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Five reasons the Lakers should want the Mavericks

As Phil Jackson noted before Sunday's 107-100 win over the Mavericks at Staples, it's a little early to start drawing up backets for the Western Conference playoff race, not with six teams separated by 2.5 games.

Still, though, there's still a very solid chance that when round one rolls around, it'll be LA vs. the Cubans.  This would be a good thing for the Lakers, for a variety of reasons.  Certainly no harm in taking an early peek at a potential playoff pairing, right?

Click below for five reasons why the Lakers would love to see Dallas to kick off the postseason...

  1. The Lakers can cover Dirk Nowitzki. Between Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, the Lakers have two bigs with the mobility to chase Dirk around the floor, bother his shots, and otherwise force him to play outside his comfort zone.  After Sunday's 6-20 showing, Nowitzki is shooting all of 34.6% from the floor this season against the Lakers.  Last season he was better, but save a 13-19 performance in April Nowitzki never really went off on LA.  The Mavs need their best player not just to be good, but fairly epic to challenge LA in a seven game series.  I don't see how that happens.
  2. The Mavs can't cover Pau Gasol.  Dirk can't, and neither can Erick Dampier.  Entering Sunday's game, Pau was 15-27 against Dallas, and only improved on that figure with his 12-13 effort.  He has the length to shoot over Nowitzki, and Dampier isn't quick enough to body him up when Gasol is facing the basket.  Rick Carlisle was forced at times to double Gasol when he caught the ball, which is death to opposing defenses, just as it is when Kobe is doubled high above the arc. 
  3. Jason Terry and Jason Kidd in the backcourt mean good matchups defensively for LA.  As Andy pointed out in yesterday's live blog, with Kidd on the floor next to Jose Juan Barea, Derek Fisher was able to cover Barea and leave Trevor Ariza to guard Kidd.  Kobe, meanwhile, slid over and marked Antoine Wright at the three.  When Terry is on the floor, it's the same situation. Fish (or Jordan Farmar) aren't at a size disadvantage when sliding over to guard a two.  Even when Josh Howard is back in the Dallas lineup (he's missed all three Lakers/Mavs tilts this year), moving Wright back to the starting two-guard spot, it won't much matter because Wright really isn't a true scoring threat and Dallas finishes with Terry on the floor, anyway.  And that the Lakers can flip flop Ariza and Kobe on Kidd and Howard is a nice luxury. 
  4. The Mavs are currently 16-19 on the road. That doesn't change just because it's the playoffs.
  5. Kobe Bryant.  Dude owns the Mavs to the point that he might as well sign the checks instead of Mark Cuban.  Last season, he averaged 36.5 points and 54.2% shooting in four games against Big D. This season, he's "slumped," down to 53% from the floor and 30 points a night.  The return of Howard will help, if only because it gives Wright a buddy on the Kobe-guarding island, but not enough to make a large difference, particularly if the Mavs struggle with Gasol. 

Put it all together, and it's certainly more ideal than a date against the Jazz or Blazers.  (Denver is welcome to slide into the eighth spot.)

BK 

 
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IT WOULD BE NISE TO PLAY THEM FIRST ROUND BUT I KIND OF WANT US TO PLAY THE TUFF TEAM FIRST TO GET IT OVER WITH. I KIND WANT PORTLAND OR UTAH FIRST BUT IF NOT SO BE IT.

if dirk is too weak for pau in the post and dampier is too slow for pau in the post, what are dallas gonna do is bynums back by the first round?

You forgot about that Andrew Bynum guy for which the Mavs have no answer.

Jason Terry always seems to play well against the Lakers. He's the guy that I would be worried about if we faced Dallas in the first round.

Well-reasoned post. Don't disagree.

However, I am extremely disappointed we have only had three or four posts from you guys today. You seriously need to increase the number of posts on a daily basis.

What the hell do they pay you for anyway?

