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NBA 2K11 simulation predicts the Lakers will defeat the Dallas Mavericks in six games


Before you roll your eyes at a video game making predictions, consider that Kobe Bryant has endorsed this video game for its authenticity and attention to real-time season trends. Before you wonder how reliable this exercise is, consider that a simulation correctly predicted that the New Orleans Hornets would take Game 1 of their first-round series against the Lakers with the correct score. And before you wonder why we're not just featuring what the team has to say about its upcoming series with the Mavericks, well, the team has the day off so that means my day consisted of playing video games.

It's a tough job, I know, but someone had to do it. The result: my prediction that the Lakers will defeat the Mavericks in six games en route to the Western Conference finals. The story lines prove rich with Phil Jackson and Mark Cuban racking up league fines, the Lakers and Mavericks benches nearly coming to blows again and everyone at Staples Center wearing Matt Barnes T-shirts to taunt Jason Terry. Click below the jump to read more on how the simulated series went down.


Game 1:Lakers lose, 93-89

Lakers' top performer: Pau Gasol (26 points on nine-for-15 shooting, 11 rebounds)

Mavericks' top performer: Terry (29 points on eight-for-13 shooting)

How the game was lost: Too much talking, not enough doing. The three days of rest and practice helped both teams ensure maximum health, but all that time before the series didn't help matters. That's because we reporters were around stirring the pot, as  Barnes and  Terry kept talking trash about the altercation March 31 that led to five ejections. It certainly brought a buzz to Staples Center with the sellout crowd wearing Barnes' Killa B T-Shirts, but it only sparked Dallas' reserves.

While Barnes, Lamar Odom, Steve Blake and Shannon Brown combined for seven points, 13 rebounds and two-for-13 shooting, Terry led the Mavericks with 29 points. The Lakers took advantage of their size with Gasol and Andrew Bynum combining for 42 points, but Bryant's left ankle still seemed to be an issue despite the three days of rest. Bryant scored 18 points on a seven-for-18 clip and never had the rhythm and explosiveness he thought extra treatment would give him.

But all these story lines weren't what drew Jackson's concern. The Mavericks shot 41 free throws, including 20 in the final quarter, while the Lakers got only 29 trips to the line. That sparked Jackson afterward to suggest Cuban bribed the NBA so that Dallas could secure the first game, since he was upset the Lakers secured home-court advantage over Dallas.

Game 2:Lakers win, 99-80

Lakers' top performer: Gasol (20 points on six-for-12 shooting, nine rebounds)

Mavericks' performer: Dirk Nowitzki (26 points on 11-for-16 shooting, nine rebounds)

How the game was won: Maybe there really is something to Jackson's mind games. Jackson's suggesting that Cuban bribed officials to secure Game 1 naturally earned him a $25,000 fine and a retort from Cuban that Jackson was simply outcoached. But for whatever reason, the free-throw differential went the other way, which caused Cuban to suggest that the league shouldn't take what Jackson says so literally. The Lakers went 35 for 41 from the stripe, while the Mavericks finished 25 for 30. But this game was never really close. The Lakers simply relied on playing with a balanced offense.

Gasol, Bryant (19), Bynum (19), Odom (14) and Brown (10) all scored in double figures by relentlessly attacking the basket. Though he surely had fun with suggesting Cuban and the league were in cahoots, Jackson had actually told his team at practice that it was shooting too many jump shots and not driving the lane enough, the real reason for the free-throw discrepancy. The formula worked for Gasol (eight for nine), Bryant (seven for seven), Bynum (nine for nine) and Brown (six for seven).


Game 3: Lakers lose, 117-107

Lakers' top performer: Gasol (26 points on 10-for-15 shooting, 10 rebounds)

Mavericks' top performer: Nowitzki (29 points on 11-for-19 shooting)

How the game was lost: This time it wasn't the free throws, though Cuban was also fined $25,000 for his remarks following the Mavericks' Game 2 loss. This pointed back to the Lakers' failure to stop the Mavericks' bench. The Lakers can live with Nowitzki's production considering Gasol has consistently offset it. But the Lakers' inability to control Dallas' reserves proves more consequential because their own bench isn't as reliable. Terry's 25 points mostly came off the Lakers' poor rotations on the perimeter, resulting in his shooting five for six from three-point range. Shawn Marion's 22 points on 10-for-18 shooting and 11 rebounds mostly happened because of the front line's poor communication as he drove to the basket. After a 40-28 second quarter gave the Mavericks a 60-54 halftime lead, Jackson told his team to simply pound the ball inside. The formula worked a bit with the Lakers getting 52 points in the paint, but the Mavericks kept answering with three-pointers, going 12 for 21 from behind the arc.

Game 4: Lakers win, 87-76

Lakers' top performer: Bryant (31 points on 11-for-19 shooting, seven assists)

Mavericks' top performer: Terry (18 points, six-for-16 shooting)

How the game was won: Bryant carried the load offensively, but he was the only starter to shoot above 50%. With symptoms of his respiratory illness still lingering, Gasol had a rare off night, scoring only one point and shooting 0 for 5. Bynum also had a minor scare, remaining on the floor after colliding with Tyson Chandler in the third quarter. The knee brace prevented the accident from significantly hurting Bynum, but he remained tentative, scoring only eight points on four-for-11 shooting.

Since the Lakers didn't have their size advantage at full strength, they simply relied on their defense. Dallas shot 24 for 64 from the field, committed 22 turnovers and made only two field goals in the final six minutes of the first quarter. That set the tone in an otherwise ugly game the Lakers simply had to grind out. It's not the way they prefer to win, but with nothing besides Bryant's jump shot  working, the Lakers simply had no other choice.

