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L.A. Times' Mark Medina on Lakers' 96-94 Game 1 loss to Dallas Mavericks

--Mark Medina

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Well, now we're in trouble! This isn't the Hornets. WE HAVE TO WIN THE NEXT TWO. We gave this one back and the whole team should examine their part in it. I can see concern in Kobe's eyes now that he doesn't have as much trust in his teammates to step up and be strong willed. PJ is really not doing a championship level of coaching and seems OK with an early trip to MT. Leaving them to flounder with a 17-2 run against them is a disgrace against this Mavs team - too veteran to let big runs go without some break and adjustments. This is not the practice season learning experiments, PJ!!!

If we get another chance, I think putting Ron on Dirk way out past the 3 point line on an inbounds makes more sense. Stronger base, smarter, can probably even out jump Pau (yikes! 6" vertical versus a 2" Pau vertical?)..........

Jesus, RELAX.

If anything, the Hornets are a tougher team for the Lakers to handle, with a fast and wiley PG in CP3 (as opposed to an ancient one in Kidd) and ballers like Landry and Jack and a shot blocker in Okafor. Big bodies too, like Gray. Don't short change the Hornets, they would've given any team fits.

The Lakers will handle Dallas just fine, this is a typical playoff run for the Lakers -- the last time the Lakers played the Mavericks in the playoffs was in 1988 and it went 7 games (and that was the much ballyhooed showtime with Magic, Worthy and the rest). Lakers won then and they will win now.

So it goes.

Relax, enjoy the series -- Lakers in 6.

I'm with ya Ludwig.

We definitely gave this one away.
I still believe LA matches up well against Dal. There are several areas where LA could do even better and will.
I see this series playing out like the last one.

Well look at the positive side: The Lakers got 2 straight championships and 3 straight trips to the finals out of an extremely flawed player like the very physically weak Pau Gasol. It's good to think with hindsight.

Where was the intensity in this game from both the crowd and the Lakers. It seemed like a regular season game. Lakers are playing with fire, I just hope that they burn the Mavericks and not themselves.

I love how people rewrite history. We got to three straight finals IN SPITE of Pau? Give me a break. Gasol is in a small slump and some people now forget everything he's done the past four years. It was Gasol going toe to toe with Dwight Howard and Kendrick Perkins for majority of finals NOT Bynum.

Having said what I wrote above, sometime PJ's coaching leaves me feeling a little... well, deflated. Case in point, with a 16 point lead I could sense a run on the part of Dallas, but PJ sits on his rear until it gets down to 3 points. I was thinking (when it got down to 11) CALL A FREAKING TIMEOUT!!!

Many coaches in this league would have, if not most.

That left me scratching my nuts a little. And why wouldn't PJ get the bench players on the sideline and tell them -- "Hey, you motherFers, one more jumpshot and your ass is on the freaking bench -- pass the F'ing ball to freaking Andrew down low! The offense goes through him or your ass is gone!"

What's so hard about this????

I'm at a loss sometimes about Phil's laissez-faire attitude toward in-game coaching, but then again, the man has 12 rings. So, who am I to complain!

And then... I think of something someone else wrote in another blog, namely: "Remember Dr. Buss gets more money the more home games there are."

And we all know how much Dr. Buss loves money! Sometimes, not often, but on nights like tonight where nothing makes sense and we practically give a game away (the 16 points went by like a fart in the wind), I actually think there's some truth to that theory.

Having said all that, the Lakers will prevail, TRUST ME, we just have to bare through some of this garbage every playoff run it seems!

A 2-point loss, not a 20-pt beatdown.
Next game, feed the bigs. Get the Mavs in foul trouble under the basket.
Better passing and less of Kobe having to shoulder all the offensive responsibility.
Get to the boards.
Call a time-out if your lead is dwindling.
Simple, really.


What's most disappointing about this Game 1 loss is that the Lakers didn't force the Mavericks to BEAT them by making shots. Instead the Lakers let this game slip away with turnovers . The Mavericks are not the Hornets, they are not just happy to be playing in the playoffs; they are competing for the trophy. That's a huge difference.