;-)

Yep, I would love to see Dallas in the first round. Pau will run circles around Dampier at the start, then when Drew comes in with the second unit he will dominate Bass down low in the post.

The one difference I see between Pau and Drew when it comes to playing center with the second unit is that Drew will be more assertive in calling for the ball. When the Mavs went into that zone late in the third, I specifically watched Pau to see how assertive he got in demanding the ball. FAIL. Yes, Jordan and Sasha jacked up a bunch of outside shots without first going into the post. But Pau needs to flash to the FT line and demand the ball! It's not good enough to mention it in the interviews after the game. In the heat of the moment, the post threat has to get good position (down low if a man defense, flash to the FT line if a zone) or else the guards forget to feed the post.

I can see Drew demanding the second unit to pound the ball down low to him in every half-court possession. The coaching staff is hoping that Sasha, Jordan et al figure this out for themselves, but a kick in the pants from the biggest guy on the floor will certainly help.

PS kambros, please don't lump DJ in together with the rest of the second unit when summarizing yesterday's poor performance. DJ only played about for about five minutes in the second quarter, and as I recall he played with some of the starting unit mixed in and the team was +6 during his time on the floor.

wait -- I don't get the pattern behind which names you decide to bold and which you don't.

if portland loses "even" at memphis today, by having a more difficult schedule than dallas, will be the 8th spot. and maybe they will lose that even to phoenix.

dallas will be a nice appetizer, (Cuban may give u indigestion ), but let's wait a bit.

a great winner always defeats its best enemies. it will be also a spiritual path to become champion: portland, utah, SA and Boston.

Kbblitz,

you wrote:
No Hobbitmage it's called tough love. The Lakers in Game 2 didn't make a come back with Kobe showing love. He yelled his butt off at their pathetic play. Who cares about the media thinks? If the team aren't doing the job he has to give them a yelling like what Phil Jackson did to your boy Sasha.

And number 2 yes you a slasher will almost never outshoot a primary shooter on one condition: the shooter is shooting badly. If Sasha was Sasha last year then this thing wouldn't have happened. Then again Sasha choked last year too with his shooting in the Finals.

Basically a slasher will never outshoot a shooter unless that shooter is a bad shooter. Kobe while having a good jump shot never reached Mitch Richmond, Glen Rice, or Reggie Miller in shooting. Certainly Trevor will NEVER be on those guys level.

A primary slasher (Trevor) nearly shooting identical % to a primary shooter (Choke-a-cic). That means one thing: The Shooter is a bad shooter.

Don't try to throw off the subject Hobbitmage and try to defend Sir Choke a lot. I told you his defense was overrated. Now it seems his shooting is also.

FYI, Trevor is shooting 32.9% from 3 point land while Sasha is 34.4% and both are averaging almost the same amount of threes. For a spot up shooter whose FG% is like Sasha Choke-a-cic is pathetic. Trevor is not a primary shooter yet is shooting almost as equal as Sir Choke a lot (Sasha). That merely means Sasha is terrible not that Trevor is a great shooter.

My response:

re: tough love. No blitz. You actually have this wrong.
The psyche of the Lakers aren't strong enough to take
the abuse. *THAT* is why he had to tone it down. It
has nothing to do with the media and everything to do
with the people he's playing with. Thankfully, there have
been some upgrades to the team.

re: defending Sasha. Actually, I have no interest in
defending Sasha in this thread. I'm just wanted you
to answer the question instead of taking cheap shots
at our team while they have the best record in the NBA
and have secured the Pacific division title. Of course,
you couldn't resist. Since you're taking cheap shots
at people, why don't you throw out some cheap shots
at Lamar or Fisher?

I'm not sure who's more negative. You or Butler.
Actually, I do know. You are consistently more negative
than any troll on this blog.

Sorry to have bothered you. Go back to eating babies.

The Dude Abides,

Great blog name, by the way.

