Sunday, May 8, 2011

NBA Playoffs 2011: Lakers vs. Mavericks Game 4 Afterthoughts

Post-game Analysis: Today marked the end of the Phil Jackson era. Though it didn't end the way he would've liked, no one can deny the accomplishments and success that Phil Jackson has earned. 

"They (Mavs) brought the rain and Kobe and Phil didn't have an umbrella"
                                                       - Kamal Y
  • Dallas 122, LA 86. Dallas completes the sweep in convincing fashion. The Mavericks' second line was the star today. Their bench scored 86 points. Yes, you read that correctly; their bench scored as many points as the entire Laker squad. It also didn't help the Lakers much that every player in a Maverick uniform seemed like he was on fire from behind the arc. Dallas tied a NBA postseason record with 20 three-pointers. Jason Terry led all scorers with 32 pts (9/10 from behind the arc), followed by J.J. Barea with 22 pts, and Peja Stojakovic with 21pts (6/6 from three pt range). 
  • I've never been a huge Dirk fan, but I've always had a ton of respect for his game. Today was yet another example of how versatile this man is. Nowitzki played solid defense, attacked the lanes, and hit the 3-ball to contribute a modest 17 points without taking any opportunity away from... 
  • ...Terry and Peja. What I loved about these guys more than their 15 combined three pointers was that they made them while playing within the system. They didn't launch threes simply for the sake of making threes (It also helped that the Lakers didn't even bother to try sticking a hand in their faces).
  • The Lakers never really found their rhythm today on either end of the floor. On offense, ball-movement was slow or non-existent, and easy buckets were missed. On defense, rotations around the rim were slow and close-outs just didn't happen. The Lakers wilted during Dallas's most momentous runs. Simply put, they didn't come ready to play. The ugliness of the situation went beyond the box score, as the Lakers' frustration clearly showed late in the game with a series of unsportsmanlike fouls from Odom and Bynum. Kobe led LA scoring with 17 points on 7/18 shooting...
  • ... but Kobe completely failed to lead his team to a win (or even to being competitive). For a guy whose name is mentioned as one of the top 10 NBA players of all time, and playing alongside the league's best power forward and sixth man, Kobe left a lot of NBA fans astonished with just how quickly and hard the mighty have fallen. There was absolutely no sense of urgency or passion in Kobe today. Instead of hunkering down to get his team back into the game, Kobe spent his time launching ill-advised long-range jumpers or looking to the refs to bail him out every time he lost the ball in the lane. This was not a champion's performance in any way.
  • Bynum and Odom: Completely uncalled for guys. I understand that getting blown out and swept must be frustrating... but you can't risk another player's safety just cause you're pissed... 
The Spurs were ousted in the first round, Lakers swept in the second... the torch has officially been passed onto the next wave of younger teams. In this series, the Mavs were just hungrier and the better team. Regardless of which team advances in the OKC/Memphis series, Mavs will have an obvious experience advantage... I like their odds of making it to the Finals.

For a video recap, you can visit


Halftime Update: When it rains, it pours, and Terry and Peja are making it rain hard on the Purple and Gold. When I turned on the tv, I thought I was watching someone play NBA Live on Rookie level difficulty. The Mavs are up 63-39 at the half...whaaaaaaat is going on?! If the Lakers want to get back into this game, they need to pick it up on both ends of the floor. Kobe is trying too hard to be the hero and it's not working out. Gasol and Bynum also need to rotate more quickly on defense, protect the rim, and grab some boards.

This is nuts... the brooms are coming out.