Mavs Shock Lakers 99-91
Laker fans scratch their heads to figure out what happened.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Money can buy Dwight Howard, but it can't buy wins. Mavs top Lakers 99-91 is season opener.
The Lakers were supposed to be the Kings of the West. If there was any question as to who owned the Western Conference it was theoretically removed when Oklahoma City traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets on Monday, yet somehow the Mavs never got the memo.
The Mavs don't have all the impressive names in their lineup that the Lakers purchased, but the Mavs came out Tuesday night and played their own brand of team basketball and won. They had six players in double digits and played unselfish basketball throughout. The Mavs did all of this and managed to top a team with five starting NBA All-Stars, a $100 million payroll, and Dirk Nowitzki on the bench.
Gasol, Bryant, and Howard all had solid games for the Lakers, but the team shot poorly from 3-point land (3-13) and had a lackluster showing from their second team. Dallas simply fought the whole way, made the extra pass, and let their depth lead them to victory. The game was close throughout, but the Mavs surged in the 3rd quarter and the Lakers were surprisingly unable to bounce back in the fourth. Kobe's 22-point performance on 11-14 shooting was impressive, but quiet. He wasn't a dominating force and Howard appeared more of a role player than the best center in the lead with his solid, but not overwhelming 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Clearly, the Lakers still need to workout team chemistry. They reminded me of the Miami Heat when their Big Three first united. They were oozing talent, but hadn't figured out yet how the pieced fit together. The Lakers have so much talent on their team it's unbelievable, but the question is if they can figure out how all that talent converts to dominance on the court.