Dallas Mavericks (7-7) at Los Angeles Lakers (11-1)
The last time the Mavs played the Lakers, LA managed to only just eke out a win. Dallas come to town with high hopes and a fully-loaded Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk’s been firing of late, averaging a handy 28.8 points and 11.6 boards over the last five games. Even tho’ the Lakers boast one of the best teams in the NBA at both ends of the court, Dallas would have to rate themselves for this game.
LA. Quite simply they are the cream of the crop at the moment. Used to be that if you shut down Kobe, then you shut down LA. Not any more. Even when Kobe’s not hot now, LA are winning… and by a league-best average of 14+ points per. You can’t just stop #24, you have to stop the entire team. No-one’s playing big minutes yet, largely because they haven’t needed to. It’s a well-balanced team that comes at you from all angles. Phil’s got them playing very, very well.
Dallas have found recent form that might come close to doing that. Having won 5 on the trot, not only is Nowitzki playing well, but you can also look to wily ol’ veterans Jason Terry and J-Kidd as well. Funny that. You have to wonder if it’s the lesser impact of a somewhat distracting owner.
The Lakers will be looking to extend their own 5 game winning streak, and move to an impressive 12-1 thus far this season.
I see that happening. LA by 17.