That zone was called on specifically to stop Pau from getting the ball. I think they were running a 2-3 zone, which loaded up players in the middle. I remember watching them swarm Pau, denying him position and the ball. The problem was that the Lakers weren't penetrating to draw defenders away from Pau, and shooting over the zone wasn't working. So it wasn't about him NOT being aggressive at all. Dallas was purposeful in denying him the ball, being that he was KILLING them in the first half.

I would love a first round match-up with Dallas. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

Go Lake Show!

re: previous thread, Farmar

i guess the fish hook is the "intangible" that never show up in the stats. obviously one of farmar's strength. did terry had like 6 3pt. shots? and Farmar went fishing

and yes, Farmar also had Luke: the hairdo brothers

The Dude Abides,

Drew with the 2nd Unit so far hasn't worked out because even when he does demand the ball he is not in the post as much because of Jordan's need to use him as a screen guy for pick and roll situations.

Jordan Farmar has trouble creating separation from his guy despite his speed. Thus he needs to use a big man to create a screen to get inside the paint and that's why Bynum and now Gasol and also Mbenga are way outside the paint. Works similar to other pick and rolls except that Farmar is not the passer that other good point guards are and is more intended to try to take the ball into the basket himself which and if he is contested can't finish as well.

It's not as easy as "Pau/Bynum demanding the ball". It's up to the ball handler whoever it is to pass the ball down there. Luke does it fine but Jordan and Sasha (and Trevor during his time during the bench mob) are more looking to their own shot hence why the "selfish" label that Jackson gave them.

-KB Blitz

Am a little slow in getting to it I guess, but what is Smush thinking?

Can he not afford a publicist anymore? How about management?

He has just guaranteed that no one will ever talk to him about anything other than Kobe again.

Kobe's going to go on being the best player in the world and Smush will just be a guy who couldn't cut it.

Guys,

This link discusses are relatively old article concerning Trailblazer announcer Mike Rice. It's an interesting take and expresses some of my frustrations with Rice. It also touches upon Odom's foul on Broy last season.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/cja6ha

WOW ,I think the K-Bros have had a little too much coffee today.. lol!! and about that smush trash talking kobe thing.. he is just jealous that kobe is such a better player than him..

LAKER GURU FROM INDIA

BK,

You forgot the motivation of watching Mark Cuban freak out on the sidelines.

If that's not a reason to win, I don't know what is.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Good read BK.

But at the end of the day, don't matter. Whoever they throw out at us, we'll mow down.

GO Lakers!

yes, Dallas would be a nice and easy 1st round matchup. A nice way to start the playoffs. Some easy victories before it gets a bit tougher. A bowl of miso soup before the spicy tuna tempura roll.

omega,
Who is your teacher in S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G???

6. We will get to watch Mark Cuban's head explode...repeatedly.

you know who i think would be the tougher opponents for lakers? Not Spurs, not Houston and not Portland but Utah and New orleans.

I hear the Lakers have the 4th-easiest SOS in terms of games left. Anyone know where I can find that info?

"re: tough love. No blitz. You actually have this wrong.
The psyche of the Lakers aren't strong enough to take
the abuse. *THAT* is why he had to tone it down."

Don't suggest the Lakers of being mentally soft (Hint: Aren't strong enough to take that abuse). With the exception of Sasha they aren't the crybabies that Glen Davis was when KG yelled at him for being one of the players responsible for making that 25 point lead over Portland go down to 15.

Kobe needs to be assertive when his teams are blowing big leads and lacking the killer instinct of earlier in the year. Just like what Jeff Van Gundy said:

"if Doc Rivers is always the one to tell the truth, you will *not* be a championship team, Kevin Garnett risked being a truth teller, maybe at an expense of a friendship right away, I (JVG) respect that about Kevin Garnett".

Giving out team dinners are fine but when your team is playing bad then you can't just shield them away from the truth. You have to be tough on them and make damn sure they do their job correctly instead of shielding them like babies.

