Dallas Mavericks (0-1 0-1 ATS) vs. L.A. Lakers (1-0 0-1 ATS) Staples Center, Los Angeles CA 10:30 PM EST Friday October 30, 2009 on ESPN
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Mavericks +8.5 / Lakers -8.5
Even though the season is only in the first week these teams already seem to be heading in different directions. OK, so one game does not a season make, but the defending champions looked solid in their opening win, especially Andrew Bynum, and Dallas looked far from solid in their season opening loss to the Washington Wizards, as besides Dirk Nowitzki no other Dallas player was making any shots. The Lakers hope to get Pau Gasol back for this game while the Mavs are still without Josh Howard, who averaged 18 ppg last season, for another week or so. Kobe will get his points, but can the Mavs stop the other Lakers from scoring and dominating the boards in La La Land tonight?
In their opening game where the Lakers received their championship rings they beat the cross-town Clippers 99-92. Hey, big shock that Kobe was the high scorer in the game going for 33 points on 11/26 shooting including going 11/12 from the charity stripe. What is a little bit surprising is that Bynum had such a huge game going for 26 points and grabbing 13 boards. For the game the Lakers shot 35/85 from the floor for a FG% of 41.2%. On D the Lakers allowed the Clippers to shoot 39/87 for a FG% of 44.8%.
In their opening game the Mavericks lost to the Washington Wizards 102-91 on Tuesday night. The high scorer for the game for Dallas was Dirk Nowitzki going for 34 points on 10/25 shooting and he grabbed 9 boards. For the game the Mavs shot only 30/76 for a FG% of 39.5%. On D that Mavs allowed the Wizards to shoot 39/84 for a FG% of 46.4%.
Even though the Lakers won in their first game their shooting was a little cold, as they only hit on 4 of their 17 3-pointers and they missed 12 free throws.
Dallas can only hope that Bynum does not have another monster night, as the Dallas D is not strong in the interior. Erik Dampier will have to play solid D on Bynum and not allow him to dominate the glass and get easy inside buckets.
Dirk has to get some help on offense in this game to pull off the upset. In their opening loss the 2nd leading scorer was Shawn Marion with 16 points, but no other Mavs player had more than 13 and super-scoring 6th man Jason Terry only had 12 points and struggled with his stroke only hitting on 4 of his 15 shots including going only 1/6 from 3-point land.
Marion may be the key, as he has to give the Mavs some offense and he has to get out and run the floor to get some easy buckets.
Since the Mavs are without Howard and their scoring options are limited Jason Kidd may have to run an up-tempo offense and get into a shootout. The Mavs do not have the talent to play a half-court game with the Lakers. They only scored 11 fast break points against the Wizards and they lost that game by 11 points.
Dallas has to hit the boards, as Bynum and Lamar Odom
will kill them if they don’t.
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If Artest and Odom play good D on Nowitzki and don’t allow him to have a big scoring game the Lakers will be in good shape.
If Pau Gasol comes back and plays like his old self in this game the Mavs may be in trouble.
On the injury front SF Josh Howard is out for Dallas and PF Pau Gasol is day to day for L.A.
Jason’s Pick: It’s a ittle surprising that the point spread is not bigger for this game seeing how the Mavs struggled and they are without one of their better players (Howard). I think the supporting cast of the Lakers will be the difference, as they will help Kobe out and dominate this game on the glass and on the offensive end. Add to the fact that the Lakers are at home and it spells a big Lakers win so take L.A. and the points.