lakers.

    Also, Andrew Bynum is actually a Laker player. The way his teammates treated him you would have thought he was a member of the opposition and shouldn’t ever be considered for a pass. When they did pass to him, they all simply cleared out and there was no one for him to pass out to.

    This was just a stinker of a game on offense for the Lakers. They deserved this.

    Finally, Phil Jackson deserved this. His coaching showed a total inattention to his players. Yes, I know, it is part of his MO to ignore his guys and let them work through things. However, at what point does the coach actually try to take a hand in the proceedings? Phil, it seems, would rather have his record go “down in flames”, than to change even one thing about his “system”. Congrats – this is the playoffs, not the regular season.

  20. it kills me how many Lakers “fans” scream and cry after games like this… try this exercise for a change –
    imagine you’re a Mavs fan, think that the Lakers were up by 13 and made some mental mistakes, primarily starting to coast too soon.
    then at the end, Kobe’s 3 pointer just barely missed, it was a good shot attempt, one he makes a high percentage.
    If i was a Mav fan, I wouldn’t be thrilled by this W, I would be nervous, the Mavs played at their best and basically got a W by some good fortune, and a combo of bad Laker mistakes down the stretch.
    for the series, I’m still going with the Lakers, feeling they have the talent, players and coaches, total organization, to pull this out.
    keep the faith FB&G people

  21. @18 Chris I am not losing faith on our Lakers I am just frustrated that they played and coached this game as if this was a regular season game. It just pains me to see my team show this kind of interest to a game where we fans show our utmost support for the team.

    This is a playoff series and a win no matter how ugly is still a win. And a loss no matter how close the game was despite poor play is still a loss. We are 12 wins away from a threepeat and that is a distance not so far for this Laker team if only they would buckle down and play with heart and intensity.

  22. For the first time in 10 years, I missed watching the 2nd half of a Lakers’ playoff game. My bad…won’t happen again!

    This Dallas team is solid, but I don’t trust Tyson Chandler’s body to hold him through all the banging with Bynum. Kobe’s aggressive scoring was necessary, but that staggering statistic that shows the Lakers as a more successful team when Kobe shoots less haunts me. We will be ready for Game 2 as Dallas caught their attention. Seems to me that every series will go at least 6 games this year. We don’t have that dominating spirit like the other Lakers 3peat team, but hopefully we will end up with the same result.

  23. #17 nailed it IMO.

    I commented to my buddy about 30 times last night that the Lakers were running way too much ISO.

    As Darius pointed out, while Kobe hit a lot of shots, they weren’t all good shots (I remember at least 5 “No Kobe dammit don’t – oh, you made it” moments).

    I know Bynum’s numbers are down from last series, but he did spend time out there with Tyson Chandler on his back instead of Okafur, which is going to cause a dip in efficiency. His biggest issue though was the lack of touches while playing with the second unit. He had 8 shots but he should have had at least 12-15. He did a great job last night of getting deep post position and then watching the ball swing around the perimeter or just bounce up and down in Shannon’s hands.

    Contrast that to Pau, who had a good game, but not a great one and who has continued his odd penchant from round one for establishing position in the high post when Bynum isn’t on the floor. With Drew out, Pau needs to be deeper in the post – ESPECIALLY when he’s got Dirk guarding him instead of Chandler. His advantage is in the post and he didn’t utilize it enough for my liking.

    Artest had a good game defensively, but his shot was off and his ball-handling made me wish that Kobe could break 4 more fingers and handle the ball instead. Ron lost the handle on at least 4 dribble drives. He just seemed a little lost on the offensive side.

    As for Phil, he’s the man, but I had a lot of problems with his coaching tonight. I know it is his wont to allow the team to figure things out on its own, but allowing the 16 point lead to get all the way down to 3 before calling a timeout and making substitutions was just maddening. I also didn’t understand a lot of his substitutions (obviously including the Pau on Dirk at the end) or why he waited so long in the 4th quarter to reinsert the starters. It’s the playoffs and I expected Kobe to be out there well before the 8 minute mark as the lead dwindled. I know, it’s Phil, it’s how he does things, but the bench was just flat tonight and it would be nice if now that we don’t have to worry about not having home court advantage for multiple rounds if we would not give it away in the rounds we do have it.

    I remain confident about the series. I see the Lakers repeating what they did last round and winning the next two before coming back from Dallas in a tie and playing a three game series, winning it in six.

    Odd Factoid from Hollinger:

    The Lakers are almost unbeatable when Fisher scores 10+ points. We have a record of something on the order of 12-2 on the season. Last night Fish scored 8 and we lost by 2.

    Odd Thing That No One Is Talking About:

    Everyone keeps talking about how historic it will be if the Lakers win their 3rd straight title, but very few are talking about the other historically monumental task they’re looking to complete: getting to four straight Finals. Win or lose, no team has gone to four straight Finals since 1985, when the Lakers beat the Celtics after having won in ’82 and lost in ’83 and ’84. We’re looking to do something that hasn’t been done in 26 years. I guess struggles should be expected.

  24. I cant place blame on solely one person…it was a TEAM lost. Every player make mistakes…poor shot selection, weak defense, etc. As far as the bench is concerned….they need to produce! There were some bright spots during the New Orleans series, but last night there were no where! Brown didn’t need to chuck up that jumper, Barnes has not been the same since the surgery and I dont think he ever will be and Blake…I am tired of the “high basketball IQ” line…he needs to score, be aggressive, and contribute….his lack of these activities cannot be blamed on anyone else but himself.

    Also, why did Phil leave the bench in for so long? I am sorry this is the playoffs…arent those other 5 players starters for a reason?! Get in there and close it out!

