NBA Roundtable

Game Time: Los Angeles vs Dallas

In Game Log / Recap on January 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm

The two best teams in the Western Conference at the moment …

DallasJJ Barea + Kidd + Marion + Dirk + Gooden
LakersFisher + Bryant + Odom + Gasol + Bynum

  • Good chance to see the Lakers big lineup tonight. I haven’t tuned in to a Lakers game since the Artest injury so I’ve missed this lineup so far. I hear that it hasn’t performed well.
  • Lakers and Mavs are #1 and #2 in opposing team’s true shooting percentage + third and fifth in overall defensive efficiency. Similar in offensive efficiency too, 12th and 13th respectively.
  • No Ron Artest tonight.
  • Kobe Bryant has scored 34ppg over his last 6 games. His highest scoring streak since those 9 straight 40 point performances back in 2002/03 + averaging 40.6ppg for the entire month of February.

First Quarter

  • Awful pass to open the game by LA resulting in a turnover.
  • Fisher working on Barea, facing up, jab steps, off the right elbow, drives left, kicks it to the wing, long jump shot for Lamar Odom, miss.
  • Pau Gasol posting up Dirk inside, left post, turns middle, jump hook with the right hand, hits it
  • Shawn Marion misses that ugly chest shot of his … Marion with a great read defensively to steal the ball away from Pau Gasol, fastbreak, 3-on-1, layup
  • Bynum posts up Gooden inside, Marion helps, Odom cuts from the top of the key, great cut, great pass, misses the layup.
  • A turnover from Kobe with a lazy looping pass from the top of the key inside to the post which was picked off.
  • Dallas leads 4-2 after three minutes. The two teams are a combined 3-10 from the floor and LA has 3 turnovers already.
  • Kobe Bryant, top of the key, shoots over the top of Jason Kidd, hits it.
  • Shawn Marion sets a good screen but is called for a moving pick. Bad call.
  • Kobe Bryant on the left elbow, backs down Kidd, fadeaway, miss, Gooden rebounds … Dallas run up quickly, over to Dirk, quick jump shot from 16 feet, miss.
  • Drive and kick to Fisher out in the left corner from Odom, Fisher drills it.
  • Nice change of direction dribble from Barea to blow by Fisher to an open baseline, draws a foul. Sideline inbounds, Kidd right wing, to Dirk at the top of the key, Gasol not focused defensively, easy drive by Dirk, blows by Pau, draws a foul. Gasol bailed him out of a tough contested jump shot against the shot clock there.
  • Inside to Gasol, right box, faces up, 13 footer, drills it over Dirk … Barea runs right back down, gets into the paint, floater off the glass, misses … Odom rips it down, makes a mess of the fastbreak but Kobe cleans it up with a short shot.
  • Jason Kidd air balls a three pointer. Good contest by Bryant running out on that shot.
  • Active hands by Dallas to strip Bynum in the post, ball out of bounds off Dallas.
  • Barea fouls Fisher’s contested fallaway. Dumb foul. Easy two for Fisher.
  • Jason Terry and Josh Howard check into the game for Barea and Gooden. Small lineup here. Marion will have to defend Pau or Bynum, with Josh Howard on Odom.

