Lakers vs. Mavericks: What Can Lakers Do to Take Game 2 Against Mavs?
Lakers Vs. Mavericks Series Rolls On, But How Can Lakers Improve and Take Game 2?
For the first time since 1988, the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers are meeting in the postseason. You read that right; despite all their successes, Dirk Nowitzki has never faced off against Kobe Bryant in the playoffs.
After the first game of the series, it was Dirk who held the upper hand, rallying his Mavs from a 16-point deficit in the second half to take a 96-94 win. But, as always, this is a seven-game series, and while Dallas now holds the momentum, the Lakers can still easily win the series and a berth in the Western Conference finals.
Now, staring a 1-0 hole in the face, the Lakers need to make some adjustments between now and the tipoff of Game 2 if they hope to even the series. But what sort of adjustments need to be made?
One of the biggest issues for the Lakers going forward is going to be making shots. They struggled shooting the ball from the floor in Game 1, knocking down just 42 percent of their shots (compared to 49 percent for Dallas) and made just five of 19 threes in the game. If they want to beat Dallas, those numbers have to improve.
But, the Lakers could use some defensive changes, as well. Dirk Nowitzki gave them fits in Game 1, dropping 28 points and pulling down 14 rebounds in the game. He's not going to be stopped completely, but the Lakers have to find some way to keep him from taking the shots he wants, whenever he wants.
Most importantly, Los Angeles has to finish games. They let Dallas knock down 10-of-19 shots in the fourth quarter, while turning the ball over a bit too much down the stretch. They had Dallas on the ropes, but couldn't finish the job when it counted.
Of course, Andrew Bynum's offensive struggles didn't help matters, and one can speculate that the Lakers will come out ready to play in their next clash after blowing their lead in this one. But, given the holes they showed in Game 1, they're far from a lock to win this series at this point.
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