Caught in the Web: Lakers and Dallas Mavericks square off
-The Times' Mike Bresnahan will be hosting a live chat today at 11 a.m. Bring your Lakers questions! Brez and I also detailed an interesting Wednesday practice, which included a visit from Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani and Archbishop Jose Gomez. Talk about divine intervention.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky talks to Lakers assistant coaches Brian Shaw and Chuck Person about playing defense without fouling.
--Charles Barkley tells The Dallas Morning News that the Mavericks are the only team with a legitimate shot to beat the Lakers.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin explains the common thread between Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki.
--The Dallas Morning News' Eddie Sefko argues Dallas can ease some doubts about beat
--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell examines the tie-breaking scenarios
--Bryant spends five minutes with PTI. He will host the Kobe Basketball Academy July 6-11th at University of Santa Barbara for boys and girls ages 8-18. Kids can participate as either day or overnight campers and can sign up on Bryant's website.
--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore previews the Lakers-Mavericks game.
--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano breaks down the Lakers' defense.
Tweet(s) of the Day: "Huge game for both the Lakers and Dallas tomorrow fighting for the number 2 spot in the West. Lakers should use these 9 games left to get the bench playing well." -- MagicJohnson (Lakers Legend Magic Johnson)
Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "Why can't Odom start in place of an injured starter and not be considered a sixth man? Within the context of a whole team, he may have "started" but he is still a sub." -- alberto esmeralda
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Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks up during the team's championship banner ceremony at the Staples Center on Oct. 26. The Lakers acknowledged the importance of their game Thursday against Dallas. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times