From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Limited to a very reasonable 43 percent in the first half, Dallas found far more success in the second half, hitting 21 of their 37 attempts from the floor (57 percent). Dirk Nowitzki, handled relatively well in the first half (12 points on 11 attempts) boosted that number to 16 on an equal number of hoists after the break. From beyond the arc, Dallas hit five-of-nine. Credit the Mavs for their excellent ball movement, as they racked up 16 assists on the aforementioned field goals, consistently forcing the Lakers into awkward rotations and patiently using the entire floor to generate clean looks deep into possessions. Chide L.A. for sloppiness on their end. Mistakes from the home team, as the offense devolved with the Mavs dropping in zone sets and packing the paint no matter the defensive formation, helped fuel the Dallas attack, as well. The Mavs were treated to more long run outs and transition chances, capitalizing on the other end. Dallas hit five of their final 10 shots over the last four-plus minutes.
From Sebastian Pruiti, NBA Playbook: Scoring from the baseline off of sets is incredibly difficult in the NBA mostly due because of the lack of space along the baseline when a player catches the ball. This is why you most often see teams enter the ball to the corner and quickly kick it to the outside versus seeing an actual set get ran along the baseline. However, in the 2nd quarter, the Lakers were able to run a great set that took advantage of both Lakers’ bigs (Gasol and Bynum) strengths:
From Sebastian Pruiti, NBA Playbook: After taking the basketball the length of the court after a timeout, Kobe Bryant was fouled by Jason Kidd, taking the Mavericks foul to give in the final minutes. The result was the Lakers taking the ball on the side, looking to get a look trailing by one point. Without taking a timeout, Phil Jackson instructed his team to run one of their late game go-to sets when taking the ball out from the side. However, poor execution resulted in a turnover from the Lakers, who eventually lost the game:
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Are these Dallas Mavericks different? Different than the team that falls short, that so many pundits thought didn’t know how to close, that was too old or too soft. The one that keeps getting smoked in the playoffs. Or was it just the Lakers having one of their patented lapses? Combined with Kobe missing a good look at a three to win it? One game does not answer those questions. But for that one game the Mavs were different enough to be able to capitalize on Lakers lapses, the Mavs were the team that held their composure down 16 (after it seemed they would melt down at the end of the first half) and kept doing what they do. They were the team that executed at the end. They got the Game 1 win 96-94 and lead the Lakers 1-0 in the best-of-seven second round matchup.
From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: The Lakers almost got away with it. They very nearly escaped Game One with a victory despite no-shows from a few of their key guys and sloppy execution from the rest. Unfortunately, the Dallas Mavericks are not the New Orleans Hornets. They play with a skilled precision befitting their German star, and they’re plenty good enough to punish the Lakers when the latter succumb to their worst habits. The Mavs steadied themselves and kept their wits about them tonight even though they trailed by 16 in the third quarter. Down the stretch they made play after play at the offensive end while the champs slowly went to pieces. When Kobe Bryant’s potential game-winner clanged off the rim with seconds to play, a nauseating reality settled over Laker fans: the purp and yellow have yet again coughed up home-court advantage just one game into a series. They have 48 hours to get it together for Game Two, which is uncomfortably close to being a must-win.
From Alex Groberman, Opposing Views: Next time Kobe Bryant should probably save his patented I’m-better-than-you strut until the final buzzer. The Los Angeles Lakers, somehow, managed to cough up a 16-point third quarter lead en route to a 94-96 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. In the process, they also lost any semblance of a homecourt and mental advantage that they may have had over their opponents Bryant was great in spurts, but awful late. Still, despite a turnover and a mess of a sequence which led to another turnover, the Lakers captain had a shot at winning Game 1 for his club. Catching the ball with about three seconds remaining, he opted to take a three-pointer in rhythm — when a two would have sufficed — which subsequently clanked off the rim.
From Hannah Bradley, Lakers Nation: The last time the Lakers and Mavericks met on March 31, 2011, a battle ensued. As Steve Blake drove to the basket, he had the ball knocked out of bounds, the same direction that he was heading after some defensive contact. But this wasn’t any defensive contact, it was a shove from Dallas’ Jason Terry, expressing the real frustration of being down 17 in the fourth quarter against a team the Mavericks had been competing with for second seed in the closing weeks of the season. Steve Blake retaliated, got into Terry’s face, and after the referees tried to separate the two athletes, Matt Barnes made his presence known with a counter shove on Terry.
From Jeff Miller, OC Register: He had a terrible turnover, was out-muscled and fell down resulting in another turnover and missed the game-winning shot. And Kobe Bryant managed to make all that mess in just the final 20.9 seconds of the Lakers’ Game 1 loss to Dallas on Monday, a defeat that correctly can be described as shocking. The Lakers simply don’t lose these games. Not when leading by 16 points in the third quarter. Not when up seven to start the fourth. Not when Bryant gets so hot he’s swaggering all over the court and one woman sitting in the front row keeps standing to blow him kisses. But this one, despite the way it looked at the end, with Bryant’s greasy fingerprints smudging everything, wasn’t his fault. It was everyone else, from Coach Phil Jackson’s distribution of minutes to Ron Artest’s staggering no-show to an offense that found a way to present Andrew Bynum with only eight field-goal attempts.
I didn’t watch the game, so just reading some recaps.
Am I seeing this right? Kobe took 29 shots, none of which included a lay up? Was he just not attacking, or the Mavericks’ interior defense and perimeter help was that deterring?
