NBA Playoffs 2011: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks, Game 2 Preview

Robert C BinyonContributor IIMay 4, 2011

Bryant needs to get his teammates involved in Game 2 for this Lakers team to really come alive.
Bryant needs to get his teammates involved in Game 2 for this Lakers team to really come alive.Harry How/Getty Images

I was wrong with all four of my Game 1 predictions in the second round, everyone lost. I was most surprised with the Lakers losing though, and as that may not come as a surprise to some, I am trying to be as unbiased as possible.

I really thought the Lakers would come out and play hard against the Mavericks in Game 1, but apparently they still need that extra motivation of potentially getting sent home in order to play to their full potential. The sad thing about Game 1, was that the Lakers outperformed the Mavericks for most of that game, but after they went up by 16 points, they let off the gas.

A team should never get comfortable, especially in the playoffs. If you're up 16, push it to 20, make it 25, but don't ease up.

As far as the "foul" on Kobe that many are arguing about that allowed Jason Kidd to get a pivotal steal late in the game...I didn't see it as a foul. Regardless of the call that the Mavericks got on the other end (where I do think Pau fouled Dirk), that call shouldn't be made on Kidd. Kidd may have been holding Kobe before he came around Pau, but after that, Kobe just tripped.

It was a good no-call in a situation where many refs like to interfere with the game and make the call. Too often it seems the refs decide games, when in the end of a game, barring an easy call, you have to let the players decide the game.

Tonight, I want to see Kobe create for his teammates a little more. I love Kobe being aggressive, but there is a line, and he has been known to cross this line and shoot entirely too much (especially down the stretch). Though I realize why he shoots so much, especially this series with the favorable match-ups he is seeing, he out-shot Pau, Drew and Lamar 29-28, which should never happen. He needs to attack the hoop and also get everyone involved, because when he goes into "Mamba Mode" the team becomes too comfortable with letting him do everything.

Another thing I'm going to be looking at tonight, Pau Gasol. Where is the Gasol who used to average 20-10? The Lakers need that Pau if they are going to have any chance at a three-peat. He needs to attack the Mavericks, especially when Dirk is guarding him, because that is one of the only ways the Lakers can slow Dirk down.

My final thought is on the Mavericks bench and how awesome it is. I don't completely buy it, yes Barea and Stojakovic played well, but I don't consider Terry a bench player. In my opinion you switch him and DeShawn Stevenson's points when you calculate their bench scoring. In Game 1, Stevenson played only 10 minutes and scored 0 points, while Terry played 30 minutes and scored 15.

Just something to think about.

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