Blog Entry

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

Posted on: May 3, 2011 2:37 am
Edited on: May 3, 2011 2:54 am
 
The Los Angeles Lakers collapsed in ugly fashion in Game 1 against the Dallas Mavericks. Posted by Ben Golliver.

After Monday night's debacle, Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson didn't mince words: "We felt like we gave the game away."

The Lakers lost to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, 96-94, and to say they collapsed would be an understatement. L.A. was in full command of the game shortly after halftime, leading by as many as 16 points in the third quarter. To get to that point, they hadn't played particularly well. Sure, it was clear from the opening tip that the Mavericks will struggle to check Kobe Bryant, and that Lamar Odom looked poised to be a two-way force in this series. But this wasn't Showtime success, by any means. 

Leading big while not playing spectacularly early is one of those "fork in the road" moments in the NBA. You can either step on the gas and blow the game open or you can let up and set yourself up for some unnecessary dramatics. In Game 1, the Lakers obviously took the latter route, but the manner in which they gave away their lead was stunningly bad.

At times, it was almost childish. 

The Lakers scored just four points in the game's final 5 minutes, as Bryant shot 2-6 during the closing stretch. To compound those shooting woes, the Lakers committed two unforgiveable turnovers in the game's final 20 seconds. 

First, Bryant drove to the basket and sloppily attempted a kick-out pass through traffic that was intercepted by Mavericks guard Jason Terry. The mistake had Bryant hopping mad, literally, but there was nothing he could do to take it back. He looked like he was living a nightmare. 

Then, with less than 10 seconds to play, Lakers forward Pau Gasol fumbled an exchange with Bryant near the three-point line, the ball slipping through his hands as Bryant fell to the floor, his feet getting tripped up with those of Mavericks guard Jason Kidd. A foul could have been called, but close-up replay shows Bryant mostly tripping over his own feet. After Gasol's thoughtless bumbling, Kidd emerged from the pack with the ball and the Lakers were forced to foul so that they would have one final crack at a game-winning or game-tying attempt. 



To add to the absurdity, that play wasn't even Gasol's biggest goof in the game's closing minute. On the previous possession he carelessly fouled Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki on an inbounds play, putting the German All-Star on the free-throw line. Nowitzki made both to put the Mavericks up for the first time since late in the second quarter.



Game 1 felt over before Bryant missed a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. The mistakes came so fast and furious they were difficult to process. The Basketball Gods rarely reward that type of recklessness.

Really, it's a given that the Lakers will play better than they did in Game 1 throughout the rest of the series. To play worse, they would have to wear clown outfits and show up riding mini-tricycles. That Dallas was only able to eek this out at the end by two points -- even when it was gifted to them -- speaks to the disparity in talent between these two teams. 
Comments

Since: Dec 12, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2011 2:55 pm
 

Well, better break out the clown outfits then.

Good call - your right the MAVs don't have a chance!



Since: May 13, 2007
Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:48 pm
 

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

Game 1 in the series between the Lakers and Mavericks stunned me.  The Lakers up by 16 in the second half end up losing the game.  The Lakers?  Has the world as we've known it come to an end?  I doubt it, but what was that all about?  While it is inexcusable, the Lakers respond tonight to get a game in this series.  And it really shouldn't be close playing at home.  I'll admit, though, I thought that going in to game 1.  This just has to be an abheration.  Everyone on the Lakers has to be fuming after what happened in game 1.  This could easily be a scorching of the Mavericks.  L A just has too much talent and depth for Dallas.  I doubt motivation to perform will be lacking whatsoever for this Laker team.  I hope the Lakers really put the pedal to the metal and destroy whatever confidence Dallas got in the game one win.  This really could be quite ugly for either team.  It depends on which Laker team shows up tonight.



Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:34 pm
 

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

The Lakers collapse at the end of game one in this series with the Mavericks seems to be a recurring theme with this team.  I mean, this is supposed to be the best team in the NBA  I hate to say this, but that's a symptom of coaching problems.  The Lakers certainly have the talent needed.  I know Phil Jackson was really wanting to retire this year.  Maybe game one wakes everybody on the Lakers up.  Maybe it doesn't.  This is a question of motivation for the Lakers.  I have  a sneaky suspicion they will get this ironed out and end up dominating this series with the Mavericks.  But, this is a huge problem for the Lakers and they have to change something in the bigger picture.  This just isn't the way a champion responds to a challenge.  We'll get a peek at it tonight for sure.  I'm thinking the Lakers figure this out and still take this series quite handily.



Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

Game one in their series with Dallas really showed what L A has been about all year.  There's not much question they are the most talented and deep team in the league, but will they show up in any given game, and will they pay attention from start to finiah?  They dominated most of game one with the Mavericks, but simply checked out berore the game ended.  You just never know when and if this team shows up and pays attention.  That's really not a characteristic of a true champion, and their coach must be very concerned.  But, I still favor the Lakers to win it all.  They have a great coach who will get their full attention for this series.  Look for the Lakers to respond in championship form and dominate game 2 and the series.



Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2011 5:22 pm
 

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

And ANOTHER THING!!!  In the first sentence of this article, it says that Phil Jackson "didn't mince words."  Actually, he VERY MUCH DID!!!  If you read his actual quote, he said something like:  "we gave the game away ... actually I don't know but that the Mavericks played as well as we did ... but the players think we gave the game away ... ."  Well, if that isn't mincing words, I don't know what the term means!!!  At least take into account the whole quote or context, rather than make something that's not true out of a partial quote!

Of course the players thought that.  Any time you're playing a sport, and you make a (dumb) mistake or two - which EVEN the superstars do occasionally - you feel like you gave the game away.  But, again, it happens!  Give the other team some credit!



Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2011 5:10 pm
 

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

Wow!  You would think the Lakers are some type of super-human robots, who don't make any mistakes (or shouldn't)!  It's pretty obvious that isn't true!  They are good, but so are the Mavericks.  Is it really so wrong to give ANY credit to the Mavericks?!!!  Hopefully, most of the readers are Lakers fans ..., but even then, it would be nice to be just a little more honest and objective.  ... It would be interesting to read this article again if the Mavericks win the series - or, heaven forbid, if they should SWEEP the Lakers!!!  LOL  (Not likely, just saying.)  :)



Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

Yes, I agree 100%!  Wow!  You would think the Lakers are some type of super-human robots, who don't make any mistakes (or shouldn't)!  It's pretty obvious that isn't true!  They are good, but so are the Mavericks.  Is it really so wrong to give ANY credit to the Mavericks?!!!  ... It would be interesting to read this article again if the Mavericks win the series - or, heaven forbid, if they should SWEEP the Lakers!!!  LOL  (Not likely, just saying.)  :)



Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

Nobody respects the opinion of somebody that likes Duke and the Lakers. Let me guess, Yankees, Red Wings and Patriots are your other favorite teams?



Since: May 3, 2011
Posted on: May 3, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

Didn't anyone notice that it looked like a Cav's game from last year.  Kobe had the ball and no one else moved, they just watched him to see if he made the shots.  I've never said this before about Phil, but it was bad coaching.  Kobe is a beast, but its a team game. 



Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2011 3:15 pm
 

Ugly Lakers collapse unlikely to happen again

The only one who gave this game away is pao Gasoft...man It's almost like he threw the game


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