Mavs-Lakers: Looking Back at a Great Series ... and a Horrible Prediction

Jet - Lakers.jpg
Never been happier to be wrong. And I don't care that I wasn't alone -- I admit I was wrong.

I'm stunned by the Mavs sweeping the Lakers, punctuated by Sunday's 122-86 epic shellacking. Matter of fact, I'm more surprised by this outcome than the Navy SEALs sweeping Osama.

I gave currency to "the Lakers' size advantage" and the Mavs' "inability to penetrate via the dribble" as big reasons for picking Lakers in 5.

Where else did I go wrong? And where exactly did the Mavs go right?

PREDICTION: Point Guard -- The Hornets forced a 2-2 first-round series with L.A. because of penetrating point guard Chris Paul. With 38-year-old Jason Kidd, the Mavs have no such player to exploit Derek Fisher's defensive liability. You gotta think at least one game will be decided on a clutch play by one of these grizzled veterans. Edge: Mavericks.

RESULT -- Kidd had 15 turnovers in the series to only two for Fisher, but neither had an impact offensively. It was on defense where Kidd earned his edge, helping hold Kobe Bryant to a mortal series with physical, man-to-man defense.


PREDICTION: Shooting Guard -- Gimpy ankle or no, Kobe Bryant will be by far the best player on the court. Dallas' only hope is for DeShawn Stevenson to get him out of rhythm with early-game antagonism. Look for Dallas to play lots of zone defense. Edge: Lakers.

RESULT -- Kobe averaged 23 points, but on 20 shots per game. He committed 11 turnovers, shot only 15 free throws and didn't drive aggressively to the basket, instead settling for jumpers. His miss at the end of Game 1 changed the series. Wouldn't be surprised if he announces an ankle injury in the next day or two, because something wasn't right.


PREDICTION -- Small Forward -- This is where "soft" comes into play. The playoffs are always increased intensity, and the more physical the game the bigger the edge for Ron Artest over the finesse game of Dallas' Shawn Marion. Edge: Lakers.

RESULT -- Marion kicked Artest's ass. He had more points, rebounds and assists in the series and Artest missed Game 3 via suspension. Artest also wasn't a factor defensively on Dirk and produced L.A.'s lowlight when he missed a breakaway on Sunday.

PREDICTION -- Power Forward -- Dirk Nowitzki will get his 25+ points against Pau Gasol, but the Lakers' 7-footer also makes Dirk work defensively in the paint at the other end. Edge: Mavericks.

RESULT -- Dirk indeed got his 25, but his Gasol was gawdaful. He never put his footprint on Nowitzki at the offensive end. Props to Dirk's defense, for once.

 

PREDICTION -- Center -- With a 40-pound edge and better refined low-post skills, Andrew Bynum has eaten up Tyson Chandler this year to the average tune of 20 points, 14 rebounds. L.A. is often fueled by extra possessions thanks to his offensive rebounding. Edge: Lakers.

RESULT -- Bynum outplayed Chandler, but the Mavs didn't get killed on the boards. And it was Bynum who confirmed the cracks in L.A.'s foundation with his "we have trust issues" admission after Game 2.

 

PREDICTION -- Bench -- Lamar Odom won Sixth Man of the Year and gives Dallas fits because he's a big who can handle the ball on the perimeter. Like it was against Portland, Jason Terry's jumper must be going down for the Mavs to have a chance. After no-showing in the first round and basically since arriving in Dallas, maybe Corey Brewer gets a shot to check Kobe? Guaranteed at some point Matt Barnes will piss you off. Dallas' Brendan Heywood and Peja Stojakovic need to be better than they've been all season as far as rebounding and 3-point shooting. Edge: Mavericks.

RESULT -- Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic combined for 24 3-pointers, nine more than the Lakers. Corey Brewer had a positive impact on Game 1, Brendan Heywood contributed 23 rebounds in 61 minutes and J.J. Barea did indeed penetrate -- and frustrate -- the Lakers with his dribbling drives.


PREDICTION -- Coaching -- Rick Carlisle got two third-place votes in Coach of the Year balloting. Phil Jackson has 11 championship rings. Through the years Jackson's teams are an astounding 48-0 when winning Game 1. Edge: Lakers.

RESULT -- Jackson spent the series in denial, even getting fined for ripping the refs. Carlisle wasn't afraid to play his bench big minutes and used the zone defense in all the right places to help stagnate Kobe. The blowout loss in Phil's final game reminds of how Jimmy Johnson went out, 62-7 in a playoff loss.


PREDICTION -- Intangibles -- In the March 31 showdown the Mavs became frazzled, then frustrated. Terry lost his composure, shoving Steve Blake in the back before assistant Terry Stotts inexplicably tried to harness Barnes along Dallas' bench. At some point the Lakers will mischeivously flick the Mavs' ear, just to see how they'll respond. Edge: Lakers.

RESULT -- The Mavericks were the better, more mature team. They were composed at the end of Game 1 and -- when indeed they got their ear flicked -- they didn't get rattled when the Lakers got physical.

 

PREDICTION -- Prediction -- If Game 1 was in American Airlines Center I'd give the Mavs a 49 percent chance of winning this series. As is, it's about 19 percent. Lakers in 5.

