Mavs-Lakers Game 2 Preview From the Puerto Rican Point Guard and the Old Coach

J.J. Barea - Lakers.jpg
I asked Mavericks backup point guard J.J. Barea what he was thinking as the ball left Kobe Bryant's hand on the potential game-winning 3-pointer in Monday's Game 1 at Staples Center.

"I wasn't thinking," Barea said. "I was praying."

Despite playing 44 minutes of superb basketball -- the four minutes of what-the-what going into and coming out of halftime notwithstanding -- the Mavs needed some luck to beat L.A. A couple of calls here and a wide-open Kobe miss there and a sigh of relief turned into a shocking 1-0 lead.

It'll take more than pleading for divine intervention to win tonight's Game 2.

By admitting that he's "highly concerned" about playing a Mavs team that "can beat us," Bryant has put his team on alert. There's not exactly panic amongst a group that's won the last two NBA titles and that, remember, also trailed the Hornets 1-0 in the first round. But at the very least a Dallas that L.A. might have been dismissing before the series certainly has the Lakers' attention.

Barea says the key for Dallas tonight is to remain competitive on the boards, push the pace so L.A.'s half-court defense can't dig in, and exploit its advantage via a superior bench.

"Our bench is better," said Barea, who hit a crucial 3-pointer late in the third quarter of Game 1 to keep the Mavs within striking distance, and then made a lefty layup to pull them within one down the stretch. "We think we can win this series based on what we give our team down the bench. We didn't play a perfect game (Monday). We can play a lot better."

Just like that, the Mavs have won as many road playoff games (2) in the last five days as they did in the previous five years. The Game 1 blueprint, however, will be difficult to duplicate.

Right, Bob Ortegel?

The Mavs shot 49 percent, made nine 3-pointers and were only minus-4 in rebounding in Game 1. And on defense -- let's face it -- the Lakers made themselves easy to guard.

While Kobe was going off for 36 points, the other four Lakers were basically standing in place, spectating.

"Oh, in Game 2 I expect you'll see a heavy dose of the triangle offense," said Ortegel, who these days is just a really savvy fan after his 23-year run as the Mavs' TV analyst abruptly and unceremoniously ended in February. "Kobe getting 36 isn't a problem for Dallas when no one else is getting 20. It's when the Lakers are moving and cutting and spreading the ball that they're so tough. They got away from that in the second half, in the fourth quarter especially. I'm sure Phil Jackson will remind them of that."

While the Lakers return to their offensive roots and ratchet up the defensive intensity, the Mavs can play better by getting out in transition and by injecting more Corey Brewer and less DeShawn Stevenson.

The Lakers will be a desperate defending champ tonight. Will the Mavs remain hungry, or simply play like a team satisfied with a split?


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
29 comments
ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

Predictions for tonight?

Heart says Mavs, 98-91Head says Lakers win big...106-89

Scott
Scott

Is the unthinkable possible? Mavs in 4??

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

is this an Observer blog or a rip 105.3 the Fan blog? C'mon guys. The constant rip job gets old.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

RW found a player he could look up to!...hahaha...umm, pop on Jer..(Norm humor attempt)

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

On the Ortegal firing/mess, at least his boss told him and not a random phone call from some other employee. The lakshow definately didnt play there best game but neither did the mavs. And the lakers 90% of the time are team that watches Kobe go off while they stand around and watch, nothing new there. Kobe will get his, just like Dirk, its all about the role players and bench, and even Barkley knows our bench is superior to theirs.

Ghost of Xtra Sports 1190
Ghost of Xtra Sports 1190

What do J.J. Barea, Mugsy Bogues, Spud Webb & Earl Boykins all have in common?

They all dwarf Midgie Whitt

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

RW says Lakeshow in 5, so I have to say Mavs tonight in a nip and tuck 4th quarter game again (and if we're down 20 at the end of the third, i'm headingg to the fart sack)...gonna be soooo tired manana..stayed up to watch the Redshoes cough it up last night. Can't handle three weeknights til midnight anymore.