Game 5: Lakers win, 119-85 

Lakers' top performer: Bryant (29 points on 11-for-18 shooting)

Mavericks' top performer: Nowitzki (23 points on six-for-19 shooting)

How the game was won:There's no need to over-analyze this game. The Lakers simply dominated. It took a while considering all the theatrics and chippiness at the beginning of the series, but the Lakers seemed completely focused. It featured balanced scoring from both the starters and reserves. Bryant, Gasol (28) and Bynum (19) perfectly exploited double teams and mismatches. Ron Artest (11 points on four-for-seven shooting, three for five from three-point range) rediscovered his shot and flexed his muscles a few times. And Odom (11 points, seven rebounds) and Barnes (14 points, five rebounds) finally provided a bench presence that was lacking all series.

Meanwhile, the Lakers maintained their defensive discipline. Gasol forced Nowitzki to take many off-balance jumpers. Blake appeared eager in goading Terry into a three-for-13 performance. And the Lakers shut off the driving lanes, forcing the Mavericks into a 26-for-70 clip.

Game 6: Lakers win, 119-91

Lakers' top performer: Bryant (30 points on 11-for-24 shooting)

Mavericks' top performer: Nowitzki (15 points on six-for-16 shooting), Terry (15 points on four-for-nine shooting)

How the game was won: Game 6 really seemed to be a carbon copy of Game 5, a good sign considering the Lakers enter the Western Conference finals against Oklahoma City with four days of rest.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Top photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, drives around Dallas guard Jason Kidd during a game on March 13. The Lakers and Mavericks play Sunday in Game of the Western Conference semifinals. Credit: Mike Stone / Reuters

Middle photo: Lakers forward Matt Barnes is restrained by Dallas assistant coach Terry Stotts after getting into an altercation with Mavericks guard Jason Terry (not pictured) during a game March 31 at Staples Center. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press / March 31, 2011

Bottom photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and power forward Pau Gasol celebrate in the final moments of a 96-91 victory over the Mavericks in Dallas on March 12. Credit:  Matthew Emmons / US Presswire / March 12, 2011

Comments () | Archives (99)

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We already know the score, what's the use of watching the game. We just declare that Mark Medina is now the Playoff's Nostradamus.


Aha, insta post! The Mavs are an unpredictable team; the PSP did not think they would beat Portland, but they did with relative ease. You look at their team and they have one standout player in Dirk (and an aging J Kidd), yet they still manage to play excellent basketball. We still beat them regardless; and even if we lose, its practice playoffs so we move on to the next round!

PSP Intern

Las Vegas disagrees with NBA 2K11. The spread is 6 points in favor of the Lakers.

I will agree with the prediction.I look for Pau to get off in this serious,even though he has to match Dirk on one end,he should be good on the ofensive end.Pau seems to struggle against short, strong physical players,and the Mavs don't have that type of player.Too much size up front,Lakers in 6.

Go Lakers!


Edwin - I feel honored for you bestowing that title to me haha good stuff

You know Richard Jefferson has zero points and 1 assist and is paid alot of money to start....The guy has one more assist than me here in oz and im paid peanuts......Talk about over rated.





===------ === ----==
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll l - --> 4 - 1 <-- l ------- l---]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

LEWSTRS - Driver
cofm99 - Entertainment Director
Lakemelody - History Consultant

Come aboard...

Open Bar
Hookah Bar
Egg Rolls
Buffalo Wings
Hooter Girls

Caron Butler to play.........7 game series.

mark medina has too much time on his hands. the other time he "predicted" the lakers to win in 5 with the hornets. looks like he was wrong. so i hope hes wrong again so i can take over his job and interview the correct way!

Mark Medina !!! Way to go.

What did you predict for the Lakers-NO series? The you predict Lakers winning against Dallas with 23 ppg blowout wins in 4 out of 6 games !!

Perhaps you can do this playing the game on "easy". This series would be a well contested one. Dallas in 6.

Aha, insta post! The Mavs are an unpredictable team; the PSP did not think they would beat Portland, but they did with relative ease.


I wouldn't call it with ease, I mean there were some problems. Overall a fantastic series imo. I think the reason they won is because of their height advantage. I read an article where alridge said he was becoming exhausted or something because they were a much bigger team.

I am looking forward to this celtics and heat series so much! Also the NBA and NHL need to work together and stop scheduling canucks and lakers games on the same day!


Caron Butler will NOT play, my bad. Spurs/Grizzlies is a war with 5 minutes.

damn this game is intense!!!

Damn Tony Parker with back to back turnovers.

We have just witnessed the death of the San Antonio Spurs. Or did they already die awhile ago? They are now, as Bill Walton said, officially extinct.

Wow. Randolph is taking it straight to San Antonio.

Nut San Antonio has played a pretty poorly through the entire 4th quarter. All their shots in the final minutes have been off the dribble, and none of them have looked any good or come close to going in.

And I haven't seen a single clutch play by Duncan. He's been 100% invisible.

I guess it happens to us all.


Sorry for saying damn so much. Marc Gasol with just an AMAZING block. Goodbye San Antonio Spurs. It will be nice not seeing you in the playoffs! End of an era indeed.

By By Spurs....The best record means didly squat

The death of the Spurs ... 'tear ... or not.

Diandra, the PSP said relative because the PSP thought Portland would give them way more problems but you are right though, it wasn't easy.

