Who would’ve thought that this Lakers team would lose their first two games at home? Who thought that they would have their backs against the wall against an old Mavericks team? It’s quite depressing watching the Lakers fall apart before our eyes.
This situation isn’t a good look for those in purple and gold and knowing that they are playing the most disappointing basketball doesn’t make things any easier. In game 2 they were out-played, out-hustled, and weren’t able to take full control of the game. Tyson Chandler,Haywood, and even Dirk made things a lot easier for the Mavs as they were able to man the middle and prevent the Lakers from getting easy baskets inside. The Mavs moved the ball around well consistently throughout the game and were able to get good looks whenever they wanted to.
Usually I’d let the Lakers slide a little bit if they have to contain a young speedy guard, but Kidd is neither young nor speedy. All Kidd has at this point is his IQ but that seems to be more than enough to break down the Lakers’ defense. Barea on the other hand is fast and young and as a result torched the Lakers when he was in the game. Both teams still shot around 41-42% so it’s not to say that their defense was dismal but they could’ve made more of a statement defensively to show that they won’t take crap from wanna-be contenders such as the Mavs.
The Lakers couldn’t get any jumpers to fall for them. It was actually pathetic. They kept launching open three after open three after open three with the same result, CLANK! Mid Range Jumpers? BRICK! You can play defense all you want but in the end if you can’t score more points than your opponent than it doesn’t matter. Steve Blake at one point had two consecutive wide open looks from the the corner and failed. So they ended the game on 10% shooting from three? Now thats championship basketball!
The only bright spot for the Lakers? Andrew Bynum. Why they didn’t dump it in to him more often? A mystery. He finished 8-11 with 18 points and 13 boards. Lamar took a total of 12 shots some of which were questionable. If you gave Bynum 6 more shots he would’ve made at least four of them. Their free throws were a joke as well. A whopping nine misses on twenty attempts. Dwight Howard or even Shaq can go 11-20 by themselves but give credit to the Lakers for the team effort.
It’s not going to be easy for these Lakers. If they lose one of the next two games, the series is over. They can’t go back home down 3-1 and expect to pull it out. They must win the next two by swinging the ball around with many back picks and tons of off-ball movement to space the floor and give the bigs the opportunity to score the ball inside or find the open cutters. They need to chase the Mavs off the three as well as drain their own looks.
Without Artest for game three due to his suspension, Odom will most likely take the starting spot, making them really long. Maybe this will be the change needed to overcome the recent woes. With the extra size hopefully they can take advantage defensively and use Odom’s point guard skills on the offensive end and have the rest of the team play off of him.
It’s definitely not impossible but if they can pull off these next two, then I have no problem saying that they will win the series. It will take a lot of heart, courage, energy, and composure. Let’s not forget about one little detail either, Kobe Bryant. As long as #24 is suiting up for your team, you always have a pretty good chance of winning multiple games in a row. The only way Kobe can surprise me is if he sucks it up, otherwise, don’t be shocked if he shows his greatness.They’ve accomplished harder feats, faced tougher teams with more on the line so we know the Lakers are capable just as we know how the Mavs are capable of blowing a 2-0 lead in the Finals.