"re: defending Sasha. Actually, I have no interest in
defending Sasha in this thread. I'm just wanted you
to answer the question instead of taking cheap shots
at our team while they have the best record in the NBA
and have secured the Pacific division title."

I'd knew you would bite again. Last time I talked to you about Sasha's poor defense you went all bananas on me and said he would make me eat crow which he hasn't. And you take cheap shots at LO and accuse me of taking cheap shots which is funny considering the irony.

Heck I ain't that negative. There are other bloggers who went farther than me and called Farmar, Luke, Sasha, and/or Trevor "idiots".

And FYI, it just isn't me who isn't relaxed by the best record in the NBA (only reason is that we own the tie breaker over the Cavs and one loss could easily change that) it is Tex Winters as well:

"Reporting from Portland, Ore. -- Tex Winter paused to gather his thoughts before offering his analysis of how the Lakers are playing.

Winter, the Lakers' basketball consultant, had come to watch them play the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night, to see for himself in what direction they were headed.

The Lakers came in with the best record in the NBA, 50-12, but Winter still saw troubling signs. And that was before the Trail Blazers routed them, 111-94.

"I feel like our record is a whole lot better than how we've played," Winter, who lives in Portland with his wife, Nancy, said before the game. "I don't think we're playing nearly as good as our record indicates."

The Lakers won their first seven games and 14 of their first 15. They have yet to lose more than two consecutive games.

But they are in the midst of playing 10 of 13 games on the road, including at Houston on Wednesday and San Antonio on Thursday.

In Winter's eyes, the first three months of the season, which had the Lakers playing 29 of their first 46 games at Staples Center, has the potential to hurt the team because the schedule is so back-loaded with road games.

"I'm amazed at the record we've got," Winter said. "I see a lot of warts on this team. I think we got off to a good start. I think our schedule is going to get tougher."

And it isn't just me who was heavy on the Sasha criticism. The coach who you told me to "believe every damn thing they say because they know better than any of us" went all Bobby Knight on your boy:

"Long before Sasha Vujacic missed 3-point shots on three consecutive Lakers possessions early in the fourth quarter, interpreting Dallas' zone defense as a personal invitation to play "Around the World," Jackson had reached a season high in frustration with Vujacic. After Jason Terry scored on a 15-footer early in the second quarter, Jackson called a timeout, got in Vujacic's face and went Bobby Knight on him with a shockingly hard slap on the butt as Vujacic moved past for a seat on the bench."

I kinda wish Jackson would even be more harder on mistakes as well as Kobe should be even more.

Quit being their daddy Hobbit, that is my advice. Sasha is playing like crap and you whine about cheap shots. Choke-a-cic is quite funny though considering how often he wasn't able to step up in big time situations. Ariza stepped up even at a high intensity stage of being a starter. Heck even LO does it at times (and doesn't at times also). Sasha hasn't stepped up in a big game situation since January 19th, 2009. If you think Choke-a-cic is too harsh for you let me suggest another one for Sasha something that might be familiar to you:

Mr. Inconsistent.

It's no problem Hobbit you aren't bothering me that much. You can now go back playing daddy to Sasha or Jordan or Powell and make them think that Sasha is Jeff Hornacek or Jordan is John Stockton or even Powell is Horace Grant and other happy thoughts.

When the going gets tough the tough gets going. The Lakers aren't going to win the title if the price to blow big leads is hugs and kisses.

-KB Blitz

ZLakeshow,

Is this it?

http://tinyurl.com/d82d33

Hooray! Lakers just announced that ticket prices for next season won't be raised. Now I just need to pray that the exchange rate improves by December!

Looks like it. Thanks, Faith!

By the way, does anyone know why the Lakers are #2 in the league-wide standings on teamrankings.com and espn? Don't we win the tie-breaker with the Lebrons?