Midway point in the first quarter, Lakers lead 13-6

  • Dirk Nowitzki draws the foul on the fallaway J out of the low post on the left block, Pau hit him on the arm, second foul. Gasol stays in. Vujacic is about to check in.
  • Marion is on Gasol and Pau immediately hits a fallaway J over Marion in the paint (started on right post)
  • Dirk faces up Gasol on the left baseline, Gasol isn’t willing to be aggressive, Dirk drives baseline, no help, slam dunk!
  • Nice offensive rebound from Lamar Odom, layup. Odom has done brilliantly against Marion in the past at the power forward position. Good matchup for LA.
  • Kobe Bryant weaving through traffic on the break, razzle dazzle, draws three defenders and dumps it off to Bynum for the dunk.
  • Timeout Dallas — Lakers leading 19-10 with less than five minutes to play
  • Good battle between Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki so far.
  • Vujacic came in for Pau Gasol there. DJ Mbenga is also in for Bynum, he’s defending Dirk, and he creates a turnover right away. Nice job DJ.
  • Dallas is in a zone … LA pass the ball around the perimeter for 16 seconds, never getting within 20 feet of the rim, Vujacic drills a jump shot from the top of the key.
  • Odom posts up Howard inside, left block, turns baseline, lefty hook, misses it. Good job exploiting the matchup, the shot just didn’t go in.
  • Dirk Nowitzki blows by Mbenga and draws a foul on the dribble drive. Lakers lead 22-10. DJ Mbenga gives away a stupid touch foul off the ball against Terry who was moving off a Dirk screen. Terry makes his FTs.
  • Mbenga misses the double pump baseline J from 12 feet, nice contest from Dirk to alter that shot.
  • DJ Mbenga with an excellent block on Marion’s attempted dunk. Stops a basket. Two turnovers created by Mbenga already.
  • Lakers have to forced a long three, Farmar from 27 feet on the right wing, miss, Vujacic rips down the long offensive rebound.
  • Dallas back in their zone, Lakers can’t get any penetration, Kobe travels. Fourth Lakers turnover, first since the 9 minute mark.
  • DJ Mbenga alters another shot deep in the paint, another possession saved for LA by Mbenga … and on the next possession Mbenga comes from behind to block the shot, another possession for LA. Great job by Kidd, nope, foul, to slap Vujacic’s attempted layup on the way up to get the ball back for Dallas.
  • Bynum checks back into the game. 1:30 left in the first. LA leads 24-13.
  • Excellent bounce pass by Bryant to a cutting Farmar off the ball, fouled layup, Farmar hits his FTs. Lakers lead by 13.
  • Josh Hoawrd isolation against Vujacic, he forces the drive, then forces a runner, off balance, scoop shot, ugly, misses badly. Terrible decisions there from Howard.
  • Kobe Bryant bags another basket. Lakers up 15.
  • Did the commentators just say Pau Gasol went out with another hamstring injury? Missed the start of that sentence. I think they were talking about Pau.
  • Turnover Dallas, fastbreak Lakers, acrobatic layup. 17 point game.
  • Howard against Vujacic, step back J, contested shot, 23 feet out, misses from the right wing. Rebound LA.

Second Quarter

The Lakers lead 30-13 after one

  • It was Pau Gasol who injured his hamstring. It’s his left hamstring, not the right one which kept him on the sidelines earlier in the season.
  • Barea and Dirk pick and roll, nothing created from it, passes to the left sideline, contested shot, blocked shot by Farmar on Terry’s triple.
  • Bynum posts up inside, Barea doubles down, quick pass, Farmar fires off the three pointer, hits it. Barea couldn’t get back out in time. 20 point lead.
  • Bynum posts up Humphries, left post again, turns middle, jump hook, hits it.
  • Humphries muscling his way through the paint, forces it, but gets a good look at the rim in the end, misses the short shot.
  • Dirk Nowitzki catches the ball off the pick and pop at the top of the paint, drives right, Bynum semi-recovers, Dirk spins back left, shot fake, Bynum delayed reaction tries to block the shot, Dirk takes the blow and draws the foul. Dirk is the only offensive player going for the Mavericks.
  • Bynum posts up Humphries again, goes middle, no, drop step baseline, one handed turnaround shot over the 6-9 HUmphries.
  • Farmar drives inside, great pump fake to lose Dirk, great patience too, lay in.
  • Nice cut by Josh Howard running off a rub screen, down the middle off the left wing, Dirk finds him, layup.
  • JJ Barea knifes into the paint again, his second basket in three possessions.
  • Lakers lead 39-23 … 41-23 after Josh Powell stuffs the offensive rebound home in one motion. Just when it looked like Dallas was beginning to claw back into this game.
  • Nice spin move on Farmar on the left sideline to lose his defender, Terry I think it was, Terry falls down, charge called, don’t like that call.
  • Dirk has 10 points, Barea has 6, Josh Howard has 4 on 1-7 shooting. They have combined for 20 of Dallas’ 23 points. Dallas is only 7-31 from the field (22.6%) and have missed all 6 three pointers.
  • Lakers leading 20-15 on the backboards.
  • Tim Thomas has checked in for Dirk. Dallas turn it over, good effort by Bynum to retrieve that loose ball, nice ball movement from LA after Kobe’s kickout from the post (extra pass by Shannon Brown) to find Farmar for the open three pointer.

