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Game Recap: Mavs lose to Lakers 73-70 at Staples, Move to 8-6

Yeah I hit the three. And then I karate-chopped him like THIS (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Yeah I hit the three. And then I karate-chopped him like THIS (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, in LA, 73-70, to go to 8-6. They face a tough game on Wednesday against LA’s other team.

Dirk Nowitzki finally showed signs of life, scoring 21 and making 8 of his last 11 shots.

Everybody else on both teams was terrible.

Sorry, I should be more objective. Rough day there, guys.

(Vince Carter sprained his left ankle, btw. X-rays negative).


I hated everything about this game. There’s no way that Brendan Haywood is unaware that there is not now, nor has there ever been, any reason for him to move with the ball, ever, at any point, even if the ball is itself an atomic bomb and he is moving it away from my children.

Even then, he would presumably brick it off the side of the backboard and on to my children so whatever.

I don’t have children.

I hated the fact that the announcers apparently felt that preparing for this game wasn’t remotely in their job description. It was with mounting incredulity that we all listened, again and again, as they mentioned the Mavs defense weakness in a first half that ended 39-35, and a 3rd quarter in which the Mavs outscored the Lakers 16-7.

It is with continued irritation that I listened to them gush about Kobe Bryant whose 40 points in the last four has also come with 30+ shots in three of them, who tonight went 7-22. Kobe lives for these moments, Kerr said, as Kobe made a 16-footer with 7:37 left. Despite living for them, he shot 1-3 the rest of the game.

It was with a kind of admiring amazement that I heard Reggie Miller talk with disgust about the offense in this game. As my brother mentioned at the time, watching those early 00 Pacers-Pistons playoff series was like watching paint dry except that in the latter case you don’t beg for death as much.

It was with my own disgust that I watched the Mavs passing in this game. Don’t get me wrong, this was really a case where the low scoring was a lot of good defense as much as it was bad offense, but I counted roughly 406 lob passes from one three-point arc, over the defense, to the other side of the arc resulting in a missed three.

You know who hangs out in the middle of those lob passes? A bunch of 7-feet guys who, even if they don’t actually steal it, force the pass into a trajectory from which no one has ever made a three-point jumper.

And I particularly hated Rick Carlisle’s continued stubbornness regarding his bench. We don’t know, for example, what Roddy or Cardinal or even Delonte and Vince (who got under 20 minutes in this game) have to do to pass the Rick Carlisle entrance exam and play in games against GOOD teams, but apparently they haven’t done it yet.

Roddy only got 9 against the Celtics, 21 against the Spurs, almost entirely when the game was out of reach, 1 against OKC, the second time. Delonte got 17 against OKC, 18 tonight. Nobody saw Brandan Wright, who’s done nothing but execute every time out.

Rick Carlisle is a lot smarter, and a better basketball mind than me. By a lot. But possibly in a game where Jet, Kidd, Marion, Odom and Haywood combined for 11-44, it couldn’t have hurt too much. Especially now when it’s not really important, and given that you want to see what those guys can do in that situation anyway.

And given that the Lakers were giving guys named Darius Morris 18 minutes of burn.

That being said, it’s not that big a deal. There’s a tradition among commentators that one game in the regular season shows you where teams are relative to each other. This ignores such statistical facts as the near certainty that in a playoff series both teams are going to win at least ONE (Except last year, sorry Lakers) . If the Mavs play the Lakers in a seven game series later on, the two teams will not average less than 150 points a game. I promise.

I mean look, something like this happened on March 2nd, 2011, except instead of Fisher making a game-winning three, Kobe missed one, giving the Mavs a 1-0 lead in their playoff series. Which one would you rather have?

That doesn’t make this not annoying. It’s just not all that important. Nor will it be, if they lose to the Clips and zoom back towards .500. They’ve shown us what they can do, they didn’t do it tonight, that happens even when you’re 12-3. They could have run away with this one, they didn’t, and the Lakers got enough to fall in the fourth while it was still there to steal. End of story line.

The Dallas Mavericks lost one when even a decent offensive outing would have given them a quality win. So it goes. This isn’t the BCS. They also played great defense again, holding their ELEVENTH straight opponent under 90 and their third straight under 80. Under 77, actually. They even held Kobe under 20. And under 30 shots, which is just about as impressive. Like I said before, if the Mavs have a defense problem they’re screwed. If it’s an offensive problem, they’ll figure it out.

I hated this game, but if what comes out of it is that Dirk finally is back in form (first time he’s looked like his old self this season, after those first six), fine. It’ll do a lot more good in the long run than one loss does harm right now.

And believe me, when these guys start running, it does tend to take a long time.

Chins up, friends. On to Lob City.