For the past 4 or 5 years, people always bashed Z Bo; the PSP hadn't watched him play much back then but he has been a consistent 20 10 guy for a while now so couldn't understand all the hate for him. He is not a bad player at all.

PSP Officer

Well the spurs are going fishing..
Hey pop how's that gasol trade looking now??
Hey Tony,ask lebron about karma, you think bret and eva are alughing now??

Eddie Winslow looks like the best pf at the moment,no offense pau..BTW lil bro and the team did what you could not.Please,please use this as motivation and plat like you got that tiger's blood(lol) and not like a FF......

Hey Pop,

You still think that Pau Gasol trade was that one-sided???

One of the reporter media guys need to ask him that; Pop might actually punch him! :-)

VI Lakerfan,

I guess great minds think alike. You beat me by one minute.

Can't wait to see Pops press conference. I do feel bad for McDyess. He's pure class. It may not be safe for RJ to stay in San Antonio. Boy did he disappear.

Just passing along a tweet from The Times' Mike Bresnahan: "Lakers have given Houston Rockets permission to talk to asst. coach Brian Shaw about the head coaching vacancy there, The Times has learned."

I think we'd all have heart attacks if it goes down as 2k11 predicts: losing the first game AGAIN and then losing the pivotal game 3. This place would be going nuts.

Bay to LA,
I play poker pretty seriously, and thought the odds were at best 4% that both Spurs and Magic would come back and maybe 1/3 that either could do it. Seems it was formidable as I thought ;)

What a waste of 60 wins(btw remember the grizz been without gay).The spurs definately needed more from timmy,it worked all regular season,but dunno how they espected to keep that up.J stackhouse you got your wish(he was on the dallas team that lost to the warriors).Now 2 outta three texas teams have flamed out in the 1st round against 8th seeds.Will the rockets 1 day keep the streak alive???

Zeeeee Booo ... blue collar worker!!

@ Long Live Chick,
Thanks,that's so true(lol)

Now the Lakers have the HCA in the West.

Well, Perkins will have to deal with the "other" Gasol now. I know Pau is now calling his little bro to play "tough" against him for his family's sake. Memphis may steal game one from OKC on Sunday.

All Gasol WCF, here we come!!!

Clear path for all you HCA freaks for the Lakers in the West now.


Well, lucky for us your 'simulation' will fail in Game 1. LAL over Dallas.

IMHO, this season is on track to be just like last season.
Which means that after having trouble with a young and hungry team (like OKC last year), Lakers will SWEEP in the second round (just like they did with Utah)!

(Don't try cashing this at a bank, though, unless it's owned by Mark Cuban...)

Oh! And: prepare yourselves for a lot of crybaby complaints about how the refs are biased towards the LAL!


Oklahoma City vs Memphis....This sounds more like NCAA, not NBA playoffs. The Grizzles are 3-1 against the Thunders in the regular season. The Grizzles are matched up well against the Thunders. The Grizzles are now 3-0 at home in the playoffs. I think (and hope) this series will go to 7.

Zach Randolph a beast of a player. What a performance. Okc vs Memphis will be a barn burner.

VI Lakerfan/PSP/Long Live Chick,

A reporter did ask Pop about the Gasol trade. The question was something like, "Let me deal with the elephant in the room. Pop, you were critical of the Gasol trade a few years ago, what are your thoughts now?"

Pop said he had no comment. It was the only time during the presser that Pop got a little peeved. The next guy tried to follow up with a similar question and Pop shut him down also. After that Pop made a joke about not seeing any elephant in the room.


It really happened? !!?

I give Pop hard time for intimating reporters during his press conferences, but I must admit once a series is over he is always gracious in defeat. He was also very gracious today and complimentary of Memphis and coach Hollins. Kudos to Pop!


It really happened? !!?

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | April 29, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Yep Tim! Good stuff. They usually repeat the interviews all night on NBA TV.


It just feels so good that someone rubbed his stupidity in his face. He might be gracious and all, but he was an ass when that trade went down

Now, I am more shocked the Spurs had the best record in the West than they lost to the Grizzles in the 1st round.

Congrats to Memphis and they will beat OKC..

A Tale of Two Gasols (First Round Final Tally)

Games 1 to 6 Combined
PTS......... .85............81

Looks like Marc has big edge in rebounds while Pau wins in assists. The difference in the other categories are insignificant.

But consider this: Marc is 5 years younger and has yet to hit his peak while Pau will probably start to decline in a year or so. Plus Marc only costs $3.5 M a year versus $17.8 M for Pau. Pop was right - the Gasol deal was indeed one-sided! (i.e., in favor of MEM). Is it too late to demand a refund?

Jason Terry vs Steve Blake be continued.......I hope Blake will shut Jason "big mouth" Terry down.

The list of PG's that Fisher faced and may face during the playoffs: Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Westbrook, DRose or Rondo. Sooner or later, Fisher (32 mpg) needs to play less and Blake (15 mpg) should play more minutes in the playoffs.

"Revenge is best served well done and on a platter with Pop's head"

Let me get this straight. Pop wanted the league to rescind this trade because it was so blatantly one-sided. Marc Gasol plus Kwame's ending salary allowed the Grizzlies to acquire Zach Randolph. The same two, considered worthless by Popovich, just sent him back to Texas with his tail between his legs.

Do you think revenge perhaps, motivated them just enough to wish for a Memphis/San Antonio match up? And then carried them through the series in a dominating fashion?......Well, its nice to think about it in those terms.

