5 Reasons the Los Angeles Lakers Should Be Thanking the Dallas Mavericks

Ryan SimonCorrespondent IIJune 8, 2011

5 Reasons the Los Angeles Lakers Should Be Thanking the Dallas Mavericks

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    The Lakers losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the conference semifinals was something almost no one saw coming, especially in four games.

    However, the early exit has possible benefits for the Lakers that could not be seen right after the lost. After having with some time to think and let the of an early playoff exit sink in, here are some possible benefits this playoff exit has for the Los Angeles Lakers.

1) It Gives the Lakers Time to Rest

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Lakers are a great organization that have only missed the playoffs five times their tenure in the league. As marvelous as this sounds, it's extremely tiring on the players and the entire coaching staff.

    This Lakers team particularly has been to the Finals three out of the last four years ever since acquiring Pau Gasol, adding up to practically another NBA season on their bodies. Between all the injuries, the exhaustion and the old age, the Lakers can definitely use more time to recover this offseason.

2) Gives the Lakers a Much Needed Wake-Up Call

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The Lakers looked very lax and complacent at times during this season. As a result, they went through certain skids where they barely won games they should've dominated or lost games they should've won.

    Lakers hopeful tried to look the other way, but outsiders saw the problems that could surface later on. These problems blossomed full bloom in front of us in the playoffs where the Lakers barely sneaked by the Hornets, a team they should've dominated. Then the Lakers got trounced by a Dallas Mavericks team that exploited these weaknesses.

3) Allows the Lakers Orginization Shake Things Up

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    The Lakers are going to have to make changes to stay relevant in this league. The shift from the era where big men dominated the game is over.

    The attention is now focused more on athleticism and point guards. Two things that the Lakers are currently lacking. Even though the Mavericks, a team just as old as the Lakers have Jason Kidd as their starting point guard is in the Finals—things aren't looking too good for them at the moment. They do still have an opportunity to win this series, but the Miami Heat are showing why athleticism is imperative in today's NBA.

    Derek Fisher is very valuable to the Lakers. However, as J.J. Barea showed, he just cannot keep up with the younger more athletic point guards of the league anymore. The early exit gives the Lakers an opportunity to realize that they cannot keep neglecting the needs they have been putting off every offseason.The Lakers need to inject some athleticism into their roster, particularly at the point guard position.

4) It Makes Phil Jackson's Choice to Retire a Lot Easier

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    It's no secret that Phil Jackson is very, very tired. At 65 years of age, he's been coaching since 1989 in the NBA. If anyone in the NBA needs a break, it's Phil Jackson.

    He was great for the Lakers organization, and as a Lakers fan I cannot thank him enough. However, it's time for him, and the Lakers organization to move on.

    As the move to hire Mike Brown showed, the Lakers are heading in a new direction. A direction that will not involve the triangle offense that much, nor one that involves Brian Shaw as the new head coach. Shaw probably would've received the job had the Lakers repeated and Phil stepped down, but that falls under the big "what if" category.

    The sweep left Phil Jackson with a very easy retirement choice and allowed the Lakers to take its organization in a different direction.

5) Losing in the Semifinals Is a Lot Better Than Another Finals Lost

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    Kobe Bryant already has two Finals loses to his resume, and I'm pretty confident in saying that he definitely doesn't want another one.

    There's no guarantee that the Lakers making to the Finals would've earned them another championship banner. On the contrary, if this current series is any indication, it would've been an extremely tough series for the Lakers. The chances of them losing to this Miami Heat team would've been very real and quite frankly disastrous should they have lost.

    Beating the Lakers in the Finals would've propelled this Heat team's hype to astronomical levels (yes, even higher). And it would've been a bigger tarnish to Kobe Bryant's resume and reputation than the sweep they faced by the hands of the Mavericks.

    So let's be thankful as Laker fans that we didn't not lose to the Heat in the Finals. The backlash from Heat fans would've been unbearable and vice versa had the Lakers won.


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    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    The Lakers may not have won a championship banner this season, but the early exiting is a blessing in disguise. It allows them to begin the transition period post-Phil Jackson early and get even more focused and ready for next season.

    As Lakers fans, let's have faith in our organization, have a good summer and get ready to root harder than ever next season!