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NBA Playoffs: Dallas is just better than the Lakers

May 7, 2011, 2:00 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks Nowitzki celebrates hitting a three-point shot in the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference semi-final basketball playoff in Dallas Reuters

The Dallas Mavericks are better than the Los Angeles Lakers.

It is a weird thing to type, but it’s true. They may not have been for 40 minutes, 30 seconds on Friday night — the Lakers were up eight points with 7:30 left in the game — but the Mavericks offense dominated the rest of the way. Dallas won 98-92, on a huge, late comeback.

Dallas will move on. These two teams will play at least one more game or three because the rules demand it — but this series is over. Not because no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit before in the NBA playoffs, but because right now Dallas is better than Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant was rightfully frustrated afterward, talking about the Lakers’ mistakes; there were plenty. But Dallas is forcing them. This is about Dallas doing the things a contender does and the Lakers being unable to this year.

Dallas has the single best player in this series in Dirk Nowitzki (he had 32 points in this one on just 19 shots). Each game someone else has stepped up and made the key plays to be the other scorer Dallas needs (Peja Stojakovic with 11 in the fourth quarter Friday). Dallas is executing better in the fourth quarter. Dallas is getting better coaching (or at least the Dallas players are executing what the coach wants).

When the Lakers led by eight in the fourth quarter, Dallas started to rain threes down — the Mavs shot 60 percent in the fourth quarter. It was not the two-time defending champs, it was Dallas that closed.

The Lakers played a much better defensive game in the second and third quarters, the best they played in this series. Their spacing, their aggressiveness on closeouts were better. At least it got better after a first-quarter shootout, with the Mavs knocking down open 3-pointers and the Lakers working hard on getting the ball inside.

Andrew Bynum was a beast inside; it may have been his best game as a pro. He finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, but he was by far the most energetic and motivated Laker on the floor. His steal out at the 3-point line and finishing dunk was a signature play… or would have been if the Lakers had won.

But the Lakers never pulled away. Dallas has been too good all series to let the game slip away. This is where Jason Terry’s 23 points came in, he was the scoring spark the Mavs needed.

Then in the fourth quarter the Mavs started to rain threes on the Lakers. The Lakers stopped helping the helper — one Lakers defender would get beat, another Laker would slide in the paint to help stop penetration but nobody would rotate over to help out the helper. The result was Stojakovic getting wide-open threes. Even Nowitzki got wide-open threes. Kobe was as guilty as anybody. This was the “trust issue” Bynum talked about, and if you define trust by your defensive rotations, then the Lakers still have trust issues.

The use of Stojakovic was brilliant by Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle — the Lakers had gone with three bigs (Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and Bynum) but by putting Peja in, it forced Odom to come away from the paint and cover. It spaced the Lakers out and created room for others — which the Mavericks used well.

Dallas executed. The Lakers stopped executing.

As they often do at the end of games, the Lakers threw the triangle out the window and went to isolation or pick-and-roll plays. The result was Bynum not touching the ball once down the stretch. Not once. It was Kobe shooting over double-teams while Odom stood open 12 feet away. It was terrible inbound passes from Fisher. It was a bad foul by Fisher 28 feet from the basket.

Meanwhile, Dallas just kept doing their thing and hitting shots (11-of-28 from three, 39.7 percent).

This is not the end of the Lakers dynasty. The core of this team — Gasol, Bynum, Kobe, Odom, even Ron Artest — are all young enough to make another run. The team needs work, but the core is there to make another run.

But not this year. This year they are done.

The Mavericks are the better team.

  1. steelyres211 - May 7, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    This team (as it exists now) is done, Kobe is getting old and wearing down. They need to run the offense through Bynum like they did with Shaq, he isn’t Shaq but there are few centers in the league that can match up with him physically. Pau should be the third option or even the fourth, and Artest should just be jettisoned, he has little to offer anymore other than stupid decisions at the worst possible time.

    They will still be a dangerous team for a couple of years, but they won’t be winning any titles.

    • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      Lakers GM Kupchak has his offseason work cut out for him, with some sure but unpopular roster moves that have to be made. It’s time to give Fisher a gold watch, a hearty hand shake, and show him the way to the door. Goofball Luke Walton should then be told to follow Fisher out the door too.

      The upcoming free agent crop has a lot of names in the pool, but only one or two difference makers, an no point guards (which the Lakers desperately need). Given the Lakers big belly flop in the playoffs, the Lakers aren’t going to attract any “ring chasers” either.