Congrats Memphis and a job well done from all of us at the LA Times Lakers blog. You are now our favorite team not named the Lakers.


The victory of Grizz' were achieved by hustle and lightning speed. This is a fair warning to teams with old players. Duncan and McDyess could not cope up with the pressure of youth's aggressiveness. SA should have slowed down the game when they were leading, well they competed on an up and go speedsters, as a result the oldies turn over the ball so many times. Well, Lakers will have a different strategy it's dribble, dribble, passing, passing until u get bored to death and then a sudden boom boom from Bynum. What is lacking from SA was defense, they didn't have anymore the scissorhands of Bowen, Lakers have Artest with locked arms defense when b'ball turned into arm wrestling. If Artest is not enough, we got mohawk Barnes the enforcer and Fisher the screen-banging enforcer and finally, you get to the swatter Drew.

Maestro LRob, I'd submit my music strategy against young teams - Walk Don't Run by the Ventures (old school).

Mark Medina...

Shaw would clear way for Sloan or Adleman.

Maybe the front office has already made a decision..

Me thinks so.

Thirty2 - You never know. Shaw met with Cleveland last year and was close to accepting a deal. He has indicated before that coaching the Lakers would be his "dream job." So if nothing else, he's doing it for the job interview experience and just to cover himself in case the Lakers go in a different direction. But the Lakers have considered Shaw their top choice.

So why would you let your top choice meet with another organization?.

Interview experience?...

I like that.


What is he, a 100 years old?

Adleman, perhaps. He's younger.

Maybe Sloan, who knows. Fisher loves him a lot, and maybe down the road Fisher would take over (D-Fish would make a helluva head coach).

I'm not sure if Shaw has the gravitas of a "Lakers" head coach, specially one who would try to fill Phil Jackson's massive shoes. Notice the huge black void in Riley's wake, one that continued to haunt the Lakers until another big name coach took over, as in PJ.

I still think if the Lakers win the Championship this year, PJ will be back -- how can you resist a 4-peat, a first in his career???? This is why I believe Shaw is interviewing elsewhere, not for the experience, but because he sincerely doubts PJ's imminent retirement.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves re the 4peat. Still a lot of work to do on the 3peat.

I said it after game two that Pau disappeared for a reason--upper respiratory infections affect sinuses and ear canals, which in turn affects balance, which in turn affects accuracy on offense and activity on defense.

Can't completely compare brother Marc to Pau the first few games. A better comparison would be his last two games of the series versus brother Marc's last two games.

I would love to see UFC "Brother versus Brother" in the Western Conference Finals. Quite possibly could happen.

But we still have the Dallas Sowbacks to deal with. Regardless of what Up-Chuck Barkley says, Dirk No-Blitzkrieg will have his hands full with Pau and Odom. Pau's length will affect Dirk's fadeaway and his post moves will have Dirk's head spinning on D. They'll have to double leaving Drew or the lane open. LO will dominate him with his quiickness.

Also, even if Butler were to return, I doubt he'd have the impact people think he would. Remember when Trevor came back for us in 2008, he wasn't up to speed on D or on offense.

As for the Spurs, they have joined Dallas as the only two One Seeds that lost to the Eight Seed in an 7 Game Series. And both teams had posted 60 win seasons. Both teams spent their regular seasons outscoring their opponents. Popovich attempted to throw a bandage around his aging team with offensive youth instead of defensive veterans.

In honor of the Playoffs 40 Games in 40 Nights, here's Dave Brubeck's "40 Days":


"Of course it's nice to win the first game, but I don't believe that Phil's stats are limited to Game 1 HOME wins. I will research that. More important, to counter your sweeping generalizations and defiant refusal to defer to Phil Jackson's greatness, he is also 12-0 in winning playoff series when his team wins Game 3 after being tied 1-1. Just like this recent sparring session vs. the lowly Hornets, once you lose a game at home in the first two games (NO 2011, Boston 2010, Denver 2009, Houston 2009), guess what else you have lost? That's right, HCA. So while you repeatedly state that no two three-peat teams are alike, how about them numbers?

My gripe with you is that you look at generalities while I am focused on specifics. You honestly don't believe that Phil Jackson's experience in these situations should be factored into the equation? What have I dismissed? The global statistic that 75% of the teams who have HCA win their playoff series? Sorry, but as that applies to PJ, that's a pretty meaningless statistic. His teams have proven to win them anywhere.

As for the Lakers having a 0% chance next season, let's first see if there is a next season. I don't know if this team is capable of going into Bill Russell stratosphere or not. Without Phil, yes I think it's doubtful, but like you said, let's watch this season play itself out first.

By the way, I am not selectively choosing statistics that help my case. As it applies to Phil Jackson coached teams, fortunately those are the statistics that I'm stuck with. I don't care about other coaches' failures and the statistics associated with their teams. I'll give you a statistic that I DON'T like and that actually bothered me a wee bit. The Lakers have never won a championship when they lost the first game of the playoffs. So I hope you take that little tidbit and feed your funny half-empty feeling that you have about the Dallas Softies beating us in Round 2.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | April 29, 2011 at 04:29 PM "

I'm pretty sure the 55-1 isn't limited to home games but since Phil has a better record in home games than road games, isn't it best to start off with the games at home so it is more likely to get the lead and add to that 55-1 stat? Seems pretty beneficial to me.

I really don't know how it's arguable that HCA isn't better than not having HCA. The premise of your argument is that Phil and his threepeat teams have won home and away, this is a threepeat team, so therefore they are guaranteed to win no matter who they play or where they play. You might say you didn't say it in those words but take a look at what you said and tell me how it isn't directly implying that.