This whole up-big-and-still-lose play is tiring. When it happened in the regular season, the excuses were “It’s only December,” and so on. It’s the playoffs now, not the time to be letting off the gas until the end. It’s not the regular season, where the 82-game grind inevitably causes players to lose interest.
Very disappointing loss. Shannon Brown should not be allowed run the point. He fails to pass the ball to the post every single time. For a guy who is so athletic, his lateral movement needs serious training. He never put in the effort to become a better defensive player even though he has the capabilities.
Odom had Reality TV show, Kobe has comedy show, when you driving to the basket, you has to score, you don’t change your mind when you are up in the air with less than 2 min in the game. The way he plays like 23 years old NBA player.
Before game 5 against NO, Bynum said:” We make difficult things to ourself in the whole season”. You tried to win games in regular season to get HCA, and now you blew it.
T. Rogers says
We can all agree a balanced Laker attack is best. Kobe at 29 shots and Bynum at 8 shots is usually not a net positive for the Lakers. No matter the reasons, the Lakers have to find a way to achieve more offensive balance. If I am Dallas I want Kobe firing himself into oblivion. More than likely, that means Gasol and Bynum aren’t killing me inside. And really, if Gasol and Bynum aren’t killing Dallas inside the Lakers are not winning this series.
Maybe it is Dallas’ defensive strategy. Maybe Gasol and Bynum are not being aggressive enough at getting post position. Maybe Kobe gets a little trigger happy. Whatever the reason, an overly Kobe centered Lakers offense will push this team to an early exit. It is no coincidence that LA’s best game in the first round was its most balanced offensive game.
Lastly, I want to echo the sentiments of many posters from the previous thread. This is the playoffs. Minutes are cut all season long to preserve starters for this time of year. The bench needs to be on a shorter leash. What is the point of keeping players fresh if you are losing playoff games? I am sure Phil will ride the starters a lot more in game two.
J.D. Hastings says
The 16 point lead felt like a chimera even as it happened. LA got a 5 or 6 point lead, then Dallas imploded right before the half (technical/ flagrant I think), blowing it up to 9 or 10. Then to start the 2nd they turned the ball over 3 straight times. Suddenly LA was up 16, but it wasn’t from consistent, hard nosed execution, it was from Dallas choking it up.
Immediately after, Dallas tightened things up and executed while LA completely forgot what to do on either end of the court. Quick jumpers or turnovers led to easy baskets and bang, 16 point lead gone like it had never actually existed. Kobe kept them afloat during the 3rd, but the inability to execute doomed them in the 4th.
On the one hand, it’s an incredibly frustrating thing to watch. On the other hand, it’s largely correctable and they lost by 2.
J.D. Hastings says
The overall feel of this Laker team is frustrating. It feels like the team is a bunch of individuals experiencing their own story lines in each game. Kobe goes for his, Artest and Bynum disappear, Odom comes and goes and Pau is in a fog. The next game Odom and Kobe may disappear and others get theirs. It doesn’t feel like a coherent team that’s going to be somewhat consistent from game to game.
The only reason for this and many other losses is Phil’s incredible stubbornness of overplaying bench.Come on, Kobe has to play at least 8-9 minutes on the fourth.This is playoffs and they have been kept all season long for this sole stretch .And he will exploit his offensive mismatches,there is no excuse for others not showing.Pau should leave being Kwame and start playing aggressively.Shannon should only play 2 minutes if the game has been already decided.Enough ranting.Cheers.
Again… The Lakers domt seem to win close games. Going Gasol and Odom down the stretch makes a big team very small. Gasol goes from having an advantage against Dirk to getting rejected by Chandler every time he tries to make a move. The definition of insanity is trying to the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The CA Clark article shows the Lakers have been one of the worst teams offensively and defensively down the stretch of close games. Against the Heat that will have to change.
Chris J says
How can anyone presume the Lakers will be playing the Heat? The way the Lakers keep putting themselves in a hole, it’s no safe bet to say they’ll be playing come June.
T. Rogers says
Oddly, the Heat were the only home team of the second round to win game one. And they did it convincingly.
Darius Soriano says
A new post is up.
never a dull moment with this team! I’m not sure why some are pointing fingers. It was a team effort that got the lakers that ridiculous gift of a lead at the end of the 2nd/start of 3rd, and it was the same team that pissed it away. it’s been the same story pretty much all year – consistently inconsistent.
I wasn’t paying too much attention, but does anyone know how much burn Bynum and Odom got together? And was most of it with the 2nd unit?
I would love to see more Bynum and Odom – Bynum has an advantage against Chandler and Odom (I feel) is our best shot at mitigated Dirk (not stopping him, though).
Bynum was missing layups, Gasol was being tentative, the bench provided nothing on offense, and Artest was just plain awful. No wonder Kobe took so many shots. In the grand scheme of things, I think Kobe trusts his current teammates more than past ones. At the micro level, in particular games, Kobe gets frustrated with them. Had Kobe not shot a high percentage (48%), I would be putting more blame on him. Kobe wasn’t just upset that his teammates weren’t shooting well, it was HOW they were playing that pissed him off. And he couldn’t save us at the end. He did make that horrible pass though in the last minute though. Very un-Kobe-like.
Chris J says
@ T. Rogers — My point wasn’t that the Heat are unlikely to make the Finals. It was that the Lakers aren’t showing much to suggest they’ll be there, whether the East rep is Miami or Boston or the Bulls.