The (1-7) Los Angeles Lakers are in Texas for a matchup with the (4-4) Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. The Lakers had some positive moments against the Orlando Magic, a game that featured 25 lead changes, also 15 ties that came down to a Nikola Vucevic game-winning turnaround jumper, best described as revolving around the positive (holding the Magic to 40-percent shooting from the field), the negative (allowing 23 offensive rebounds, providing 23 extra possessions) and the egregious (allowing the Magic 46-percent three-point shooting, Orlando made 13-of-28).
The Lakers hope to exact some revenge against the Mavericks and simultaneously show what they learned in the second game of their season series after losing to the veteran laden Mavericks by ten, in a game in which Dallas led by as many as 18 points. The purple and gold are in the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area seeking to place continued improvement in several areas on display. While in Dallas the Lakers could take a moment to visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, as well as experience the historic sites in the West End Historic District, furthermore tour the African American Museum or just have a meal at the Food Tours of America.
The Los Angeles Lakers have lost four straight games in Dallas after previously winning five straight. The purple and gold are 5-5 in their last 10 games at American Airlines Center. The purple and gold lost to Dallas 103-93 at the Staples Center on 11/1/15. Tonight’s game matches the Dallas Mavericks ranked 15th (102.1) in the NBA in scoring against the Los Angeles Lakers, who fell to 16th (101.6). Until proven otherwise, success or failure for the Lakers depends heavily on their defense, tied for 26th in the NBA. In addition, the Lakers need to slow down Dirk Nowitzki, one of the hottest players in the league.
The 37-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, leads the Mavericks in scoring, averaging 18.9 points per game, shooting 55.3-percent from the field, that includes an amazing 51.6-percent from behind the three-point arc. This young Lakers team, still figuring things out, has consistently taken one step backwards after any positive steps forward. The Lakers have actually made improvements on defense, but the reality is the results of said improvements are far from complete, consistent nor has the end result shown up in the outcome of the game in terms of wins.
Moreover, the purple and gold must be aware of what their opponents want to do, in conclusion the Lakers need to do a better job of running guys off of the three-point line, make a collective effort to box out and rebound by committee. There are still inconsistencies in Head Coach Byron Scott’s rotations, although it would nice to see the Lakers come out with a starting lineup of point guard D’Angelo Russell, shooting guard Jordan Clarkson, small forward Julius Randle, power forward Larry Nance and center Roy Hibbert. The reason, Larry Nance Jr. consistently plays aggressive, boxes his man out, challenges shots, rebounds and his activity and defensive ability could give Dirk Nowitzki problems.
The Lakers, offensively, need to play aggressive, trust the offense, move the basketball, utilizing excellent ball movement and good player movement to find high percentage shots. For success the purple and gold, defensively, need to communicate on defense, find and stop the ball, get back in transition, play better against the pick-and-roll play, stop the dribble penetration of the guards, control the boards, stay attached to their men and quickly rotate out to open shooters.
Lakers: D. Russell, J. Clarkson, M. Peace, J. Randle, R. Hibbert
Mavericks: R. Felton, J. Jenkins, C. Parsons, D. Nowitski, Z. Pachulia
Tip-off: 5:30 PM PST
• Los Angeles: TWC Sportsnet (Bill MacDonald & Stu Lantz)
• Dallas: Fox Sports Southwest (Mark Followill & Derek Harper)
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (John Ireland & Mychal Thompson)
• Dallas : KESN 103.3 (Chuck Cooperstein & Brad Davis)
• Kobe Bryant (Sore Back) Out