      Then there’s the big cloud hanging over the team as to who the next coach will be and what changes will be ushered in. Every coach that’s followed Big Chief Triangle has failed trying to keep the triangle offense in; that’s why hiring Brian Shaw might not be such a good idea.

      Keep in mind that Doc Rivers is a free agent at the end of the season and I’m sure that Norm Nixon has an out clause in his contract should the Laker head job come open. Laker fans, do you all remember how successful Kurt Rambutt was when given his first head coaching opportunity?

      Given the age and lofty expectations of the Lakers, if I’m Shaw, quite frankly aside from the attractive bump in pay that goes with the job, I’m not sure I’d want it. If you want to properly manage your career, you want to catch the elevator that’s going up, not the one that’s going down, just as Tim Tibedeau did last offseason.

      • hoopsfanatic - May 7, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        Purdueman,

        Two points.

        First, not sure the Lakers would offer Brian Shaw the job for next season, considering they are going to lose in the second round. I think the Lakers needed to advance further in the playoffs for Shaw to be assured of the job. The only thing Shaw has going for him now is the impending lockout. The Lakers might not have the opportunity to make a lot of offseason changes, and therefore might decide to promote Shaw if the lockout is going to drastically shorten the season.

        However, If Shaw is offered the job, he would be crazy to turn it down. The Lakers have won 10 titles since 1980. They have done a great job over the years in going out and getting new talent. I realize past success is no guarantee of future success. But the Lakers have proven to be a top-level NBA franchise.

        Second, while I agree with you that next season should be a season of transition for the Lakers, I doubt the Lakers are finished being a championship caliber franchise. Yes, this current roster is finished, and this current championship run is over. Again, the Lakers have won 10 titles since 1980. Personally, I would be surprised if the Lakers are not contending again for the title in say 2013 or 2014.

  2. Brian Murphy - May 7, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    I give the Mavs all the credit; they are better, but it’s more entertaining to talk about where the Lakers have gone wrong. Bynum was 9-for-15 from the floor tonight before getting just one shot attempt in the final 14 minutes. Pau Gasol has looked catatonic. The bench has been useless, save for Lamar Odom in game one. Defense is only a word, not a requirement, especially on the perimeter.
    But I think the game turned on three consecutive bad plays from Kobe in the fourth quarter. Peja had just hit a 3 to make it a three-point game with less than four minutes to play. Kobe then got walled off while doing his one-on-one routine and tried to force a pass into Gasol as the shot clock was running low. That resulted in a turnover and a foul by Kobe at halfcourt on Jason Kidd. Two free throws there cut the Lakers’ lead to one. Then Kobe came back and put up a ridiculously errant attempt, directly leading to two more Mavericks free throws, which gave them a lead and enough momentum to ride out any last charge the Lakers could muster. This L.A. team had been so effective for most of tonight’s game when Kobe was a facilitator. But as soon as he chose to put the team on his back — as he did in game 1 when he was wildly successful — the Lakers got out of their offense and were all sorts of discombobulated. You get the feeling that everyone just clears out for Kobe, knowing they won’t get a shot.
    One stat sums up just how much better the Mavs are than the Lakers: In this series, the Lakers have been outscored 82-55 in the fourth quarter. When the going gets tough and its time to really bear down, the Lakers have folded and the Mavericks have soared.
    As a Lakers fan, I must say congrats to the Mavericks. I thought this was impossible, especially after watching the Lakers dismantle and overpower Dallas just a month ago in Los Angeles. But in that last month, the Mavs have become the favorite. They are certainly showing that they are better.

  3. wvan10 - May 7, 2011 at 6:31 AM

    While Dallas has deserved to win all three games so far it’s a bit of over simplifying to say they are just “better than the Lakers”. Two of the three games have been controlled for the majority of the game by the Lakers in terms of pace and on the scoreboard. The Mavs have definitely out closed the Lakers but they will have to do something only one team has been able to do in 4 years and that’s close them out. While winning 4 in a row certainly isn’t likely, this isn’t the common 3-0 scenario either with the team down 0-3 being the 2 time defending champions. The difference between winning and losing in the NBA is slim. Despite the Mavs lead, a play here or a non foul call there could have THEM down 2-1 in this same series. The Lakers have shown to be hot and cold all season, only playing their best when their best was needed. Maybe i’m also crazy and admittingly biased, but I truly think the Lakers will become the first team down 0-3 to win a series. Not that this team is good enough to 3peat, and beat the likes of OKC and the Heat if lucky enough to get that far. But, against this Mavs team, in this series, it can be done.

