So much for being player-haters, as Nick Young wanted he and his teammates to be – spoilers for playoff-bound teams. The Mavericks won last night against the Clippers and after tonight, are two-for-two on their Staples back-to-back.
The game can be simply analyzed by the following: The Mavericks do everything that winning teams do – share the ball, rebound, defend and score in the easiest ways possible. The Lakers, on the other hand, don’t. They share the ball, true, but they are lackluster rebounders, absent-minded/careless/apathetic defenders and they continue to score from spots that don’t always yield a higher percentage of scoring. It’s really that simple.
The Lakers managed to stay competitive with Dallas for three quarters, but in the final 12 minutes, the Mavericks went in for the kill, outscoring the Lakers 25-17; the Lakers clearly not prepared to face it and they lost 107-95.
Jodie Meeks – Undoubtedly one of the brightest, if not the brightest spot in this waste of a Laker season has been Meeks. His effort is exactly the same from one game to the next, which is evident in the regularity of his production. Tonight he led the team with 25 points on 10-17 from the field, 4-10 from three and he was responsible for two of the Lakers’ 10 steals of the night.
Some Help – Jordan Hill didn’t have a career night like he did a few games ago, but he did manage a double-double with his 14 points on 5-10 shooting and 10 rebounds, four on the offensive glass. He also had a pair of blocks. Kent Bazemore chipped in 13 points and Nick Young added 14 points of his own.
Fast Break Points – The home team outscored Dallas 21-4 on the break. When they did manage to keep the Mavericks from grabbing an offensive rebound (of which they got 15), the Lakers were off and running for a dunk or layup.
Points In the Paint Allowed – The Mavericks, like so many of the Lakers’ opponents this season, were given free range in the paint; unguarded, uncontested, open season in the paint. Dallas went for 64 points in there – lobs, dunks, layins – you name it, they scored by doing it. It also didn’t help that Dirk Nowitzki poured in 27 points and Brandon Wright added 23 of his own.
Threeball – The majority of Laker games have been decided by this stat – the three. In games where the Lakers are hot from behind the arc, they manage to keep the contests close and have, on occasions, won because of it. But then they have nights like tonight, where they shot just 7-28 from downtown. They shot 51% from two-point range, but only 25% from three. With Dallas shooting just 5-21 themselves, the Lakers could have taken advantage had they had more luck from the longball.
Rebounds – There was just no excuse for the Lakers to allow the Mavericks to outrebound them 52-38. Hill’s 10 boards along with Wesley Johnson’s 11 accounted for just over half the boards. Where were the other Lakers’ on the glass?
Steve Nash played 18:50 minutes tonight, finishing with just four points, but handed out seven assists. The first time he checked in, the crowd applauded in support. He’s the perfect player to signify this Lakers season – hobbled, still fighting, but can’t help continually falling short.