Hobbitmage/Kobeblitz,

"When the going gets tough the tough gets going. The Lakers aren't going to win the title if the price to blow big leads is hugs and kisses."

The Lakers consistently play their best against the best teams.

Kobeblitz, while I think you have made some good points in your debate with Hobbitmage, overall I think you're seeing the glass unnecessarily as half-empty.

Phil Jackson teams tend to play their best ball at the end of the year and we have that certain player (I think his name is... ummm... ummm.... Andrew Bynum?) coming back in a few weeks.

I think anything less than cautious optimism right now is unwise.

Things will be fine. You'll see.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Zen, AK, BK

I am with Zen concerning the multiple threads, too many times do I have have to bounce back and forth from thread to thread, it is really irritating.
You comment on something and the next thing you know, a new thread is up and running and your brilliant (lol)comments are diminished by Smush talk.
Perhaps it just a way to get more hits. Perhaps not.
I would like to suggest that the K Brothers combine all daily threads but have just a single comment page for all the different topics so as to not have to go back and forth. To help with the scrolling aspect, I have read many suggestions about a "next page" or "Page 1, 2 etc." option that would expedite locating preferred comments of bloggers.
Seems to me whoever the web developer is, he or she is a little behind the times or doesn't give a hoot about creating a more blogger friendly web-site. I rarely post much any more for these very reasons.
I welcome all comments or other suggestions about bringing a better product to the Laker faithful.

KB blitz,

you wrote: I'd knew you would bite again. Last time I talked to you about Sasha's poor defense you went all bananas on me and said he would make me eat crow which he hasn't. And you take cheap shots at LO and accuse me of taking cheap shots which is funny considering the irony.

my response: Do you have any concept of the idea of:
"staying on point" ? Did you fail English in school?


example: If we are talking about the economy, bringing
up the Iraq war and security is off topic. It doesn't mean
that your point is right or wrong. it means that your
point is not relevant to the conversation.

You frequently wander off point, so that you can
pontificate and spew basketball dribble like Linda
Blair spewed vomit in the exorcist.

BTW, I believe I spoke about Sasha's shooting making
you eat crow. I did talk about his defense, but not in
that context of you eating crow. If you weren't so
interested in flapping your lips like the clatterbone of
a goose's behind you'd actually pay attention to facts
vs. just trying to say bad things and show how much
you know.

You also wrote: You can now go back playing daddy to Sasha or Jordan or Powell and make them think that Sasha is Jeff Hornacek or Jordan is John Stockton or even Powell is Horace Grant and other happy thoughts.

My response: You actually can't read can you?
Seriously. You actually do not know how to read do you?

You continuously mis-represent things, so that you can
continue to post garbage and sound intelligent.

Find one post where I compare Jordan to Stockton.
Print out HG's numbers and JP's numbers and tell me
that they're not within 10%. Find my quote comparing
Sasha to Hornacek.

I know. You won't do this, because it's work and it's
much better if you keep mis-representing me so that
you sound intelligent. My bad. Keep spewing.

Hooray! Lakers just announced that ticket prices for next season won't be raised. Now I just need to pray that the exchange rate improves by December!

Posted by: Anna in Bondi

Hey Anna in Bondi:

If I recall correctly, arn't you living in down and under? if so then whats up with this horray biz?

Instigator

Instigator,

I'll be in LA in December and am planning to catch a Lakers game- hence my joy @ the price retention and hope regarding the exchange rate.

Anna

Hobbitmage & Kobeblitz:

Cut it out boys and please make up with “hugs & kisses”.

Enough with your amateurish speculation and let the Laker’s professional staff handle their biz. Why don’t you boys put on some cheer leading outfit and cheer for the lakers, instead of this back and forth gibberish of yours.

Otherwise, I suggest you both don on the gloves and settle this mano to mano!!

In light of the fact that Sasha has sucked of late---yeah I admit it :-(

It's time to break out the...