    • wfon1 - May 7, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      THE ONLY REASON THE MAVS ARE WINNING IS BECAUSE THEYRE GETTING LUCKY AT THE 3. BUT AS WE ALL KNOW, YOU LIVE BY THE 3, YOU DIE BY THE 3. TAKE AWAY THOSE 3s AND THE LAKERS WOULD HAVE WON AT LEAST 2 OF THOSE GAMES.

      • smokehouse56 - May 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM

        Yes and if a cow had balls she would be a bull.

  4. edmazeing1 - May 7, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    Gasol is having some personal issues with his wife & a unname team mate thats has problem, as for the rest of of the lakers I dont know what is there deal.

    • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      LOL! Laker Homers are already lining up with what’s sure to be a long litany of excuses for the Lakers poor play, and it’s pretty clear that Pau Gasol will go from being the hero that saved the Lakers to the goat who caused the Lakers demise.

      Excuses are sure to come in droves, but there’s no need for them. The bottom line is that an aging Laker team made up mostly of players on the wrong side of 30 are getting an old fashioned ass whuppin’!!!

  5. cordae - May 7, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    The biggest key to this series is this: You have one of the best, no, THE best, perimeter shooting big man this league has ever seen (Dirk). And you have the worst parimeter defender ever (Pau) holding him. I know as a big man you really shouldn’t have to defend on the perimeter, but playing against Dirk you better learn. Dirk worked off those picks like he was a point guard! And everytime Pau had to play defense that exceeded 16 feet from the basket, he was lost. He even ran to the basket one play for the rebound instead of contesting Dirks shot smh. This is matchup is the key to this series. I wouldnt be surprised if Dirk went off for more points in the next game, because Gasol is just invisible.

    • wfon1 - May 7, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      AND THE LAKERS WERE ACTUALLY WINNING AND DOING BETTER WHEN THEY TOOK BYNUM OUT AND RETURNED GASOL IN THE 4TH (WHEN BYNUM DIDNT WANT TO BE REMOVED) AND IT WENT DOWNHILL FROM THERE.

      • cordae - May 7, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        What does that have to do with anything? They sure as hell weren’t winning BECAUSE of him. And Bynum was a beast, he rightfully shouldnt have wanted to be removed, he’s the LONGEST player on the floor, feed him! Once he gets going, theres no one that can stop him.

      • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        cordae: I loved Bynum’s intensity and hustle last night, but unfortunately for Laker fans he was surrounded by a bunch of dead heads. The problem with what you suggest (i.e., feeding Bynum), is that that doesn’t fall into the realm of the triangle offense, and Big Chief Triangle would rather go out a loser that to deviate even a little from his precious legacy triangle offense.

        I agree with you though in that the new incoming coach should overhaul the offense and transition the team scoring focus from an aging Kobe to the young Mr. Bynum. To do that, however, the Lakers will need to find a good point guard and show old timer Fisher the door out.

        There aren’t any impact point guards available this upcoming free agent year though, and the Lakers have little to trade that anyone would want (i.e., too many players over 30 with big contracts), so Kupchak has his work cut out for him culling through a long list of young free agent guards who up until now for the most part haven’t panned out.

    • cordae - May 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM

      True indeed on the point guard suggestion. I wasn’t suggesting turning the offense to him forever lol just last night. The triangle offense has collapsed before, and shaq, gasol and bynum has bailed them out before. Thats the good thing about having a dominant big man in any offense. If you crash the boards, or get easy points, if you control the paint you control the game. The only team to really get by without one are the bulls, BUT they had multiple players that contributed inside. Rodman (rebound machine) Horrace Grant (not the best but he wasn’t the worst inside) so that got them by pretty good. I still cant wrap my head around a guy having 21 and 10 and completely being ignored in the fourth quarter, the only “mistake” Kobe failed to explain last night…

  6. redbear18 - May 7, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    The Lakers dynasty is pretty much over. Jackson is going to retire, and fisher and artest won’t be long behind him. Kobe’s got a few good years left in him, but he’s getting closer to retirement. When he leaves, the Lakers will fade into the shadow of a new superpower. The Bulls? The Thunder? The Heat? Or maybe the other Los Angeles will be contending by then. Whatever happens, the Lakers are done.

    • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      “The Lakers are done.”…. you can put it on the boa-aaa-rrr-d, YES-SSSSS!!!

