Lakers Face Elimination in Game 4

Mavericks Projected Starting Line-up:

PG: Jason Kidd

SG: DeShawn Stevenson

SF: Shawn Marion

PF: Dirk Nowitski

C: Tyson Chandler

Key Reserves: G Jason Terry, G J.J. Barea, C Brendan Haywood, F Peja Stojakovic

This is it. Do or die. Either the Lakers win, or get swept out of the playoffs.

Keys to Lakers Victory:
Defensive Consistency: The Lakers are certainly capable of playing good defense, but they tend to lose their focus down the stretch of games. There is no more room for error and the Lakers can’t afford to turn things on-and-off when they choose to. Perhaps the habit is too ingrained and impossible to break at this point in the season. They know that they have to double Dirk and go on top of screens, but there are too many mental lapses and missed switches.

Aggressive Offense: I’d like to see the Lakers continuously pound the ball inside the paint. The Laker bigs have thus far been outplayed by their Dallas counterparts, and it’s quite flustering and mind boggling given the Lakers size and talent down low. Will Gasol ever get it together? Phil Jackson ate into Gasol on Friday night in an effort to get him out of his funk. However, it may be too little too late. Kobe hasn’t really been able to take over games with his offense in ways that he has done in the past. Part of the reason is that he’s not driving into the lane enough. When Kobe is in the lane he can be very dangerous due to his great passing ability and knack for scoring.

I’m not sure the Lakers will come back from this 3-0 deficit. If they do, it will no doubt be the greatest reversal in NBA history. With that being said, it would be a shame if the Lakers were swept out of the 2nd round by a lower seed; I hope the Lakers put up a fight and make this series interesting.

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