2011 NBA Playoffs: 5 Reasons the L.A. Lakers Will Be Swept on Sunday
Even though Kobe and the boys are not playing poorly, they can't seem to figure out how to put a "W" on the board against Dallas.
Sunday's game will be no different.
By late afternoon on Mother's Day, the Lakers will be on their way home having lost their 2011 Western Conference Semifinal series with the Mavs in four fast games.
Here are five reasons why the Lakers will be swept away on Sunday:
No Team Has Ever Recovered from an 0-3 Deficit
Phil Jackson has had an unbelievable NBA coaching career.
He has won 11 NBA Championships.
But all of that jewelry will not help him or his Lakers recover from the situation they have created for themselves.
In a best-of-seven series, 98 teams have gone down 0-3. Every single one of those 98 teams has lost the series.
The Lakers Are Falling Apart at the End of Games
Things don't turn out too well if you don't play well at the end of games.
The Lakers have fallen apart in each of the fourth quarters in the series, being outscored by a total of 27 points in the final period of the first three games against Dallas.
Bad fouls, careless turnovers and stupid decision-making is doing the two-time defending champs in when the games are on the line.
The Lakers Have No Answers for the Mavericks Bench
The Mavericks bench has been a monstrous key to this series.
Whether it has been J.J. Barea taking it to the Lakers in Game 2 or Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic raining threes on them, the Mavs non-starters have been as productive as anyone on either team.
Once again in Game 3, Dallas' bench players outscored the Lakers bench, this time 42-15.
Jason Terry (23 points) and Peja Stojakovic (15 points) didn't just provide spark and energy on Friday night; they changed the course of the game.
Stojakovic contributed 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers Can't Stop Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki is one of the premier players in the NBA. It is no coincidence that he is a 10-time All-Star and that he usually is one of the top scorers in the league.
Not many teams shut down the big German, and the two-time defending champs are no exception.
Nowitzki is having a great series. He is averaging 28 points and 10 rebounds in the first three games. He is lights out, shooting 56 percent from the field, including 7-for-10 from beyond the arc.
He pretty much is doing what he wants when he wants against anybody who tries to guard him.
And when Dirk is playing this well, the Mavericks are next to unbeatable.
Kobe Bryant Has Been Good but Not Great
For this Lakers team to win games in this series, Kobe Bryant needs to do more than keep up his regular season averages...and that's pretty much all he has done so far.
2010-11 regular season: 25.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 45.1% FG
Three games against Dallas: 25.3 ppg, 3 rpg, 47.7% FG
Five times during his NBA Career, Bryant has faced what he did on Friday night in Dallas: an 0-2 deficit in a playoff series.
Four out of those five games, the Lakers won with Bryant scoring over 32 points per game.
Kobe had a very solid Game 3 (17 points, four rebounds and six assists).
The Lakers won't win Sunday with solid from their best player. For them to avoid being swept, Bryant needs to get ruthless and punish the Mavs for the first three games.
But even in watching the post-game presser last night, he seemed optimistic, but not obstinate.
And because of that, Nowitzki and the Mavs will be moving on, as of Sunday, to the Western Conference Finals.