      99 bottles of beer on the wall! In NBA history, teams that have fallen behind 0-3 in a 7 game playoff series have gone 0-98. The 99th bottle of beer to be added to the wall is on me! I’m buyin’!

      God will it be nice to be able to turn on any of the three LA sports talk radio shows without having to hear non stop Laker hype ranging all the way from what scrubs did in garbage time to what Luke Walton had for dinner last night! Instead I’ll get to enjoy the no doubt prolonged on air obituary and then wait with baited breathe for Kobe to throw another temper tantrum once the reality of the Lakers being done sets in!

      Stick a fork in them! They’re indeed DONE! :-)

  7. omniusprime - May 7, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    The Mavs are not better than the Lakers Kurt Helin, but they are playing better at the end of the last 3 games. The Lakers gave away games 1 & 3, they are beating themselves. The problem with the Lakers is Pau Gasol has been totally disappointing in the playoffs this year. Will the real Pau Gasol PLEASE stand up! It’s Pau who has lost his confidence and can’t make the mid-range jumpers he normally knocks down consistently. Pau caused Phil Jackson to lose his zen in game 3 and no matter how much Phil ragged on Pau he just hasn’t stepped up his play.

    Andrew Bynum is definitely stepping up, his steal from Dirk at midcourt and his drive to jam the ball home should have woken up the blase Lakers. If the Lakers lose it will be Pau Gasol’s fault for not having the confidence and swagger of a champion. The Lakers also missed Artest because he made a really stupid late foul and got suspended. I sure hope the Lakers show some damned pride and win a few games, they better not go down without a fight.

    The only thing that’s going to wake up the Lakers is if someone puts a foot up Pau’s behind and kicks his backbone back into place! Either Phil or Kobe is going to have to shame Pau into being himself so he can force Dirk to play some defense. The Lakers have to play with some passion and confidence, if they do they could win 4 in a row to win the series. If not it will be a long summer gone fishing.

    • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      omni… I think it’s both funny and sad how Laker fans have turned on Gasol and are setting him up to be the scapegoat for the Lakers about to be abrupt end to their season. Gasol has gone from being the hero to the goat, but what about the other 14 guys on the roster?

      You know, it’s not exactly like Kobe’s shown up for this series with Dallas either, but he gets a hall pass simply because of his past accomplishments. Yes Gasol, who was largely responsible for the Lakers winning two championships that they wouldn’t have likely won without him, gets publicly flogged. No offense, but any Laker fan who makes Gasol out to be the fall guy for this season needs to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and see if they like what they see!

  8. SmackSaw - May 7, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    The Lakers will reload. They always do.

    • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      Smacksaw… While “The Lakers will reload. They always do”, sounds good on paper, since La Bum orchestrated his little stunt to go to Miami to play for greaser Pat Riley and the league has now become a guard dominant league, it’s just not going to be nearly as easy as it used to be for the Lakers to “reload” for the following reasons:

      * The bloom is about to fall off the rose in LA for any prospective “ring chasers”;
      * The influx of top caliber talent into the NBA is at a lull, if not an all time low;
      * The personna of being able to hitch your wagon to Coach Phil’s personna is coming to an end;
      * Kobe and Pau are now roadblocks to rebuilding in that both are too young to retire, but too old to build around and take up a considerable chunk of the Laker’s payroll (thereby limiting flexibility);
      * The new “hot” teams upcoming free agents want to go to are New York, Chicago and Miami to play with Mello, a very young MVP in Rose or La Bum and company (Miami is now the destination for all veteran “ring chasers”;
      * The logical “big name star” additions (as they hit free agency), would be Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and/or Blake Griffin. Paul is already on record as saying that he want to play with Mello and the Knicks, and money has never been any consideration (i.e., luxury tax), with the Knicks. Griffen is already in LA and has little to gain and a bigger contract (at least under the current CBA), to switch locker rooms. Finally, the Lakers have Bynum, Howard’s position; and
      * The Lakers likely won’t get a shot at the draft lottery until Kobe finally hangs ‘em up (so no help there either).

      The one hope that the Lakers do have is to do as they did to land Gasol, and that’s to be able to cherry pick players off of clubs that are losing a lot of money, but do they have enough talent to make a difference and are there any owners dumb enough (like the Grizzley’s owner in the Gasol heist), to simply give players away? After all, the Lakers lack the draft picks and attractive upcoming young (inexpensive), players that any such team would seek in a trade.

      It’s taken the Chicago Bulls a lot of patience and luck since their last championship to “reload” you know (and Chicago is not a cheap franchise). Obviously having Derrick Rose drop into their laps when they only had less than a 2% chance to win the lottery the year he was drafted is something that’s not likely to happen to the Lakers any time soon.

