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Game Recap: Mavericks Lack Effort in Loss to Lakers 131-96

The final game in the Dallas Mavericks four game road trip lands the team in the Staples Center to face the Los Angeles Lakers on the second night of a back-to-back.  The Mavericks saw their road record improve to 12-5 after securing their win against a Kings team that surged late in the fourth quarter (the Mavericks gave up 11 straight points).  A positive for the Mavericks squad is that Jason Kidd got a very long rest starting late in the third. 

Since the Mavericks handed the Lakers their first loss of the very young NBA season, at home no less, the "Lake Show" has been stellar going 17-2 coming into tonight’s game. The Lakers are a radically different team than the one the Mavericks saw earlier this season.  Pau Gasol and his 17 points per game are back in the lineup, Kobe Bryant is coming off another 4th quarter buzzer beater (his 3rd of the season), and this Lakers squad generally shows up for the bigger games on their schedule.  

Can the Mavericks, in the middle of a back-to-back, respond if the Lakers come out early, firing on all cylinders?

Game as a Whole:

Although blowouts are a bit hard to stomach, there is much to be learned if you have the fortitude to go back and be brutally honest with yourself.  There is no other way to say it, a far superior Lakers squad systematically dismantled the Mavericks and that isn’t even the most disappointing part.  All of the Mavericks starters tonight showed a complete lack of effort on the defensive end and completely forgot all the things that have put them at the top of the Southwest. 

The most sobering thought for the Mavericks comes in the form of what to do when Erick Dampier goes out and you have to start Drew Gooden against a larger NBA squad.  Say what you will about Erick Dampier in the past but today he is an integral piece of what the Mavericks do as a team.  This casual observer is unsure if the Mavericks can go deep into the playoffs unless they have some more frontline help.  With that rant done, 

Let’s look at the quarters…

1st Quarter: 
  • Drew Gooden gets the start tonight in place Erick Dampier.  Let’s see if he can bring some energy early. 
  • 11:37, Hopefully Nowitzki’s first miss of the night isn’t going to set the tone for the whole game.
  • Interesting to see Jason Kidd draw the defensive assignment on Kobe Bryant.  I can’t see that lasting the whole game. 
  • 10:07, Barea almost blew that fast-break layup.  Luckily, it falls into the basket.  
  • 9:14, The Lakers are turning the ball over A LOT but the Mavericks have only received 2 points because of it.  
  • 7:43, Dirk is mixing his game up early tonight.  He has already hit a short jumper and on this trip took it hard into the paint for the foul.  
  • 6:43, Jason Kidd is way off on the three-pointer.  He doesn’t even touch the rim, could be tired legs.  
  • 6:20, Josh Howard and Jason Terry both have to come in to try to give the Mavericks some lift.
  • 6:06, Dirk with the old fashion three-point play.  Gasol is trying to be extremely physical with Dirk (picked up his second foul).  
  • 5:37, Dirk gets another thunder dunk due to a lack of help defense by the Lakers.
  • Lakers are up nine as the Mavericks are getting shredded in the paint.  
  • 4:29, Mavericks go to the zone extremely early and it fails miserably.  Lakers get a 3 off of it. 
  • 3:40, Dirk gives Derek Fisher two fouls by attacking the paint.  
  • 3:35, DJ Mbenga gives Jason Terry two free throw shots as a house-warming gift.  Terry thanks him and makes both.  
  • 2:16, Marion rushes his shot and blows a layup.   
  • 1:37, Dirk is relentlessly attacking the paint tonight.  That’s the easiest way to cure a slump.    
  • 1:28, Humphries comes into the game to give the Mavericks some size.  
  • The Lakers have possibly lost Gasol for the game tonight due to a hamstring. 
  • The Mavericks have dug themselves a nice hole to climb out of.  


