In today's post we will take a look at game two of the 2011 Western Conference Semi Finals
Like a frustrating broken record, the Lakers continued their poor play in game 2.
Here we see a two pass to the top. The Mavs switch on the shuffle pass. Blake pounds the ball trying to force a solo for the fronted Odom. The ball could easily have been swung for a center opposite but Blake decides to dribble towards the corner. Meanwhile, not a single Maverick is covering the weakside...
Let's take a look at another solo:
From a side out of bounds, the ball is swung to get Kobe a solo against Jason Kidd. The Lakers often went to the Kobe-Kidd match up in game two. This time, the Mavericks send a hard double off the cutting Odom. Because the Mavs are all sinking towards the paint, the ball is easily swung to the other side of the floor and another solo is quickly established. This time, Bynum has acquired deep position and does a good job using the basket to protect against the shot blocking of Tyson Chandler.
Once again we will see the Lakers use the offense to punish the Mavs for paying too much attention to Kobe and sagging towards the paint.
Here we see a two pass to the corner made. As Kobe comes off the screen, he sees two defenders so he passes to Fisher. Marion, who is now responsible for guarding two Lakers, has to leap from the paint to try to get to Fisher as Pau completes his banana cut and seals Dirk right under the basket. Fisher finds Gasol who rises up over the defense and drains the turnaround jumper.
Instead of forcing the action, the Lakers need to be patient and use the offense to exploit favorable matchups and the weaknesses of the Mavericks chosen tactics.
In this side out of bounds the Mavs go to a 2-3 match up zone. Odom takes advantage by initiating a center opposite, forcing Peja to guard Odom in the post. Odom makes quick work of the helpless Peja and the zone is easily defeated.
This time the Lakers run a guard quickie for Odom. Odom catches the ball with space for an iso against a helpless Dirk. Dirk incorrectly allows Odom to go away from Barea's double towards Lamar's favored left hand and quickly drills the floater.
After a made free throw, the Mavs throw in some full court pressure. Odom recognizes this and flashes to the back court for the ball. The press is broken and the Mavs are left to scramble as Odom gathers a head of steam and converts the and one layup before the Mavs defense even has a chance to set.
Even with the poor three point shooting, the Lakers can still use their size and execution to punish the Mavericks for using a sagging defense. The Lakers also have to take advantage of lineups that feature JJ Barea, Jason Terry, and Peja Stojakovic while trying various ways to make Dirk work on defense. But most of all, for the Lakers to pull off a miracle series win, they must be more mindful of each other and bring a consistent effort over the course of an entire game