Blog Entry

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

Posted on: May 6, 2011 1:10 am
Edited on: May 6, 2011 3:22 pm
 
The Los Angeles Lakers face a do-or-die Game 3 as they trail the Dallas Mavericks 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinals. Posted by Ben Golliver.

kobe-mavs

DALLAS LEADS 2-0

One Big Thing:  Despite being in an 0-2 hole heading into Dallas, the Lakers reportedly projected an air of confidence and control on Thursday. The Los Angeles Times even reported that Lakers coach Phil Jackson guaranteed his team wouldn't be swept by the Mavericks, saying that his team hasn't played its final game in Staples Center this year. Is this the air of a champion or false bravado? Never has the situation been in more doubt thanks to back-to-back ugly finishes from L.A.. In Game 1, it was an offensive meltdown with the Lakers making just two field goals in the last five minutes. In Game 2, a lack of emotional composure as Ron Artest foolishly got himself ejected and suspended for a cheap shot on J.J. Barea. Can the Lakers hold things together for 48 minutes in the biggest game of their season?

The X-Factor:  By virtue of his comments about L.A.'s "trust issues", Lakers center Andrew Bynum has cast himself as the X-Factor in Game 3. Will the Lakers go outside their usual offensive gameplan to forcefeed him? Probably not. But if he doesn't deliver with the touches he does get and on the defensive end, he's set himself up, fairly or not, to take some of the blame that's been heaped upon Pau Gasol. Critics hate it when players point fingers, especially if they haven't delivered often enough to have an established level of credibility. That's where Bynum sits, and anything short of a monster night will lead to plenty of fingers being pointed back at him. 

The Adjustment: Without Artest, the Lakers are expected to move Shannong Brown into a starting role, opting to keep Lamar Odom in his Sixth Man role so that the rotations stay as similar as possible. The Mavericks may look to get Shawn Marion going early because of Artest's absence, as well as the impact it will have on L.A.'s depth at the small forward position. The Lakers will likely lean more heavily on Odom, who hasn't been an impact scorer through the first two games of the series. He will likely draw extra defensive possessions on Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki as well. Update: Odom said on Friday morning that he expects to start but Jackson would not confirm the move. It's the third different starting lineup discussed in the last 24 hours. So who knows.

The Sticking Point:
 Deadspin.com broke down just how amazing Dirk Nowitzki has been shooting the ball. He's been a sight to behold, and essentially unstoppable to this point. The scariest problem for the Lakers? Nowitzki has yet to get to the free throw line in volume so far this series. Against Portland in round one, Nowitzki averaged 13.7 free throw attempts at home. Will there be a similar parade to the stripe in Game 3? If so, that would make it even more difficult for L.A. to keep up with Dallas's offensive efficiency juggernaut.

CBSSports.com Video Preview: Here's a video preview of Lakers-Mavericks Game 3 with Adam Aizer, Greg Urbano and yours truly.

Comments

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 2:14 am
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

Lakers will win this series, take that to bank!!!
You're about to be penalized for early withdrawal.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 2:13 am
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

That Dallas team was a much better and younger team than this one too.
Sure.  If by "much better and younger" you mean a team that didn't play defense anywhere close to the level of the current team.



Since: Mar 26, 2008
Posted on: May 6, 2011 6:36 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

This series could still go either way.  A 2-0 lead for Dallas is not even close to a clinched series considering they melt down nearly every year in the playoffs, including a 2-0 lead to the Miami Heat in the finals a few years ago.  That Dallas team was a much better and younger team than this one too.  The Lakers, on the other hand, traditionally step up when it counts, and they know how to play in the playoffs.  Dallas still definitely has the edge just because of the fact that 3 of the next 5 are in Dallas meaning that the Lakers will have to win at least 2 in Dallas.  This is definitely one of the weirder postseasons I can remember seeing.



Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: May 6, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

Not a chance!!



Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: May 6, 2011 6:15 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

I agree, they have been playing like this all year and actually play better when their backs are against the wall.  
Plus it would really suck not to see Kobe and the Lakers take out the Heat in the finals.



Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: May 6, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

Lakers will win this series, take that to bank!!!



Since: Apr 5, 2009
Posted on: May 6, 2011 5:42 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

If the Lakers can neutralize the Dallas Bench, they will have a chance and not let Barea or Terry run wild. Maybe Gasoft will finally show up. If they lose, Phil will run off with Jeannie to his Montana Ranch.



Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: May 6, 2011 5:33 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

Lakers in 6



Since: Mar 7, 2011
Posted on: May 6, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

If the Lakers win tonite, they will get that eye of the tiger back & beating them 2 times wll seem like a mountain...If they lose, stick a fork in them...So game 3 will be a tell all game...



Since: May 6, 2011
Posted on: May 6, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Lakers on the brink

Shannon "G" Brown and the "G" stands for "Going Fishing"!


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