      In addition, the Bulls were very lucky to have Noah drop into their laps all the way down at the #10 spot in the draft the year that they drafted him, and it’s taken 5 years for Luol Dang to finally mature and become an impact player.

      • hoopsfanatic - May 8, 2011 at 8:56 AM

        Purdueman,

        I think you are wrong in stating Memphis made a bad move in the Pau Gasol trade. In hindsight, the trade benefited both teams. Memphis was able to revamp their roster which helped put them in the position to currently be up 2-1 against the Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals. You are repeating an old argument that has been proven wrong by slaming Memphis for the Gasol trade.

        Furthermore, it’s obvious you hate the Lakers. Yes, you are entitled to your opinion. But it seems apparent you allow your blind hatred for the Lakers to cause you to make some very off-the-wall predictions. Yes, you hope the Lakers are finally finished as being a championhip caliber franchise. Yes, you hope the Lakes will never be able to rebuild. The truth of the matter is that the Lakers have won 10 titles since 1980. This won’t be the last time we hear of the Lakers. I don’t expect them to contend again until say 2013 or 2014. But I think it is absurd based upon what this franchise has accomplished since 1980 to make the off-the-wall prediction that the franchise is done for good.

        I know you want the Lakers to be finished. History indicates that the Lakers will be back. Take comfort in the fact that the Lakers will not contend in the short-term while they revamp their roster. However, your joy and celebration of the Lakers demise won’t last long. It is foolish to believe the Laker franchise is done for good.

      • purdueman - May 8, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        hoops… never said that the Lakers “are done as a championship contender”, merely that it’s going to take a lot more time and a little bit of luck this time around because the league has changed so much and now the “hot” destination teams are all in the eastern conference.

        Like I said, it took the Bulls over a decade to escape from mediocrity after their last championship team was broken up, and even then it took enormous good luck to wind up with the #1 overall pick in the draft and then pick Derrick Rose over Michael Beasley (if you recall, they were rated a coin flip as to who should go first and who should go second).

        In fact, looking back I’d compare the Rose/Beasley 1-2 picks in the draft to the Payton Manning/Ryan Leaf 1-2 picks in a similar NFL draft. That’s how big a mistake can easily be made even if your team gets the pick.

        I don’t hate the Lakers; in fact, prior to Kobe’s little Colorado escapade, I actually was a Laker fan. I can’t root though for a rapist who’s lucky enough to have enough money to be able to simply buy his way out of a felony conviction, much less consider him any sort of a “hero”.

        I hate Laker bandwagon fans too, because they are the ones who have driven LA sport talk radio to spend so much time every day on the Lakers reports that we even get treated to sometimes finding out what brand of underwear Pau Gasol prefers to wear. It’s just too over the top of an obsession for me.

        Go Mavs! Stick the dagger in today!!!

      • hoopsfanatic - May 8, 2011 at 2:28 PM

        Purdueman,

        Thanks for the clarification.

        I used to live in Southern California for a few years. Never been much into sports talk radio, no matter where I have lived. Yes, bandwagon fans are annoying. However, I think all currently succesful sports teams have bandwagon fans. People were on the Laker bandwagon during the glory days of the 1980s. Then jumped off in the early 1990 to mid 1990s when the team featured the likes Nick Van Exel, Elden Campbell and Eddie Jones. Then came back onboard soon after the team began winning titles again with Kobe, Shaq and Phil Jackson. Bandwagon fans are what they are and all currently succesful sports teams have them.

        As for how long it will take the Lakers to rebuild, I honestly don’t have a dog in that hunt. My only prediction is that this will not be the last we hear of the Lakers being a championship caliber franchise.

        As for the Laker/ Mavericks matchup, whether the Lakers are able to prolong the series beyond today, it honestly does not matter. No team has ever come back done 0-3. All the Lakers can hope to do is delay the inevitable.

  9. wfon1 - May 7, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    THE ONLY REASON THE MAVS ARE WINNING IS BECAUSE THEYRE GETTING LUCKY AT THE 3. BUT AS WE ALL KNOW, YOU LIVE BY THE 3, YOU DIE BY THE 3.
    IF THE MAVS WIN THIS SERIES, I DONT SEE THEM WINNING IT ALL BECAUSE YOURE LUCK ALWAYS RUNS OUT WHEN THATS YOUR STRATEGY.. TAKE AWAY THOSE 3s AND THE LAKERS WOULD HAVE WON AT LEAST 2 OF THOSE GAMES.

    • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      The floor is littered with the wreckage of past teams who “woulda, coulda, shoulda”!!!

    • mogogo1 - May 7, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      Has it occurred to you yet that if Dallas doesn’t win it all the Lakers will look even worse?

      • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 1:10 PM

        mogo… I don’t really think that it so much matters anymore like it used to if the team that beats your team goes on to win it all or not except in the NHL. The reason that I say that is because the NHL is the only one of the “Big 3 and Dwindling Into Obscurity” 1″ professional sports that is smart enough to re-seed after every playoff round.

        Personally? With the exception of MLB, I’d love to see the two best teams in the Finals every year, not the two best teams from a given conference. Just look at how many lopsided Super Bowls there have been over the years. The reason that I exclude baseball is because of their very long season (which weeds out all the pretenders), comparatively few number of teams that make the playoffs and of course a 100+ year tradition of the two leagues.

        Assuming that Dallas doesn’t collapse and goes on to the conference finals, if they make it to the NBA finals I just don’t see them beating either the Bulls or the Heat. I think tha the Bulls suffocating defense will shut down Dallas’ perimeter game and I think that the Heat are just too strong for Dallas to take down.

        As the old saying goes though, “that’s why they play the games”, as the games aren’t after all ever won on paper… except in rotoball!

    • andyhr17 - May 7, 2011 at 2:53 PM

      Kinda like the saying “Live by the caps lock, die by the caps lock”?

    • smokehouse56 - May 7, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Like I said before. If a cow had balls she would be a bull.

  10. cordae - May 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    “The only reason”? You’re wrong on so many levels. If that were “The only reason”, dont you think an 11 time championship coach would’ve had a game plan to stop it after the FIRST loss? And beating the lakers, or any team in the playoffs TWICE at home is not luck. You obviously are incapable of analyzing basketball if you cannot see how this team is beating the lakers in more than one way. And if thats the case, then this is my last response to you.

  11. mikeminnc - May 7, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    As a Pacers fan, all I can say is thank God we were smart enough to dump that bum Carlisle a few years ago in favor of Jim O’Brien….Carlisle clearly was the reason the Pacers were struggling….I mean, look how well we’ve done and how crappy Carlisle’s been since he left…….

    • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      Pacer fan, I think that O’Brien is the next great young coach and I’m sure that Larry Bird isn’t going to let him get away. He’s earned being named the permanent head coach and be given a 4 or 5 year new contract!

      • mikeminnc - May 7, 2011 at 2:54 PM

        Purdue man, O’Brien was fired earlier this year after a 3 year tenure of absolute incompetence and replaced by interim coach Voegel who is now being considered for the role as head coach after posting a 20-18 regular season record (which is considered marked improvement over O’Brien). Meanwhile, that bumbling Carlisle seems to be doing okay since Larry legend canned him.

      • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

        mikemin… thanks for the correction! I meant to say that Bird should of course lock up Coach VOEGEL! (one of those slips where I just had O’Brien stuck in my head I guess).

      • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

        mikemin… thanks for the correction! I meant to say that Bird should of course lock up Coach VOEGEL! (one of those slips where I just had O’Brien stuck in my head I guess).

  12. delius1967 - May 7, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    The most delicious part of Game 3: when the Jet hit his three pointer to put the Mavs up 91-89. If you want to know why that particular moment is so great, watch Bryant during the sequence. He is barking orders at his teammates, directing the defense, active and alert. When that bucket went down, though, you can visibly see the fight go out of him. His head drops, his shoulders stoop, and you can tell he has realized it just isn’t going to be their night.

    The Mavericks had better put this series away on Sunday. They really need to double-team Bynum, who is the only Laker who is playing like he wants it. I say give Kobe all the jumpers he wants; “Mr. Clutch” is not going to be the one who beats them, if they do, it is going to be the big goons in the middle. Chandler looked surprisingly soft during Game 3 at times; he has to break out the same game he had in Game 5 against Portland.

  13. 00maltliquor - May 8, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Thumb me down all you want, but this series isn’t over, figuritively and literaly . Lakers in 7. I have seen too much of the impossible happen in favor of the Lakers and until Mamba and the Zenfather are long and gone i wouldn’t count them out. I can care less about the rest of these haters 2 cent comments. And even if they lose they shouldn’t blow up the roster. I love you Fish, but the only thing we do need to do in the offseason is get a legit PG. Now let the hating commence….

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