Scott
Scott

If the the Lakers come out blazing tonight and the Mavs still win, will Mr Whitt retract his statement about Lakers in 5? In Public?

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

I expect the Lakers to come out blazing tonight. As much as I'm hoping for another Mavs shocker, I expect that instead we will see a signature Lakers' statement game. Head says Lakers win big tonight. Would love to be wrong.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Give me the Mavs and the 7 points, but they lose by 3

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Well if the unthinkable is you getting a woman then no! Mavs in 4 is possible, but not probable

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Check out Unfair Park for journalism, this is indeed just a forum for us to nutkick RW. We snap to attention when a real writer (Merten) throws us a quality handcrafted article.

MoronDog
MoronDog

I think this qualifies as more of an Observer "give up" than blog. I for one love to come here and watch RW jump offsides trying to promote his unlistenable radio show.

Butthead once told Beavis that it was impossible to paint a turd. RW hasnt learned that lesson and from time to time he drops by with his paint brush and an attitude. It is cheap entertainment.

Radio Sales
Radio Sales

Newy was the longest tenured on-air personality @ 105.3 (sybil & jasmine don't count)He was fired despite having the highest ratings on the station.

Arnie is now the longest tenured on-air personality and from what I heard he's working his final month despite being posting good ratings and being #1 in his time slot.

This can't bode well for Richie as he would then become the longest tenured on-air personality.He has also been hosting the lowest-rated show on the station for 6 months running.The facts are his pm drive show has lost 60% listenership since November.There is not another 100k watt blowtorch in a major market who has ever posted worse ratings.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

No. He doesn't back down from a stance. Even when mathematically impossible.

Scott
Scott

Is it 'thinkable' now? HA!!!

When will you realize that I am a sports savant. I'm rarely wrong, about anything. Ever. Except missed predicting one final score in a Cowboy game last season, but other than that. R-E-C-O-G-N-I-Z-E

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

I don't listen to 105.3 the Fan - ever - so I wouldn't know and I'll admit that sometimes his blog posts seem pretty half ass, but I'm telling you, the constant rip jobs are more of a beating than his half ass posts ever are. Just my opinion...

Newy's life boat
Newy's life boat

Got a question Radio Sales. You seem to understand the radio business. What is the Fan's plan in firing the hosts of their top rated shows but keeping the lowest rated shows?Is Bruce Gilert secretly working for the competition?

kergo
kergo

Who stays and who goes has nothing to do with tenure or ratings anymore. They are dumping everyone except a core of people that can finish out the Cowboys contract. They are prepping for a format flip. Early fall, maybe....

Kergo 1, The Fail 0.

Can't wait to see the chaos on this blog as the Failboat starts to sink.

ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

105.3 the Fan: The revolving door of suck...

Scott
Scott

I can't wait to see the blog today on the Mavs win last night. Did that performance finally swing R Whitt to the factual, non-homer and logical conclusion of Mavs vs Miami in the finals?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Check out the archives dear sir, RW used to have a kickass blog up in hera...now it sucks and we let him know about it, by using our pointed boots/words. He mans up once a week and comes in here to try to shout us down, methinks that's Surly Thursdays.

Radio Sales
Radio Sales

without getting into a LONG explanation i must admit i thought the VERY thing b/c of his close relationship to the elders @ ktck esp Rhyner.

while that is plausible cbs radio sees $$$ needlessly wasting on terrible hosts and programming.2.5 yrs for them having a "sportstalk" station in town and only finishing 2nd twice in those 30 months is proof to the suits that this is/was a failed bit.couple that with them knowing full well that there has never been a market with 3 successful sportsradio formats makes it all the easier for them to dump the long tenured, high dollared "talent".in other words: Bruce is hiring on the cheap, firing the expensive, and hanging on until the format flip all the while cutting costs.

expect more shuffling of the titanic's deck chairs until the cowboys follow the rangers lead in bolting which i hear may be before the season starts

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Starts? They didn't even make sure the hull was watertight before they left drydock. It's been taking on water since Day 1.

Loading...