Lakers Can Beat Dallas With Defense and Size

It’s been 23 years since the Lakers and Mavericks last met in the playoffs. When the Mavericks come to Staples Monday night, besides the obvious, not much will have changed. Dyan Cannon will still be cheering on the Lakers near courtside, “I Love L.A.” will be blasting from the stadium public address system and Dallas will still be looking for their first playoff road-win against the Lakers.

If the 1987-88’ Dallas Mavericks thought they had a chance to knock off the Lakers by taking them all the way to a deciding game seven with their personnel—Mark Aguirre, Derek Harper, Rolando Blackman, James Donaldson, Sam Perkins, Roy Tarpley, Brad Davis and Detlef Schrempf—I’m guessing with the roster Phil Jackson quipped was “almost as good as money can buy,” the 2010-11’ Mavs think they have a chance to repeat history, only with a different result.

The current two-time defending championships boast an impressive pedigree and on paper the match-ups don’t look too favorable for the Mavericks. It could very well end up that the Lakers will send Dallas fishing in as soon as five or six games, but if they’re to do so they can’t rely solely on their laurels like they did in the last series.

These are after all the playoffs and like we’ve learned, a No. 8 seed can beat a No. 1 seed and what happens during the regular season has minimal if any significance on these games whatsoever.

Since we’re dipping into a little history to start the series between these two Western powerhouses, the Lakers can benefit from some advice Kareem Abdul-Jabbar offered up for himself and his teammates just as the 1988 Western Conference Finals tipped-off—“go with what you know to be the best part of your routine and try to stick to that.”

Next: Lakers should take advantage of their size inside
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