You are absolutely selectively choosing statistics. That's why you don't put more weight into that stat about Phil never winning when his team lost the first game of the playoffs. There are also those PHIL SPECIFIC stats like never winning a championship in a season with a 4 or a 5 game losing streak and never leading a team to the finals 4 straight years. Those stats are purely coincidental and have absolutely no bearing on whether or not this Lakers team is good enough to beat 3 more teams this year. I think you agree with this which is why they don't factor into your predictions. The problem is so many of the stats you're using fall into this same category. They're based on inconsequential fact patterns from the past that do not factor in that varying skill levels of the teams and the opponents.

You trust Phil, Kobe, and Fisher to win this year. That is why you are picking them. Not because of some cherry picked statistics that can say it's mathematically probable. In my Dallas predicton, I fully admit it is not based on statistics. I could probably use some of those statistics above to tell the story that it is actually more likely and that anyone who disagrees is ignoring the facts, but I acknowledge it's not probable and my hunch has nothing to do with those stats. The Lakers are statistically more likely to win. I just have a feeling that the underdog might take this one.


Sloan may be 100 years old but he has a very good history with veteran ball teams.

Shaw is going out interviewing during the playoffs?
Is that really right?
And what if Houston wants him, do they need to wait until the playoffs are done to offer him the job?
Would Shaw make a decision before the Lakers are done with the season?
Is the timing a bit odd with this?

Bay to LA,
Excellent analysis. It's called Independent Trials


That's why i questioned Mark Medina..

It seems very odd to allow a coach to go interview just for experience.

Triangulator --

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves re the 4peat."

I never said that we're going after a 4peat -- if you choose to respond, bro, first READ carefully, then start jabbing the keyboard.

I merely stated in the context of Shaw's future, which suddenly has some relevance, that IF -- IF! -- the Lakers win the Championship this year, it would be hard for PJ to resist the taste of a 4th Championship in a row, a first for him (again this was stated in the context of Shaw's future with the Lakers and IF the Lakers win a 3rd in a row).

Nobody, certainly not me, is getting ahead of anything here -- I have way too much respect for the talent on NBA squads, specially on teams that are still alive in the Playoffs, ergo the Thunder, Heat, Celtics, the Bulls, etc.

Pau did not struggle against shorter, agressive players such as Landry, Pau struggled against a more formidable opponent: upper respiratory illness. He did not use that as an excuse but his average of 8 pts, 5.5 rebounds first 2 games said it all.



Why? There is way too much motivation for the Lakers to beat the hell out of these Mavericks, esp. Jason "We're not even worried about them(Lakers)" Terry.

There will be NO let-up against the Mavericks. Four and O.


uh, interesting since my PS3 version of NBA 2K11 had OKC beating the Lakers in the first round, which then led to ulitmately Dallas winning the NBA finals(against the team I was playing, the bulls...took it to game 7 in a tight one though, lol). Anyway, point being you'd have to run the simulation hundreds of times to get an 'accurate' feel for how it'd go down, not to mention it would statistically give the advantage to whatever team it determined superior(ie the Lakers) because when it's run it goes by chance, but it can't measure the most important things, heart and drive, which LA has been lacking at many points throughout the season. Dallas is the dark horse of these playoffs, look for them to surprise LA enroute to the finals where they'll lose to either the Heat, Celtics, or Bulls. LA's height doesn't matter with Dirk and Chandler, and Jason Kidd is waaay better than Derrick Fisher, which leaves the series squarely between Kobe and everyone else on the Mavs team(ie Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, etc). Dallas in 6.


Open Bar........nice
Hookah Bar...don't do that no more, can't remember why not
Jacuzzi.......definitely depends upon the company
Egg Rolls....could do that, I'm thinking
Buffalo Wings....worst non-edible food ever
Hooter Girls...yeah yeah okay I'm on board


Remember, Kobe "triple ocho" Bryant once beat the Mavericks thru 3 quarters:

Kobe - 62
Mavericks - 61



The ESPN anti-Laker bias is pretty subtle sometimes.

On the playoff pages, it lists the playoff history of each team.

It says the Lakers have 16 titles, with 5 coming from Minn.

Yet for the Hawks lone title, it doesn't mention it came from St Louis.
Of the three Philly titles, there is no mention the first one came when they were the Syracuse Nationals.

It seems as a way of disparaging the value of it, maybe because the Lakers are so close to evening up the number of titles with the hometown Septics.

Being one of the main ways people get their sports information, they have the ability to almost re-write history in the way they seem fit.

They do mention the Thunder title came from the Seattle Sonics, but that is recent history everyone knows.

Whatever, time for round 2.

LA Lakers 2009-2010 Back-to-Back NBA Champions

Keys to the series.......

Dallas has no inside game so they must rely on the old, 'live by the long shot, die by the long-shot' method. (a Fatty original!). Which we all know, doesn't work unless you are the Mavs playing the GS Warriors in a first round playoff series.

Key person to watch for the Lakers? Mark Cuban. Who knows what the NBA's most flamboyant and immature owner will say or do? Will he charge into the Lakers huddle during a 'time-out' and challenge Phil Jackson to a 'dance-off'?

Fatty predicts the Lakers in a disappointing 5, but is hoping for a long game 7 finish. (so we can all see Mark at his finest for a full two weeks)

Fatty - Who is still trying to get Laker Tom's money back from that lousy game one.