Lakers lead 44-23 with seven minutes to play in the first half

  • Kobe Bryant leading the breakaway, spots Brown trailing, leaves it for the youngster and Brown throws it down! Timeout Dallas. 22 point deficit.
  • Jordan Farmar has scored 12 points in 9 minutes to lead all scorers. He’s been terrific.
  • Dallas is third in bench scoring per game while LA were fourth worst heading into tonight’s game. LA’s bench has outplayed Dallas’ bench so far.
  • Bynum posts up Gooden, pass out after the Barea double, Kobe has it, doesn’t make the extra pass for the wide open three pointer in the corner, instead pounds the ball into the floor, forces a contested shot over Kidd, hits it.
  • Barea shows down on Bynum in the post, Bynum backs down towards the baseline, Barea runs back out in fear of the pass, Bynum takes his time and gets his shot attempt, hitting the short shot over Gooden. Nice composure by Bynum.

Game Over

Okay, I’m calling the game here. If Dallas makes a run I’ll start back up the game log but I’m not expecting them too. Their morale is sinking fast.

The score at halftime is 64-39 Lakers lead. A 25 point game with a badly misfiring offense. This is over.

Thoughts

  • Dallas have been the second best team in the Western Conference so far this season, and unless San Antonio gets it’s act together, they’ll be the Lakers’ toughest challenge to come out of the West.
  • The Mavericks matchup poorly with LA. They cannot contend with the Lakers size inside and their two guard lineups cause major defensive mismatches against Kobe Bryant. A lethal mix.
  • Kobe Bryant has been playing selfish basketball recently — dominating the ball + creating stagnant offense + hurting spacing by taking up certain spots in the post + unwillingness to be a playmaker, particularly from the perimeter + unwillingness to allow Bynum and Gasol to be go-to scorers — which has hurt the Lakers offense but he’ll work himself out of it as the season progresses.
  • Dallas are a lot of fun to watch. Their long list of varied lineups create a thoroughly interesting chess game plus they are full of explosive offensive players.
    • The Mavericks do lack a true second option offensively though. Josh Howard and Jason Terry are both more suited to being third or fourth options offensively, and Marion is a fourth or fifth option. Kidd is a fifth option, at best, as is Barea.
    • This lack of a reliable second scorer is the Mavericks biggest problem offensively + overall.
  • Dallas is still struggling with their big man mix alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Eric Dampier is too slow + lacks mobility. Gooden isn’t good enough defensively. Tim Thomas is too poor defensively + on the glass + too perimeter orientated to play alongside Dirk. Kris Humphries looks their best prospect but he isn’t being given enough of an opportunity to show that — although, he should be happy with the PT he’s getting because it’s more than I thought he’d get — and playing Shawn Marion at the four alongside Dirk at the five puts a huge amount of pressure on Dallas’ interior defense.
  • Dallas also needs another athletic wing who is good in transition, can play good defense, and hit open jump shots. They need this player to transition away from their small backcourts.
  • I liked seeing Beaubois’ athleticism + defense alongside Jason Kidd earlier in the season. I hope we see more of him as the year progresses.
  • Josh Howard has a lot of work to do to get back to the level he was playing at a few years ago. The defense isn’t there. The rebounding isn’t there. The decision making + shot selection is worse than ever which is resulting in inefficient scoring. He isn’t a difference maker at this point … which is ludicrous considering how talented a player he is … it’s only early in his return to action so watch closely for improvement over the next few weeks. Those weeks + games will tell us a lot about how much he can contribute this season.
  • At this point in time, I don’t think Dallas are a legitimate contender for a title. The West is weak at the top. They lack elite teams outside of the Lakers. Good opportunity for a second tier side to make a long playoff run similar to the Nuggets run last season.
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