Lakers Nation Fancap: Mavs’ Hot Hand Burns Lakers

Kobe hit a couple shots to start the fourth, including his patented jab step midrange jumper, but the ball was no longer bouncing the Lakers’ way.  Add to that the fact that Dallas couldn’t miss, and the Lakers are hopeless at defending the pick and roll, and the game was basically lost.

The only Laker that really shined to me in the fourth was LO.  He had 11 points in the quarter, including a four point play which is possibly my favorite thing in basketball.  He drained one from downtown and got the foul called as well.  It was only the 4th free throw attempt of the game for Los Angeles at that point, which seemed odd.  On a possession not long after that, Odom stripped the ball and ran coast to coast for another “and one”.  

In the end, Dallas snapped their six game losing streak, the longest of the Mark Cuban era (stretching 11 years).  They shot a season high 55% from the floor, and I can barely remember them missing a three pointer in the second half. It was insane.  To their credit, Kobe and Lamar both finished with double doubles (Kobe had 10 assists), Pau had a strong first half and Lamar, Derek and Andrew Bynum all contributed as well.  The defense slipped in the fourth, but I thought it was more of a question of Dallas playing well as opposed to the Lakers playing poorly.  I liked seeing them stay within the offense, being patient and letting the plays come to them.  The Lakers also cut an 18 point deficit in half, although by then it was too little too late.

I always want to win, and it’s important to win against Western Conference opponents especially, but I’m not disappointed. It was an exciting game.  Even though much of Lakerland is still mired in doom and gloom and beginning to play attention to Blake Griffin’s Clippers, the Lakers are only two games off of last years’ pace. We all know how that season ended.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and there is good leadership in place that knows what needs to get done. They’re still second in the West and third in the NBA.  And as opposed to earlier in the season, when they lost because of malaise and possible disinterest, their recent losses have been to opponents playing good basketball. The Lakers still looked good to me and I expect them to do well against Denver tomorrow.

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