2nd Quarter:
  • 11:35, Mavericks struggle for a shot, which leads to Jason Terry getting block.  
  • 11:10, Josh Howard finally gets to the foul line. 
  • 10:22, The Mavericks plan of attack is pretty good right now.  They are trying to get to the free-throw line and put the Lakers in foul trouble.  
  • 10:02, Humprhies absolutely cannot guard Andrew Bynum.  He has gotten schooled on two different post moves.  
  • 9:57, Barea hits a much-needed jumper. 
  • 9:18, Josh Howard gets a quick layup and the easiest points the Maviercks have scored tonight
  • 8:56, Even though Barea scores a basket on the quick move to the hole, the Mavericks are starting to play at the Lakers pace.  
  • 7:27, Mavericks see a complete collapse on defense.  Jordan Farmar gets a wide-open three.  
  • Tim Thomas is in and gets fouled by Kobe.  Kobe disagrees with the call and gets to enjoy a technical for his troubles.  
  • How early can the Mavericks give up in a game?  
  • 6:31, Josh Howard swoops into the paint for three the hard way.  The Mavericks actually have the lead down to 19. 
  • 5:27, Tim Thomas pushes it into the paint and gets fouled.  The Mavericks are going to have to get the whole Lakers squad in trouble if they want to find a spark. 
  • 4:52, Making a bad night worse, Drew Gooden rushes an ill advised shot that doesn’t touch a thing. 
  • 3:42, The Mavericks are getting embarrassed by the Lakers right now.  If they continue at this pace the Lakeshow will score 130. 
  • Only Barea seems to be playing like himself tonight.  There is no fire tonight coming from anyone.  
  • 3:07, Dirk picks up another set of free throws.  The way the night is going, he only makes 1 of 2. 
  • 1:47, Jason Terry hits a three to bring the Lakers lead down to 25.  
  • 1:27, Shawn Marion takes and hits a runner off of a Lakers turnover.  The Lakers crowd is completely silent right now.  
  • I do not want to be in the locker with the Mavericks at halftime.  Can Rick Carlisle say anything good about that half? 


3rd Quarter:
  • 11:42, Drew Gooden gets the tip-in on a Nowitzki miss.
  • Lamar Odom gets sent to the line and helps the Mavericks out by missing both shots.  
  • 11:19, Marion and Barea show how out of sync the Mavericks are tonight.  Marion doesn’t even jump for a pass that is thrown up toward the rim.
  • 10:09, Dirk is doing a bit too much dribbling in the corner.  A call from the refs bails him out. 
  • 9:58, Nowitzki follows his own basket with a tip-in.  Seems like he still wants to win tonight.  
  • I am searching for reasons for why the Mavericks aren’t double-teaming Bynum.  
  • 8:11, The Mavericks get an easy layup from Shawn Marion as the Lakers take a break on defense.  The Lakers have a tendency to relax when they get up big.  
  • Dirk is trying to do too much now.  Trying to pass out of a triple team almost always leads to a turnover.   
  • Gooden is still getting beat up by Andrew Bynum.  The Mavericks are having a big weakness exposed.  What do you do when Erick Dampier goes out and you have to play a big team?  
  • 6:29, Dirk picks up some more foul shots.  Seems like he is the only one scoring in this quarter. 
  • Thinking that all of the starters should be benched at this point for lack of effort on the defensive end. 
  • Beaubois gets to come in for the first time in a long time. 
  • 3:40, Jason Terry hits back-to-back jumpers.  
  • 3:13, Roddy tries to take it all the way to the rim but ends up missing.  Roddy is unafraid as Dirk is there to clean up his miss.  
  • I can’t believe we aren’t even into the fourth quarter yet. :( 
  • 2:37, Beaubois tries to imitate Kobe with a circus shot and fails.  
  • 1:35, Dirk gives the Lakers another possession by trying to save the ball under his own basket.  Should have let that ball go out, Dirk.   


4th Quarter:
  • I can’t even remember the last time Adam Morrison scored a basket at the NBA level.  I can’t even remember the last time he got to play 12 minutes.  
  • 10:47, Beaubois has a nice three from deep.  Keep shooting Roddy, see if you can’t make the deficit respectable.  
  • 10:06, That’s another triple for Roddy.  Is he about to explode?  
  • 9:24, Tim Thomas looks like he is jogging into the lane.  Lucky for Tim, the Lakers are in a generous mood and foul him.  
  • 8:35, Humphries, you get the "hustle" award for the night.  Even though the game is already in the box you still find a way to throw the ball off of Adam Morrison. 
  • 8:25, Beaubois gets another running layup. 
  • 7:44, Jordan Farmar blows a dunk badly.  I have to say I am glad he doesn’t get to put an exclamation point on his night.  
  • 6:27, Tim Thomas is going to lead the comeback for the Dallas Mavericks.  He hits Back-to-back threes for the third team.  
  • 5:41, Humphries gets to add to his highlight reel with a coast-to-coast dunk.  
  • 3:55, Quinton Ross gets his first basket in eons.  Where is Matt Carroll
  • 3:04, James Singleton gets a dunk and the Lakers crowd gets restless.  
  • You know the rest. 

Some Choice Statistics

  • The Mavericks have played 9 back-to-backs this season.  
  • Dirk Nowitzki has lead the team in scoring in 23 out of the Mavericks 33 games this season.  
  • 33 Games into the season and Jason Kidd has led the team in assists 30 times. Runner-ups were Jose Barea (2 times) and Jason Terry (1 time). 

Closing Thoughts:

The most surprising thing for the Lakers, they play much better without Ron Artest (he really throws off their chemistry).  Most surprising thing for the Mavericks, they looked like a completely different team than the one Mavericks fans have become accustom to this season.