Would that be Mark Medina or Mark Cuban? :-)

PSP Intern

List of the guys who want the Lakers to “threepeat” the most in order:

1. Kobe Bryant- He is always the guy that wants it the most.

2. Jerry Buss - He shells out all the dough... ;-)

3. Phil Jackson - He comes across as cool, but he wants to go out a winner, real bad...

4. Ron Artest - He sold his ring! He is going to have to go get another one. When it comes to really big games, he is at his best. He almost beat us single handedly when he was with Huston.

5. Matt Barnes - He doesn't have a ring. If we don't go all the way, the new guys will be blamed. He is a fighter.

6. Steve Blake - Also, no ring... Also, a fighter... Both of these guys seem to be getting better and better and playing like Lakers. If Blake isn't hitting, at least we don't have to watch him do it all night. He brings a lot of other things.

7. Trey, Joe, and Theo – These guys must be on cloud nine… Also, desperately wanting to do anything to contribute… Play Trey!!!

8. D-Fish – He is actually probably up there tied with Kobe. We have seen what happens if it looks like we are going to lose a key game or series.

9. Andrew Bynum – He almost got traded. He may still be traded. He knows he needs to make a statement. He already has. I don’t think there is anyone who thinks that the Lakers won’t win it all if Drew stays healthy and plays as he did in the 17-1 run. Anyone! Except maybe a guy named Shaq…

10. Pau Gasol – “I will show you soft!” He has shown us for the last two years. Look at the calendar. It is time to show us again.

11. Mitch Kupchak – Second guess my decisions will you? Hah!

12. Lamar Odom – He has a TV show. It will be better for the ratings… ;-)

13. Shannon Brown – He wants to have a TV show… ;-)

14. Luke Walton – Probably his last year… I am sure he wants to go out a winner. Over the years, I have always liked Luke. He has a great knowledge of the triangle and basketball in general. He makes things happen (or use to) when he was on the floor. He doesn’t seem to have it this year. He has come back from injury, but is not his old self. I remember early in his career. He would check into the game, hit a big three and the crowd would yell LUUUUUUUKE!!!

15. The Coaching Staff – They may be out of a job next year and it will look good on the resume… ;-)

16. Lakerholic – I live in Celtic country and it would be SO SWEET!!! Otherwise, I will have to hear it from everyone until next season… damn, I just got an ’08 flashback… I’ll be OK… ;-)

Go Lakers!

I am a Lakerholic.


Did you happen to run this NBA 2K11 simulation for the other playoff teams?
It would be nice to see how well it did for predicting the entire 1st round through to the end. But I suppose that might be a time consuming project.

PSP - If it gets me another Friedman, then yes, of course, it would be Medina.

Cuban or not, the Mavs have improved their shooting, 8 guys that can score. Let's hope size wins.

Oak City vs. Grizzlies may go 8 games.....very touchy match ups. Speed vs. force.

Also why didn't Blair play for San Antonio, they needed some physical play on the boards. Saving him for game 7.

Bay to LA

Actually, I am a believer in the old adage that "history repeats itself" and the use of historical trends therefore becomes fascinating to me. In my post I SAID it bothered me that the Lakers (not just Phil Jackson, so don't put words in my mouth) have never won a championship when they lost the first game of the playoffs. I didn't throw that out there for no reason.

Of course it is better to have HCA than not have it. Duh. So let's cut to the chase about HCA. It's overblown and overrated. In the last 32 years, since the advent of the three point shot, there have only been five 7 game series in the NBA Finals and let's face it, it's Game 7 where it matters the most. The home team has won all 5 of those series. There has never been back to back seasons when the NBA Finals went 7 games, 4 years between 7 game series being the closest gap. As memory serves me, last year we had a 7 game series in the NBA Finals, which decreases the odds of it happening this year.

So we're talking about a 15.6% chance of a 7 game series in the Finals (or less). I PREFER to look at Phil Jackson's three-peat teams and their NBA Finals playoff series, as self-serving as that may seem to you. In both 1993 and 1998, PJ's Bulls did NOT have HCA, yet won both times. Isn't THAT a much more relevant way to look at this? Those series fell within the 84.4% chance that the NBA Finals will NOT go 7 games.

Just like in 1998, Phil Jackson's second three-peat with the Bulls featured HCA all the way UNTIL the Finals. The parallels. The potential irony. I love this game!

So please counter this:

55-1 when he has a lead in a playoff series
48-0 when his teams win Game 1
12-0 when his teams win Game 3 after being tied 1-1
11 close out games on the first try in his last 12 attempts
6 straight close out wins on the road in his first attempt
2-0 in three-peat attempts without HCA
3-0 in three-peat attempts .. period!
13 trips to the NBA Finals
11 championships

I'm sure I am missing some Dimaggio-esque numbers, but this is actual data relevant to THIS head coach and his teams. Does this guarantee ANYTHING? Of course not. The NBA's elite seem stronger than at any time during PJ's illustrious coaching career and it will be a daunting task to defeat the Mavs, OKC or Memphis and whoever comes out of the East should we be fortunate enough to get that far.

So I rely on some data to help fuel my optimism while you rely on your half-empty gut feeling. They are simply two different approaches. You are comfortable with your and I am comfortable with mine.

NBA 2K11 has the Lakers winning...well there is a relief!

The end of the Tim Duncan era...hope it's not a bad omen to the other old geezers like Paula Pierce and Kobe. DRose & KD and their teams are looking posed to take over and knock the old men off the mountain...won't be easy boys!

"There has never been back to back seasons when the NBA Finals went 7 games, 4 years between 7 game series being the closest gap. "

I meant to add .. during that time period.


