Dirk – who has never been known as the type to engage in any sort of confrontation – continued that trend in an ESPN report this morning, where he had some rather kind words for Mr. Bryant:
“I’ve repeatedly said he’s the best player in the world. There’s nothing he can’t do. I would say there’s no shot he can’t make.”
Dirk and his Mavs survived a potential Game 1 winner from Bryant that bounced off the rim as time expired. Even so, Dirk continued his praise for #24 as he recounted a typical night during the NBA season:
“I get home around 11, so it works out a lot where the timing’s perfect. I just sit there and eat and watch Kobe in the fourth quarter.”
You can read the entire story here.
Game 2 between the Lakers and Mavericks gets underway tonight, at Staples Center (7:30pm PT). The game will be broadcast Nationally on TNT.
Game 1 of the series quickly turned into the great giveaway as the Lakers repeatedly took quick shots, did a poor job of controlling the tempo of the game, squandered a 16-point lead, and literally handed a much-needed victory to the Mavericks.
An NBA Playoff series doesn’t really begin until the home team loses. Consider the Lakers in a series, in need of making adjustments and in a must-win scenario tonight. To even the series at a game apiece they will need all hands on deck.
After the loss, majority of the chatter turns into the blame game with Kobe Bryant being the target for shooting too much. I am not buying it. He’s position by definition is a shooting guard. Het was dominant in Game 1 and far from the reason the Lakers lost.
We may not know how this season will end yet, but we know how next season will begin (assuming there is a season).
The Lakers officially released their 2011-12 preseason schedule this afternoon, with games all over California – Fresno, Ontario, Anaheim, San Diego, Bakersfield and, of course, at Staples Center in L.A. The Lakers will also make their annual visit to Las Vegas to take on the
Anaheim Sacramento Kings.
You can see the entire preseason schedule below (courtesy of NBA.com):
|Oct. 9||Golden State Warriors||Fresno (Save Mart Center)||7:00pm|
|Oct. 12||Atlanta Hawks||Ontario (Citizens Bank Arena)||7:00pm|
|Oct. 15||Atlanta Hawks||STAPLES Center||7:00pm|
|Oct. 16||Utah Jazz||STAPLES Center||7:00pm|
|Oct. 19||Utah Jazz||Anaheim (Honda Center)||7:00pm|
|Oct. 21||Sacramento Kings||Las Vegas, NV (Thomas and Mack Center)||7:00pm|
|Oct. 25||Los Angeles Clippers||San Diego ( Valley View Casino Center)||7:00pm|
|Oct. 27||Los Angeles Clippers||Bakersfield (Rabobank Arena)||7:00pm|
Laker Nation’s own David Brickley joined Fox Sports Radio’s “The Loose Cannons” with Steve Hartman, Pat O’Brien and Vic “The Brick” Jacobs
David was brought on to discuss the Lakers Game 1 loss at home against the Mavs.
The Loose Cannons are on nationally from 12PM-4PM PST on FOX Sports Radio. You can also hear them locally in Los Angeles, from 12-3pm PST on AM570 KLAC.
Kobe Bryant had a clear message to his teammates when asked about the Lakers offense.
“It had nothing to do with me,” he said. “There’ve been games where I shot the ball 30 times and Pau’s has big offensive games in those games. I’m gonna do what I do. I think the second unit and that crew we gotta make a conscious effort to get the ball into Pau, get the ball into Andrew. But it had nothing to do with me…It had nothing to do with my shots.”
Despite zero assists and none of his teammates attempting more than 10 shot attempts, there is no doubt the Lakers need to pound the ball down inside more. Kobe was red hot. Game 2 is Wednesday night.
Andrew Bynum acknowledged his game 1 struggles and is ready to become more aggressive.
Bynum had 8 points on 3-8 shooting. In fact, other than Kobe, no other Laker had more than 10 shot attempts. Bynum talked about it after game 1.
“I’m just going to be so much more aggressive,” Bynum said. “I felt like I wasn’t aggressive at all – getting low-post position. Nothing. I kept letting them hit me first. It’s going to be different [in Game 2].”
Bynum is ready to demand more of the ball in the post.
“I’m a guy on the team that doesn’t know what I’m going to get,” Bynum said. “But I can definitely be more demonstrative, ask for the basketball and be more hungry inside.”