RESULT -- Even those who predicted a Mavs victory didn't see a sweep coming. Most important stat: the Mavericks had 96 assists in the series to L.A.'s 74. Dallas' ball movement, and shooting at the end of possessions, kept the pace uncomfortable for the lethargic Lakers. The Mavs: Vindicated. The Lakers: Humiliated.


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20 comments
customer
customer

  If Mavericks win the championship(which i believe they will finally this year) this will be the 1st and only title the team has ever had since moving to Dallas a long time ago. It been along time coming...

Mishon
Mishon

Richie, I really want the Mavs to go to the Finals....please, please God don't pick them to win the next series.

You already fucked the Rangers and Cowboys last year, please don't do the same to the Mavs.

I am in OKC this week and am going to hit up the Grizz/Thunder game on Wednesday...I don't know who to root for???? I am thinking OKC...The Grizz may be one of the best 8 seeds I can ever rememeber their being.

Scott
Scott

Plan the parade!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ToldJA Merkaide, Kergie and whoever. I meant whom ever

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

That was some damn good hoops atmosphere in the ole hangar yesterday. Loudest I've ever heard the place. I'm too young to recall Reunion when the Mavs were good, so I can't really make that comparison. Those teams that won less than a good pitcher's season didn't exactly make for large, loud crowds.

But, let me get this straight...your three posts for the day are a link-fest, a look back at your predictions, and Arnold to the Fail? Dude, we want to talk about how Bynum is a punk-ass bitch (good job punking the Mavs there, Barnes, BTW), how Phil acted like he's been out the door all season, how Jet and Peja were unstoppable, and how Dirk was awesome and barely needed yesterday, but you give us this stuff? You were solid last week, but you're as streaky as Nelson Cruz. Do you have any sort of a clue how to inspire a community discussion? In the words of the great Pedro Cerrano, I say fuck you, Jobo, I do it myself.

If Bynum was a hockey player they'd be thinking about assault charges. It was a bitch move against a guy Bynum takes bigger shits than. He had three quarters to do something about the score before that point. Kobe wasn't Kobe and it was proof in the third, I believe, when he passed on an opportunity to dive out of bounds to save a ball and get his team fired up. His ankle wasn't right. And if it weren't for Stevenson's horrendous jacking they would've had a 3 point shooting percentage that would've been an awesome free throw shooting percentage.

Discuss. Can't wait for the asinine reply from RW.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

Ok, much better.

Hell, I didn't think they were going to beat Portland, much less sweep the Lakers. Your points were founded in what we have seen of our little Mavericks and I can't really find fault with your logic preceding the series. The Lakers were picked to win it with good reason. But, like so many other blueprints I have seen, reality intervened. Odom was not that great. Kobe was not the Kobe of the past. Phil didn't have the answers and Barnes was a non-factor. They tried to rattle the Mavs but they didn't take the bait. The Lakers got rattled byJJ the gnat? You just beat Paul and now this little bitty, nobody-cares-about-him second string point guard got under your skin enough to make you want to plant his ass in the seats? Wow, the lack of composure at the end was astounding.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Richie you can keep being wrong as long as you refrain from picking the mavs. And if the current state of the Rangers doesnt change, you may be wrong about them too, the may finish last instead of this

"Plaaaaaay baaalllllll! My prediction: Your Texas Rangers will finish second to the Anaheim Angels in the AL West and miss the playoffs. Hey, repeatin' ain't easy. For most teams in baseball losing in the World Series would have been disappointing, but for Texas 2010 was/is a success -- in fact, the franchise's crowning achievement"

#MFS90

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

"And I don't care that I wasn't alone -- I admit I was wrong."

Hmmm... I don't know about that. Don't mean to bust your balls, but if you really didn't care that you weren't alone, you wouldn't have felt it necessary to point out that you weren't alone. Pointing it out is a way of taking the focus off yourself, which would imply that you do care that people know you were only one of many who were wrong.

Latin_usako
Latin_usako

What a great game except for the low point wherein Bynum proceeded to push his forearm into Barrea as he was midair going for the layup. Horrible foul and a horrible ending for the Lakers. Don't even get me started on Bynum taking off his jersey as he made his way off the court and into the tunnel. That bad ass move us usually reserved for when you go at it with Pookie and 'em in the hood and not when you finished going at it with someone half your size. Good riddance and I hope he's made to sit out a game or two next season. Ass.

The Real Kergo
The Real Kergo

First! LEGEND!!! Keep up the excellent work Richie.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Hoping Bynum gets the first ten games off next year meself.. When I picked the Mavs in 7, I figured on a gimp Kobe..but not the heartless effort exhibited by the other Lakers.

Richie Whitt
Richie Whitt

Should be "you're."

Richie#MFFL longer than you, guaranteed

Mishon
Mishon

Couldn't have said it better myself.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

sorry broski I said 6, Im closer, keep working on your baseball team pal

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

You're the last person who should be correcting errors, Mr. I Get Paid For This.

Richie Whitt
Richie Whitt

Should be "Mr. I Get Paid For This", because it's a nickname.

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