Can you run the NBA 2K11 simulation 999 more times for us and each time please simulate a different set of referee assignments???!!!


Good point.

Who will inherit his royal highness the Zen Coach? Will it be Shaw, Adelman, Rambis or Sloan? Are those the only choices after a wild ride of the dynastic Lakers? If one of them is chosen, will the move be going forward or scale back? Just asking, Lakers is a premier team and choosing the next Coach should rigorous in the search of a revered, talented and could manage high profile players starting from Kobe et al. This is like searching for the next American Idol in coaching. On the contrary, if the front office is too lazy to make a change, then they can go back to the Smush-Kwame years of indecisions by considering what is working internally. If they want to play the cheap card, then go for a has-been/done-that Coach similar to the hiring of Rudy T. then leave the team at the middle of the season. (Up to now, I'm still wondering what has he contributed after his coaching stint as a Laker scout? Or just an excuse!) IMO, if these are the only choices, I would pick the experience one, Coach Sloan. However, as I suggested before - can we tap the Showtime players as the coach by committee? If you combined the heads of Worthy, Cooper, Nixon, the Cap perhaps they can equal any outstanding Coaches in the business. There is only one who can be a Head Coach but I'm more in favor of strong assistant coaches from the Showtime era. Chuck Person is great addition when Ron-Ron hitched to the Lakers. Chuck helped Kobe in finding an alternative to his shooting touch when he injured his fingers. This was reported on SI last summer. Jim Cleamons is one of the rare old school Asst. Coach who is also an ex-Laker player. When you listen to Stu Lantz, he can be a great asst. coach with all his preaching and NBA101 on broadcast booth. What happened to other Laker oldies like: Bill Berthka, Bill Sharman, Jerry West? These are the brains of the Lakers who have been sidelined ever since the Zen Coach captured Buss confidence. Just like the royalty, we have a fascination of our great assets within the Laker family. They can no longer be tapped as Coaches but they're great resource persons in search of a great Coach. Will the next coach be confined to the choices of Jim Buss and Jeanette Buss who would inherit the Lakers? If I'm one of the children of Buss, I will rely to the experts' advice than go with my gut feeling. If Mitch K. makes a wrong choice (of which it can happen to any of the choices), there could be a repeat meltdown of 2005 when Lakers failed to make to the playoffs. Mitch disbanded the marquee players from Payton, Mailman, Shaq, Fisher's prime and went with scrubs because they are cheap! Another episode was the Laker drama in the summer of 2007 where Kobe almost got traded. Therefore, the search for the next Laker coach should start now in a silent fashion. We should not just limit our search with the high profiled names who are available, or within the dictates of the triangle offense, of which has nothing to do why Lakers are winning in the playoffs. It is the Lakers defense. It has to be the Coach with full of dynamism that can be respected by his players and also would fit to the glitz and glamor of the location. Again just my 2 cents.

Manu Ginobli on the Spurs lost...

"We couldn’t sustain the type of basketball we played in January and February."

What a shame, season is not even over and the ingrates are ready to put coach Phil out to pasture.

This was written:

So we're talking about a 15.6% chance of a 7 game series in the Finals (or less). I PREFER to look at Phil Jackson's three-peat teams and their NBA Finals playoff series, as self-serving as that may seem to you. In both 1993 and 1998, PJ's Bulls did NOT have HCA, yet won both times. Isn't THAT a much more relevant way to look at this? Those series fell within the 84.4% chance that the NBA Finals will NOT go 7 games.

my response: While I appreciate the logic in this, I don' t think the stats map/
compare to each other. [ fyi, I think there's a statistician floating around the
blog, who may know more/say it better. ]

reasons why the stats don't map to each other:

1. Health. It is my understanding that MJ *NEVER* had to deal with the
injuries that Kobe has sustained and played through.

2. Commitment to defense. There is no way this Lakers team compares to the
defensive commitment/pedigree of the 2nd 3-peat bulls.

3. Changes in rules make comparisons sketchy.

4. The complete reconfiguration of the NBA to stop the Lakers. That didn't
happen during the MJ era because the values of the players were different,
as stated by Magic and company after "The Decision" this past summer.

5. Professionalism. I am unaware of any Bull who ever said: "We're coasting."
If you anyone has a quote about this, I would love to see one.

Thanks for supplying stats to support your argument. It was well stated.

Who will inherit his royal highness the Zen Coach? Will it be Shaw, Adelman, Rambis or Sloan?

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | April 30, 2011 at 08:27 AM


I think it will be one of the first three names on your list and I'll even throw Chuck Person's and Byron Scott's name in there (even though neither Rambis nor Scott have been fired). I do not think it will be Jerry Schottenheimer. As weird as this may sound, I hope it's Rick Adelman. His players always play hard for him, he runs a similar offense to the triangle with a two guard set, and he adapts well to his personnel. Sloan is too rigid. Adelman's teams have typically overachieved and I don't think he would be adverse to learning a few things from Kobe and Fish. For me it's either Adelman or Shaw. If you think of Shaw like George Seifert of the 49ers who took over for Bill Walsh and kept his system intact and won a championship, that's sound logic. Alternatively, you have the veteran with a strong track record and flexibility. I think either one is a viable alternative, but neither one is Phil Jackson.

