Written by: Lena Adebowale
After losing Games 1 and 2 against the Mavericks, the Lakers will have to make history and shatter statistics again. The formula is simple; win at least two of the three remaining games in Dallas and protect home court. When the critics and doubters begin to chatter, I am quick to remind them of the 2006 NBA Finals. The Miami Heat faced the same daunting task as the Lakers, and against the same challenger, the Dallas Mavericks.
Eventually, the Heat became the third team to win a championship after trailing 0-2 in the series. No, this is not the Finals, and yes the Lakers still have a long road ahead of them. The fact still remains; there is hope of winning the series after falling behind by two games. If the defending champions pull together a great offensive stand and tighten up their defense, they can win.
Moving forward, the Lakers will need to figure out a way to slow down Dirk Nowitzki and keep the Mavericks point guards from penetrating deep into the paint. J.J. Barea and Jason Kidd made a mockery of the Lakers defense during Game 2, and if adjustments are not made, they will do it again. Tyson Chandler also made a huge impact during games one and two, the pick and roll is were he earned his money.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, the Mavericks are no longer a bunch of “soft” pushovers. The Mavericks outscored and out hustled the Lakers during every quarter except the second. Neither team shot the ball well. However, the Mavericks led with 42% from the field and 8 of 25 from behind the three point line. The Lakers shot 41% from the field and merely 3-20 from behind the three point line and those numbers will not win ball games.
The Lakers have never been a great three point shooting team, but they excel on the defensive side of the ball. When all five players on the court lock down on their opponent, the Lakers are tough to beat. Great defense minimizes fast break points and puts the Lakers in a position to shine. After the loss in Game 2, there was a collective sigh of frustration from the players and fans, but the series is not over yet.
Contrary to what Charles Barkley may think, the Lakers are fighters and will arrive in Dallas prepared for battle. The starting five will step onto the court fired up and establish a lead. The bench players will follow suit and begin to play like the group who earned the nickname, “Killer B’s.” Mark my words, Game 3 will be the turning point for the Lakers and the Mavericks won’t know what hit them.[phpbay]Los Angeles Lakers, 3, “”, “”[/phpbay]