    At the end…giving up that 16-point lead was ridiculous. Mavs wanted it more and were playing hard out there…Game 2 the Lakers come back and win, but they need to stop making things so hard on themselves.

  25. This game was no cause for concern. The Lakers had control and let it get away. They will be more focused moving forward. The worst thing that happens is we go back to LA for game 5 tied 2-2. Relax.

  26. Kobe’s statement that not getting the bigs involved is “not my fault” and that it’s really the bench’s fault infuriates me. Kobe, you had 29 shots and 0 assists. When you don’t get the ball inside, particularly to Pau, Dirk doesn’t have to work on defense and can essentially rest in a corner. When a guy is eating you up at one end, you have to make him work at the other end.

  27. I would like to see a few sequences of Artest guarding Dirk.

    I think that Artest would bother him, and would certainly keep him out of the paint. Make Dirk work hard to keep the ball, and punish him for the points he gets.

  28. #6. Not sure where I said that the refs and the call/no call weren’t a critical part of the game. I don’t believe that. But, what I do believe is that the Lakers shouldn’t have allowed the game to get to the point where they needed that call. So, disagree with *that* if you like but I’m comfortable making that assertion and am pretty sure most would agree that when up 16 in the third quarter the Lakers should have won the game by executing for the rest of the contest.

    Of course late game calls that do or don’t happen affect the game. But more than the actions for the other 47 minutes? I don’t buy that.

  29. Kobe played right into Dallas’ hands in game one. The mavericks aren’t even challenging his jumpshots, even if he’s making 50 percent of them the lack of ball movement plays to the Mavs advantage.

    On another note Phil needs to limit the minutes of his subs, especially Shannon Brown.

  30. J.D. Hastings May 3, 2011 at 9:26 am

    This reminds me a lot of NOH game 1: Dallas basically did what they wanted and Los Angeles looked like they had no idea what they wanted to do for long stretches. Kobe kept them in it, yet his success also prevented the rest of the team from finding their groove, which cost them execution in a bad 4th quarter where the opposing star was more able to get good looks than ours.

    I love Kobe but this team runs best when he isn’t looking to put on a show.

    On referees: what goes around comes around. Sometimes you get favorable calls, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes getting jobbed one game makes them sympathetic to you later, sometimes whining makes them less sympathetic than ever. L.A. scored 16 points in the fourth quarter. Those 2 calls aren’t the cause of that.

  31. David Rivers May 3, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I like the way Javy lets them play. Rough play should be to the Lakers advantage, even if some fouls go uncalled. The Lakers can find enough reasons among themselves and their coaches for the loss.

    I’d love to see them run some sets to get Dirk switched onto Bynum. Bynum could score at will and demoralize the German.

  32. David Rivers,
    The team has to desire to get the ball to Bynum for him to take advantage of anybody.

  33. #30

    I agree Phil needs to reduce the playing time of the all of the reserves. But highlight Shannon Brown is a bit silly. What did Blake produce offensively last night (or much any other night) and Barnes has been lackluster to say the least since the knee..simple stuff like layups arent even executed. With that being said didnt Phil say the starters played less during the regular season to “save up” for the playoffs? If that is the case…use them more!

  34. Bynum had his chances in the third and blew them during the Mavs comeback. As far as I
    I’m concerned, he had more than enough opportunities. He just blew them.

  35. Still, Bynum has to assert himself. He’s got about 40-50 lbs on Dirk and Chandler. Haywood is stronger, but he’s still down about 20 lbs and has a low bball IQ. He got good looks early on, just couldn’t connect. He’s no Shaq, but with his strength advantage he should be able to dominate them.

    All game long Dirk had it easy on D. Pau has to be more aggressive(yeah, same story every game but Dirk isn’t a physical player) and Odom needs to drive instead of settling for jumpers since Dirk can’t stop the drive. Like with Kobe guarding CP3, if you make Dirk have to play D all game, it’ll hurt his offense and make closing games easier.

  36. DirtySanchez May 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    How many times do you hear Bynum is the difference in a champion=ship or being just a team in the hunt? Chucking jumpers and losing 16 point leads within 2:30 mins(in LA) is unacceptable. Drew has to be engaged, whether on d or o, it doesnt have to be both. Last night he was in first half and the beginning of the third quarter. When the jumpers started flying he checked out and never returned. Still got faith in my boys to get it together, just made the ride to a chip a little bumpy.

  37. Damn this frustrated feeling still lingers on me. I cant phatom how a two time defending champion with a superstar who have 5 rings and a coach with 11 rings loose a playoff game where they were leading by 16 pts. in the third quarter. I cant phatom how Phil saves his timeouts during big runs by the opposing team. Does the nba have a carry over rule on timeouts where you can use your uncalled timeouts to the next game? Whine, whine, is it game 2 yet? I want my pay back now!

  38. Zephid, totally agree. You can tell that he’s worried about the knee. Those 3 or 4 chances at dunks/layups, his moves were so calculated. It angers me sometimes. I realize that he doesn’t want to hurt it again, but what good is he to the team if he’s that tentative? The only dunk I saw from him was the give-and-go with Pau when no one was in front of Bynum to contest the dunk.

  39. NBA Playbook has a great breakdown of the Kidd steal with what the Lakers did wrong.

  40. Good analysis. That said, though, the last thing I ever want to hear is Laker fans complaining about officiating. The rest of us still remember Shaq’s 20+ noncalls per game when he was in purple and gold. We still remember the atrocities when the Lakers were handed series wins against the Blazers and Kings back in the early 00’s. Frankly, I’m dumbfounded that the Mavs got the calls in game one. I don’t expect it to happen again.