Total team effort is required and necessary to eradicate the past issues this team has had because no balance team effort,inconsistent,focus issues - distractions, preparation and a desire to be the best . Can the Lakers bring the best to this series and beyond. Kobe is a great player but the Lakers team is the question.This collection of players can win at the highest level if ereryone is prepared and ready. The talent is present but the desire will determine the outcome of this next series and beyond. Everyone on this roster has to raise the bar of productive and present the highest game effort possible.


thanks.. just sayin. besides just a NBA 2K11 maybe MM can also run a sophisticated monte carlo simulation before asking us not to roll our eyes.. i know its a tough job but somebodys gotta do it ;-)

TGIS! (S for Saturday)

Total team effort is required and necessary to eradicate the past issues this team has had because no balance team effort, inconsistent, focus issues - distractions, preparation and a desire to be the best . Can the Lakers bring the best to this series and beyond? Kobe is a great player but the Lakers team is the question.This collection of players can win at the highest level if everyone is prepared and ready. The talent is present but the desire will determine the outcome of this next series and beyond. Everyone on this roster has to raise the bar of productivity and present the highest game effort possible.


Like I said, it's just data to fuel my optimism and historical trends. Your points are valid, too.

1. The interesting thing about health is that somehow Phil's teams have been healthy enough to complete the task on each three-peat attempt. That can only be coincidental, right?

2. As for the commitment to defense, I disagree. So far in their 4 playoff wins (it takes 4 to win a playoff series, right?), they gave up 78, 86, 90 and 80 points (83.5 ppg). During their 17-1 stretch their entire focus was on defense. Those Bulls didn't have a talented center like Bynum patrolling the paint either.

3. Changes on rules just put different eras on an equal playing field with the teams they compete against.

4. I don't recall what other teams did to try to match up with the Bulls. I do know that the league was diluted with 6 expansion teams during the 90's which made it easier for them.

5. This Lakers squad is the epitome of professionalism, so let's just disagree there. Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are 3 of the league's most esteemed character guys. Kobe is the most respected among his peers. Ron Artest just won the Citizenship Award and Andrew Bynum is maturing right before our eyes. I rally don't understand this one.

Your points are all well taken.


For the record, I have not made ANY predictions about us three-peating. I am simply expressing optimism and supporting it with historical trends from Phil Jackson coached teams, both past and present. As for this statistician "floating around the blog, who may know more/say it better" (nice unnecessary dig, BTW), I would LOVE to see his more accurate, telling numbers. Admittedly, the data I post are general numbers which don't dissect minutiae like PERs and EFFs do (and things like that).

All I know that this Lakers team is built for the playoffs. It is still a big man's game until proven otherwise and with our experience and having a superstar like Kobe Bryant and a head coach like Phil Jackson: advantage Lakers.

HAVING SAID THAT, it guarantees nothing.

@Edwin - if there is an opening that could lure Coach K into the NBA, this vacancy is probably it.


What do you think of Phil's mindset, will he continue coaching if he's offered 15M by the Lakers or the Knicks? What will he do in Montana if he retires now completely devoid from NBA? Why not create another job for him as Asst. GM, mostly as a Consultant or purely a Coaching consultant? IMO Shaw needs strong guidance, I looked at him as Randy Pfunk who got in after Riles. Adelman is a good Coach for the Kings only. Well, he could be a good interim coach in search of the real one, I doubt if Lakers will ever get to the Finals with Adelman's coaching ability. I like Sloan (if there are no other choices) primarily because of defense and character. He stayed with Utah Jazz in good times and in bad, almost made it to Championship in the nineties with the rag tag players he developed from his system.

I hope we are not misconstrued in eliminating the services of Phil in the midst of the playoff season. Normally, replacement should be planned ahead of time not when the season is over. by that time it would too late simply because teams who are not competing in the playoffs are already moving in and grabbing the best coaches could be floating silent offers.

Snake, Coach K was my first choice. Character and a winner who coached Kobe, Odom and a very likable coach. Somebody told us here in the blog that he will never leave the NCAA and Duke University. How can you be regarded as a great Coach if you did not try or proceeded to NBA coaching?

"How can you be regarded as a great Coach if you did not try or proceeded to NBA coaching?"


Actually it's pretty easy. A lot of people think Wooden is the greatest coach to ever live, but there are plenty of other examples. Dean Smith, Knight, Roy Williams, even Coach K, are all thought of as great coaches who didn't coach in the NBA.

Mark G,

You are absolutely right there when you mentioned those names. If you go to Hall of Fame in Springfield, all coaches are treated equally. You will encounter names there never heard before but got to HOF. During Wooden's time NCAA was at par with NBA. Today, I just think the real challenge for a coach and a player is in the NBA. Competition in NBA is even higher than the Olympics, FIBA and Euro League. IMO, NCAA becomes the major triple A league, just above the D'league. What do you think?

Regarding Brian Shaw's interview, Mike Bresnahan reported that he was either going to meet with Houston this weekend before the series starts or once the series ends. He's not going to do an interview between games

I didn't run a simulation for the other teams because it takes a long time to do. But the video game is cool because it updates rosters and equates player injuries and season trends into the game

Coach K is a coward.

He had a chance to coach the greatest sports organization in the world, the Lakers, and he passed up already once. Why? Because he knew he couldn't take the pressure. You've already won in college, more than once, what else is there to prove at that level? If he had BALLS, he would've taken his record onto the pros, the next level up, and taken on that gritty challenge.

With Duke, it's same old, same old, and he opted for same old, same old -- the safe route -- as opposed to taking on the greatest professional coaching job in sports (and to coach Kobe in the process).

The guy is a coward, period. Who needs that?

Looks like your prediction is right, the score very similiar. Long live 2k sports!!!

How does that game look now? GO MAVS!



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