SASHA BREAKOUT BANDWAGON
1. Faith

Who wants to join? Worked last year so why not? haha.

AK/BK:

I for one like your format contrary to what Ever Notice and Zen want. . Your posts are refreshing and bring new thoughts and discussion to the table as oppsoe to long drawn out threads that tend to get stale and boring, yawn..zzzzzzz!

Ever Notice and Zen are creature of habits and need a wake up call!!

Keep up the good work.

Seven faces of Dr. Lau


Anna in Bondi:

Very cool and I hope you have a wonderful visit in LA. If you have never been to a Laker game in person then you are in for a treat, it is awesome, if you can splurge then buy yourself good seats. As oppose to nose blead section. Oh, when you do attend the game please be sure to say hi to Jacko for me (grin).


"BTW, I believe I spoke about Sasha's shooting making
you eat crow. I did talk about his defense, but not in
that context of you eating crow. If you weren't so
interested in flapping your lips like the clatterbone of
a goose's behind you'd actually pay attention to facts
vs. just trying to say bad things and show how much
you know."

No actually you spoke of his defense being "intense" and will make me eat crow because at that time both of us were confident that he had made strides in his shooting yet I had called his defense overrated which made you go crying about this and that.

And you are becoming so animated my friend. It's beginning to be too funny. My suggestion is you go to anger management classes or watch that movie by Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. It was an interesting one to see.

And I didn't wander off point. I made the point of Trevor Ariza's 3 pt shooting numbers being near equal as Sasha's as more of Sasha shooting badly rather than that a slasher becoming a better shooter than a primary shooter. And it is true most primary slashers won't ever become great consistent shooters. The best mix of both are MJ and Kobe who are great slashers and solid shooters but neither are in the realm of shooting of Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Glen Rice, or even Mitch Richmond. Only reason why I pointed out Sasha was his poor production makes Trevor seem like a comparable shooter. Then I called him Choke-a-cic and you go crying again about cheap shots now you complain about me throwing the subject off when in fact is is you who threw off the subject.

And may I suggest you calm down and stop trying to be the young Laker players' daddy? First off you are not and 2nd you seem to respond to every criticism I make yet don't go after others like Dara who gives off funny ones like "Fire Farmar". I give better criticisms and don't call the players "idiots".

And it's true Sasha has choked several times already. Same thing could be said about Kobe and according to 82games he has a quite a few game winning misses:

42 game winning/tying misses.

Only reason I don't call him a choking dude (even though he has choked at times as well) was his 23 game winners not to mention his other game tying shots and his current lead in the clutch rating. He is a very clutch player. Sasha has only done 4 clutch things and has performed quite terribly under pressure. That's one of the reasons why he has that choke part to his name.

re: Not trying to change the subject really. Just giving you an explanation of why he has that choking moniker to his name since you did get animated when I said choke and overrated to Sasha.

Wise Ol'Man,

I'm more than willing to stop debate between myself and Hobbitmage but Hobbit goes after almost every criticisms that I make about the young Laker players and gets animated when something like "overrated" gets put with someone like Sasha and also complains of taking cheap shots at Laker players yet likes to gloat in the style of Mike T. I personally don't gloat really because it's very classless.

As interesting as the Hobbitmage is I don't have anything against the dude and respect his analysis and I don't want him to stop posting here. I just wished he became more realistic and less classless.

-KB Blitz

Rudy,

Give Omega the break for having the courage to join us. As long as we understand his message, never mind the spelling, just provide the correct one in your thoughts as you read it.

Mavericks, well Howard and Stackhouse are not playing so we don't know how they will respond in the playoffs. I say go with the team that wants us like Blazers 1st Jazz 2nd and finally Spurs or Hornets, the harder the struggle in the playoffs, the greater the triumph will be in the Finals.

I see a first round upset, MAVS BEAT LAKERS in 5.
GO MAVS!

I see a first round upset, MAVS BEAT LAKERS in 5.
GO MAVS!


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