While I have faith the Lakers will win the series, it would not surprise me if it did not happen. I have contended all year that this Lakers team is not as good as others in the past and that the margin of error is minute.

This Lakers team can not defend for long stretches, have no perimeter scoring other than Kobe and are far too inconsistent in their play. To make things worst, other teams are hungrier, more talented from 7-12 and are younger.

As for Dallas, they would have been the best team in the league if Dirk did not get hurt and now they're proving it. I do believe the Lakers will come back, but in my opinion Game 2 is a must or the Lakers lose in six!!!!!

Idiotic fans should remember that the Lakers would not have won banners 15 adn 16 BUF FOR the great Pau Gasol -- that is a FACT!

He's not playing well right now, but let's not have such a short and retarded memory! Some of these internet warriors living in the basement of their parent's homes are utterly clueless and pathetic.

How about Artest?? He had only 2 pts and was 0/3 on the 3p line, and not to mention 1/8 on field goals. Expect the Killer B's to put up more points on the boards and Bynum to get more touches down low. Kobe was hot on the first half, but everytime he does this, the Lakers always ends up losing. If the bench can step it up a notch, the Lakers will win against the MAVS...guaranteed! But i'll admit, that bonehead play that Pau Gasol made on Dirk and Kidd really cost the Lakers because in the end, Kobe had to bail the Lakers out. It was unfortunate he couldn't close the game out this night.

Game 2 is a must win but i ain't worried...i'm pretty sure the Lakers ready know the mistakes they made on this game, and will make it up on Game 2.


Let's roll, Los Angeles Lakers! We can do this.

It should be said that Game 1 was a must win for the Mavericks, not the Lakers.

losing game 1 sucks, losing game 2 is unforgivable, lakers bigs should play much better come game 2 and don't give much playing to bench when their unproductive specially in the 4th quarter.

Too many ignorant Pollyannas here for me. I should have stayed away like most of the regulars with actual basketball acumen!

And YES, Lakers are in trouble! They have NOBODY who can guard Dirk, who is shooting lights out this season. They have a worthless second unit past LO. That confounding Shannon dribbling away time while bigs stand in the post wondering when he will try some insane pass into them now that they are no longer open..... knowing that he will wait until nobody has rebounding position and then jack up a shot that is almost guaranteed to clank off the rim or airball for a fastbreak the other way.

PJ is useless letting the 2nd unit (any unit) founder while they allow huge runs.

And Jaffe on the floor is almost a guaranteed 5 on 8 game for the Lakers. PLUS, we have two guaranteed losses in midday Sunday games 5 and 7, if recent history tells us anything about the Lakers in those games this year!

So, yes, Lakers are in trouble! They must win games 2,3, 4 and 6 to move on (3 of which are road games), unless one thinks patterns are to be ignored in history.........! Ignoring history always works, huh?

"Phil, as always, waits too long to bring his starters back in. Eventually, that mindset, as well as not calling timeouts to stop an opposing teams momentum, will cost you.
It did tonight.
No, Pau didn't foul Dirk.
Yes, Kidd fouled Kobe.
Yes, we should have shot two FTs. Not the point.
We shouldn't have been in that position.
I stopped writing on the blog after I had my heart attack a year ago. Stopped watching the games live. DVR'd all of them. Including the finals.
I'm too passionate about the Lakers.
Shouldn't have watched live tonight. I won't make that mistake again.
Best to all.
Miss you Rick.

Christopher Blake

Posted by: Christopher Blake | May 02, 2011 at 10:25 PM"

AGREED! I should have done that also. Took me four hours to settle down enough to get to bed and sleep.

I might get jump or something after this but mavericks are my team and we will rape the lakers so make sure the lakers by their tickets for the finals because there going to watching the game and not be playing in it

Although, everyone can bit@h and moan about PJ's coaching decisions, his final timeout call was excellent. He put Bynum to guard the ball on the inbounds, he put Pau on Dirk. This forces Kidd to FLOAT an inbound pass instead of zippin it into a cutter coming to the ball. At this point the plan is flawless. Either Pau is too slow of foot and didnt stay close enough to Dirk OR ... we can debate if it was a really a foul. IF Pau gets the ball, Lakers win, if not, we get a foul call...yada yada yada...

