This opening matchup with the Mavericks was supposed to be an easy win for the Lakers. They were supposed to march through the Western Conference like conquering dictators. Los Angeles definitely would not have a problem with a reworked Dallas team minus Dirk Nowitzki. Los Angeles absolutely wouldn’t struggle with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol in the starting lineup, right?
Unfortunately, chemistry is made and not bought.
Unfortunately, money can buy everything — except an actual win.
Unfortunately, Dallas beat the Lakers in their opening home game at the Staples Center Tuesday night 99-91.
The Lakers were lead by Gasol, who went for 23-points on 8-19 shooting, 13 rebounds, six assists, and three blocks. Wasn’t he supposed to be the third or even fourth option in this offense this year? I guess no one told Pau. Gasol came out hungry for the ball and ready to shoot.
Kobe went 11-14 from the field and put together a relatively quiet 22-point evening, while Dwight Howard went for 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The real problem for the Lakers came from Metta World Peace, Nash, and the entire second team. World Peace went for a miserable 1-8 from the field, while Nash shot only 3-9 for seven points. As a team, the Lakers shot only 3-13 from downtown for a pathetic 23.1 percent from beyond the arc.
These certainly aren’t the numbers of an NBA championship caliber team or a team that took $100 million to put together. To say Laker nation is disappointed with their team’s first showing is an understatement.
On the other hand, the Mavs newly reworked team put together an impressive overall team effort. Darren Collison went for 17 points and O.J. Mayo put in 12 more to lead the Mavs in scoring. Yet, the real story is that the Mavs had six players in double digits. Don’t forget, the Mavs leader and one-man scoring machine Dirk Nowitzki sat out the game.
To say the Mavs were outmanned at every position would have been a predictable analysis prior to the game. To say the Mavs were underdogs would have been an understatement. Yet, the team-first approach of the blue collar Dallas Mavericks outplayed the glitz, glamor, and outrageous dinero of the Lakers.
It’s one thing to pay out all that money for championship rings. It’s an entirely different thing to spend all that loot and lose to the Mavs.
Photo Credit: Getty