L.A. Lakers Beat Dallas Mavericks in a Chippy One: Already in Playoff Form

The Lakers are terrifying.  Don’t be fooled by the final score.  This game was a lot closer than the 110-82 score will lead you to believe.  Well, at least for the first half.  But that’s the Lakers.  They’ll let you hang around until they finally decide to crush you.

This game was hyped as a playoff preview.  It did not disappoint.  The crowd was in it from tipoff, and you could feel and see the energy in the arena.  The Mavs had beaten the Clippers the night before in the same building, but that was like a shootaround compared to this. 

No offense to the Clippers, who I actually enjoy watching now, but they’re just not at the Lakers' level.  Actually, IS there anybody else at the Lakers' level?  In a seven-game series?  They look formidable. 

Things got off to a brisk start with both teams making shots and playing well, but the Lakers busted it open in the third, and it looked like the Mavs got frustrated. 


I mean there is just no answer for the Lamar Odom/Pau Gasol/Andrew Bynum triumvirate when those three have it going.  There was one point with a little over four minutes left in the first half where Bynum somehow got a bucket in heavy traffic baseline.  Cut to a shot of Pau with a knowing smile, and Kobe and the bench going nuts. 

I can’t explain it, but when Bynum is clicking, it electrifies this team.  It’s been so fun to watch his basketball acumen catch up to his physical abilities.  I bet that has a little something to do with the guy who has been mentoring him, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  You might have heard of him. 

So we hit halftime at 54-51 and then back for the second half.  Kobe missed a couple of easy baskets in this game.  I actually love it when that happens, because he gets s...

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