NBA Playoffs 2011: LA Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks Game 4 Report Card

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIMay 8, 2011

NBA Playoffs 2011: LA Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks Game 4 Report Card

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Guard Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after a three-point shot by Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airl
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Dallas Mavericks completed a sweep of the defending champions on Sunday afternoon by winning Game 4 122-86.

    The Mavericks' bench contributed 86 points in the victory, which matched the Lakers' entire point total.

    A week ago, many people were questioning Dallas' psychology going forward in the playoffs. A week later, the Mavericks are completing a shocking four game sweep of the Lakers.

    In what was possibly Phil Jackson's last game in the NBA, the Lakers failed to show any true desperation to send the series back to Los Angeles for Game 5.

    Here is the report card from the Mavericks' 122-86 Game 4 victory.

9. Pau Gasol

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Forward Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers on the ground after a foul by the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, T
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Gasol continued his streak of subpar playoff performances in Game 4.

    Gasol failed to reach his season average of 18 points one time in 10 playoff games.

    It is hard to blame Gasol for all of the team’s deficiencies in this series, but he certainly didn't contribute anything positive either.

    Final Grade: D-

8. The Lakers' Sense of Urgency

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Guard Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers is fouled by Shawn Marion #0 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas,
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    I am not saying the Lakers didn't try in their loss in Game 4, but I did not sense a ton of urgency from the team.

    It wasn’t as bad as the Game 6 loss to Boston in the 2008 Finals, but it was close.

    It’s a shame Phil Jackson had to end his career on such a sour note.

    Final Grade: F

7. The Lakers' Composure

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers is ejected from play against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Lakers failed to go down with any dignity in their season ending loss on Sunday.

    Down by 30 points in the third quarter, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were ejected after cheap shots to Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea.

    Bynum’s elbow to Barea’s ribs as he was driving to the basket was especially dirty.

    If the Lakers’ play was not embarrassing enough, the cheap shots certainly solidified the Lakers’ miserable afternoon.

    Final Grade: F

6. The Mavericks' Offense

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Guard Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Mavericks offense was simply on fire in Game 4.

    The team made 20 three-point field goals, shot 60 percent from the field and dished out 32 assists.

    Final Grade: A

5. Kobe Bryant

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 06:  Guard Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during a 98-92 loss against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dal
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Bryant started Game 4 very well, looking like the only Laker with any real passion.

    Bryant finished the first half with 15 points. However, Kobe would only add two points in the second half to finish with a team high 17 points.

    If it had not been for Kobe’s fast start, the game would have been over sooner than it already was.

    Final Grade: C+

4. Dirk Nowitzki

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Forward Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Considering the bench scored 86 points, Nowitzki was not forced to do any heavy lifting in Game 4.

    He finished with a quiet 17 points on 7-11 shooting.

    Nowitzki is playing the best basketball of his career, and he has his eyes set on the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

    Final Grade: B +

3. Jason Terry

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Guard Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after a three-point shot with Jose Juan Barea against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at Americ
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Terry tied an NBA record in Game 4 by making nine three-pointers. In addition, Terry led all scorers with 32 points.

    Terry’s three point barrage broke the game wide open in the second quarter and started the Mavericks' romp over the Lakers.

    Final Grade: A

2. The Mavericks' Mindset

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Guard Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball past Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Mavericks certainly didn’t come out flat in Game 4, with a commanding 3-0 series lead.

    It would have almost been acceptable if the Mavericks had laid an egg in Game 4, but the team came out and stuck the final dagger in the champs.

    Now the team can rest and get ready for Oklahoma City or Memphis in the Western Conference Finals.

    Final Grade: A

1. The Mavericks' Bench

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Guard Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during play against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texa
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Dallas’ bench was superb throughout the regular season, and the reserves have continued that success through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

    In Sunday’s series clinching victory over the Lakers, the Mavericks bench was beyond great.

    Dallas' bench scored 86 points. The entire Lakers team finished with 86 points.

    Final Grade: A