Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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.

The biggest adjustments needed by the Lakers are Pau Gasol being present and accounted for, better defense, taking care of the ball, better ball movement, better shot selection, eliminating all of the standing around and executing down the stretch. There is no way to sugarcoat the issue, he has to show up and be aggressive. He has been timid, lethargic and almost non-existent in the post season. He needs to focus on catching the ball close to the basket and making aggressive moves attacking the rim.

The entire front line has to be aggressive and prepared to outwork the Mavericks. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum took a combined 18 shots. That number needs to increase; the duo needs more than 18 shots to affect the outcome of the game. For a team that starts two seven-footers, the Lakers are shooting too many three-point shots.

Dirk Nowitzki is a match-up nightmare who will get his points; Lamar Odom and Gasol have to make him work for his points defensively and aggressively attack him offensively. The road to success for the Lakers lies in running their offense effectively utilizing excellent ball movement and excellent player movement to outwork the Mavericks and find high percentage shots.

The Lakers have to control the tempo of game, do a much better job of defending the screen and roll play, have better-shot selection, quickly rotate out to open shooters and get back in transition. They need to start their offense on the inside and let the post players dictate the outcome of the game. Ron Artest needs to be utilized more by posting up smaller players as opposed to firing away from distance.

The reserves have to be effective when entering the game. Once the starters have established a lead, the reserves need to increase said lead as well as increase the tempo. Most importantly, the reserves need to knock down shots.

The Lakers need to play defense without fouling. The Mavericks have used the drive and kick play to perfection all season. They have to play straight up defense and stay with the shooters tonight. This must-win game is all about the Lakers defense. There isn’t one good logical reason that Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Peja Stojackovic are allowed uncontested shots.

Where is Rick Fox when you need him? Lakers will win big tonight.

Starters
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, P. Gasol, A. Bynum
Mavericks:
J. Kidd, D. Stevenson, S. Marion, D. Nowitski, T. Chandler

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: TNT
  • Dallas: TNT

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Dallas: ESPN 103.3 (Bob Ortegal & Chuck Cooperstein)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Theo Ratliff ( Left Knee) Out
  • Kobe Bryant (Ankle) Day-to-Day, will play
  • Devin Ebanks (Stress Fracture, Left Tibia) Out

Mavericks:

  • SF Caron Butler (Ruptured Patellar Tendon, Right Knee) Out
  • SG Dominique Jones (Right Foot Stress Fracture) Out
  • LakersTheTruth

    This is a must win!

  • Hallwalter1234

    Can anyone tell me why is gasol so timid! Why

  • SHOWTIME4EVA

    someone might wanna remind this team that this is a best of seven series and we might go down 0-2 going to Dallas.doesn’t seem like we care.

    • LakerMarc

      when down 0-2 teams dont come back and win…it just doesn’t happen….accept it

      • SHOWTIME4EVA

        thats what I was saying.

    • Anonymous

      lol if we do win the series, it must be the ref, we are going to dallas not going L.A. silly, winning 2 out of next 3 game in their home floor, i don’t think so, they are more hunger for title than we do.

      • SHOWTIME4EVA

        you just repeated me silly

  • Hallwalter1234

    Also Fire Kupchak this bench is terrible!

  • John

    Thanks Phil for the 5 rings. Enjoy your retirement next year. See you back in two when Dwight and Chris take over the reins for Kobe. Dallas in six

  • SHOWTIME4EVA

    thats all guys.thanks Phil for the memories.the slumps we had all year finally caught up to us.

  • Hallwalter1234

    Steve Blake Aint Shit!

  • LakerMarc

    Its over… now all you ‘real fans’ who used to criticize the fans who were concerned with the issues the Lakers have been having basically all season long and referring to them as not true fans….whats your assessment now? Dallas is not that good they are just taking advantage of the issues the lakers have and they are letting them slip in down 0-2 not gonna happen.

  • waldo

    fucc da bench…. soft ass gasoft… where da fucc was bynum….terrible shooting

  • Luke Sucks

    Down 0-2. It’s time to put up or shut up. I can’t believe that Phil has not figured out the Mavericks. This loss is on him.

  • Nickcbrooks

    The lakers are struggling but if you are a true fan you must have faith! Believe in Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, and so on. Booing Gasol is not the way to make him play better. Have respect for this team.