They will be recapping Game 1 vs the Mavs, taking your calls, and will be joined by Fox Sports Dallas Reporter Mike Fisher.
…literally. Like candy on Halloween. The Lakers had home court advantage, they received a nicely wrapped Dallas meltdown to end the first half (four points on four free throws with not even a whole second on the game clock!), they built a 16-point lead in the third quarter, they got 36 points from Kobe Bryant and even a double-double each from Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. The Lakers had every advantage handed to them in order to take this first game in the series with the greatest of ease, but in the second half of the third quarter, subconsciously decided they wanted a greater challenge. Well, here’s to the new tradition of losing the first game of a new series, Lakers! You’ve certainly earned it.
Dallas came into Staples with all the confidence in the world, and how could they not with an owner like Mark Cuban who’s got a loudmouth like his guard Jason Terry’s? The match-up to watch out for, however, was Pau Gasol vs. Dirk Nowitzki, two 7-foot Europeans known for their offensive abilities but credited very little for their defensive “efforts.” Despite his 15 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and one block, however, Gasol couldn’t hold a candle to Nowitzki’s 28 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two steals and block. Neither player defended the other very aggressively, but Nowitzki certainly made Gasol work harder than Gasol did him. Nowitzki shot from everywhere, over everyone and there was very little the Lakers did to counter him. He’ll be a nightmare for Gasol and even Odom to check in this series, and if the Lakers can’t stop him, they’ll have to attempt to stop everyone else around him, which is no easy task either.
The Los Angeles Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs for the first time since 1988. The Lakers won the regular season series 2-1; they won the last two games of the three games series convincingly.
This much-anticipated second round series provides the Lakers the opportunity to face a Western Conference opponent deemed to have the size to match there own in the post. The Mavericks loaded up on size this past off-season bringing in centers Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood.
The Mavericks have the height and depth, one of the best point guards in the league in Jason Kidd and the a former league MVP in Dirk Nowitzki, but the fact of the matter is that the size, length, versatility, and experience of the Lakers will be too much for the Dallas Mavericks.
The last matchup between the Lakers and Dallas ended up in multiple altercations, ejections and suspensions. There is a lot of hype coming into this series and it will no doubt be “chippy” seeing their recent history.
In the latest daily dose of “talking Mavs,” DeShawn Stevenson explains that he simply won’t be “punked” as long as he is out there on the floor…
“We want to win a championship,” Stevenson said. “We don’t want to fight and do all that. At the end of the day, we’re basketball players, but as long as me and Tyson are on that court, we ain’t gonna get punked.”
Game 1 tips off tonight at STAPLES Center at 7:30.
Tyson Chandler is an intricate part of the Dallas Mavs’ success. As he prepares for the series against the Lakers, he always had dreams about being a “Lakers killer.”
“Some players used to imagine themselves as other players,” said Chandler, who moved throughout Southern California as a child and attended high school basketball powerhouse Compton Dominguez. “I used to imagine myself killing the Lakers. Hopefully, my dreams come true.”
With the Lakers and Mavs matching up in the post-season for the first time since 1988, Chandler will get his chance against the two-time defending champions. And he made it very clear what he wants out of the opportunity.
“When you grow up in L.A., you either want to grow up and be a Laker or when you’re on another team, you want to kill the Lakers,” Chandler said. “I’m on another team; you know what I want to do.”
Derek Fisher knows a thing or two (or five) about winning. He recently conducted a radio interview with Steven A. Smith and had this to say about the Lakers when asked, “Are the Lakers the best team in basketball right now?”
“I’m always going to say that we’re the best team in basketball, not just because of what we accomplished in the past, but who we are right now. People obviously have strong opinions about the way we play or sometimes how it looks. … But we know how to win. We’ve won two championships, we’ve been to the Finals three years in a row and we’re confident in our ability to deal with these circumstances.”
The Lakers are preparing for the Mavs tonight. It’s good news for Lakers fans to see the confidence as strong as ever with the savvy veteran.
Former Laker Caron Butler won’t be returning to the Mavs for the Western Conference semi-finals series. Butler has been out of action since Jan 1. with a ruptured patellar tendon.
While there was some speculation Butler may return for the series, Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle discussed the issue:
“He is not going to play in this series,” Carlisle told KESN 103.3-FM, and added that Butler has yet to be cleared by doctors.
The Lakers open up the 2nd round against the Mavs Monday night.