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Caught in the Web: Previewing the Lakers-Mavericks game

March 12, 2011 | 11:21 am

Mavericks_350 What a way for the Lakers to end their trip: a stop in Big D with big implications. Will the Lakers bounce back from a tough 94-88 loss at Miami? Can they close on the Mavericks, currently second in the Western Conference but only 1 1/2 games ahead of the Lakers, with their ninth win in 10 games since the All-Star break?

This is the drama that comes with the NBA in March. Each game counts more than the one before. Every opponent is either a Western Conference contender battling for playoff position or an opponent with something to prove to the two-time reigning champions.

Let's take a look at what some colleagues are saying about the game (6 p.m. tip-off to be televised locally on KCAL, Channel 9):

Game advances

The Daily News' Elliott Teaford on the Lakers getting no rest on this trip.'s Billy Witz discusses how the Lakers need to refocus.

Jeff Caplan of on why the Lakers want a win and the No. 2 seeding.

Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News examines why this is a big game for the Mavericks.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Dwain Price on Dallas clinching the tiebreaker with a win.

Columns and notebooks

Caplan of looks at Brendan Haywood's task against the Lakers.

Dexter Fishmore of on why the Lakers have been beaten on the boards.

The Morning News' Sefko on Jason Kidd understanding why Coach Rick Carlisle called the Mavericks soft.

Price of the Star-Telegram looks at why Dallas likes the matchups against the Lakers' big men.'s Mark Stein on a variety of subjects, including a snippet on Lakers assistant Chuck Person.

And Land O' Lakers bloggers Andy and Brian Kamenetzky review some problems with the Lakers' offense and do a podcast with's Ramona Shelburne.

-- Dan Loumena

Photo: Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki tries to drive past Lakers power forward Pau Gasol in their Jan. 19 game. Credit: Matthew Emmons / US Presswire