Phil can diagram the perfect play... its up to the players to execute it. On the above mentioned play, the PLAYERS didnt execute. This is the reason the LAKERS lost... they didnt execute the entire game. They built their 16 point lead by executing and dumb MAVs mistakes... Mavs stop making dumb mistakes and Lakers stop executing.

This series goes 6 games with the Lake Show moving to the finals...

Dirk, Peja, Barrea, JT, Kidd.........all that equals BIG trouble !!

i just have three things to say:

this is the second time in less than a month that pau gasol's weakness or inability to hang unto the basketball has cost us an important game. coming down the stretch, he got the ball ripped in the paint, the next play, he got his shot blocked by chandler. the next play, he fouled dirk. the next play, the ball got knocked out of his hands when kidd pushed kobe into him. what exactly was the point?

for all of his rings and accomplishments, phil jackson is also one of the dumbest coaches in the game. he continuously allows players to jack up retarded shots without any kind of accountability. we squandered a 16 pt. lead on the backs of jacked up shots, and run-outs by the mavs.

he also allows the team to ignore the bigs. when the mavs were making their run, andrew posted deep into the paint twice, both times he scored. what did the team do after that? i counted it.....they shot ten straight jump shots; the lead went from 16 to five.

he never calls time outs when he HAS to. there is no way in HELL, he should have allowed the bench to continue jacking up jump shots, not passing the ball into the paint, let the lead dwindle to two points, and then call a time out. wtf?!!

there is no way andrew bynum should be sitting his ass on the bench at the end of games. NO WAY! gasol is way to soft to hold onto the ball, he's way to soft to score on chandler in the paint, and lamar is a liability on defense. riddle me this: for what other team in this THE WORLD, would andrew bynum be sitting on the bench at the end of the game?!!! NONE! again, accountability. if you're not going to rebound, block shots, or score in the paint at the end of the game, (pau), YOU should be on the bench, NOT ANDREW!

Let me begin by stating that I'm a native Chicagoan and have lived here in Chicago all my life. After MJ left I fell in love with Mamba's game and he's justified it with myriad of thrills. You have no idea how much smack I put up with from my friends (haters). Now onto the game. We are in trouble, but it doesn't have much to do with our starters. Dallas has a deep and talented bench something we do not. In Terry and Peja they have two shooters who are as good if not better than any one on our team not named Kobe coming off the bench. Barrea is also a very good shooter who has the heart of a man twice his size and isn't afraid to take the ball to the hole. Haywood is a very serviceable backup with great length and experience. Our bench (outside of Odom) has been pretty much useless all year long. The one constant all year long has been Kobe's consistent play. He kept us in this game. Artest was throwing up bricks and Bynum didn't get going. Pau has been in a slump. While I hate to admit it I've been pessimistic about our chances this year. But as has been the case throughout his career, we always have a chance as long as we have THE BLACK MAMBA. Go Lakers!

it does really seem like jackson ain't coaching anymore...

The timeout thing has bugged me not just this year but in past years as well. Pretty much every other team calls timeouts when a run starts to go against them, but Phil seems to call timeouts at random times. In fact there have been many times when we would start to go on a mini run and then then a timeout would be called ... by Lakers?!? If one believes in that use of timeouts it's almost like we're cooling ourselves off. Doesn't make any sense to me but what do I know?

Has Phil always been so passive? My theory is that Kobe really is uncoachable and if you want to coexist with him you have to let him do whatever he wants. Phil might be able to set general direction, but has to tread lightly where Kobe is concerned. And it probably doesn't matter if Kobe never participates in practice because when it comes to crunch time the only voice he's hearing is his own. Kobe is probably the best shooter in the league because he makes a decent percentage of the worst selected most contested shots there are. Other people might have higher shooting percentages, but they don't have the difficulty value of Kobe's. Can we change the rules like gymnastics so the points awarded for a basket is modified by the shot difficulty?

Believe it or not, I like Kobe, but when did Kobe become dumb and Artest become smart? More passing and penetration and less hero shots by the entire team.



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