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Old 03-17-2002, 10:54 PM   #1
THEPROFESSOR
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Post Can the Lakers Be Beaten?

Tonight I've pondered this question and now I'll ask you. Can the Lakers Be Beaten? Think about it. Can the Shaq - Kobe - Zen Master train be derailed? This years contenders seem worthy.

The Dallas Mavericks made the trade-of-the-year landing Lafrentz and Nick "The Quick". Improving an offense already loaded with young guns. How about C-Webb and Sacramento? At home the Kings are strong like Hercules - but away they get beat like a 4 year old at K-mart.

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Old 03-18-2002, 01:57 AM   #2
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I think the Lakers can be beaten. I don't think they will though. The thing about the top teams in the West right now, the Lakers, the Kings and the Mavericks is only the Lakers play defense most of the time. Dallas is #1 in offense (ppg). Sacramento is 2. The Lakers are #4.

Defensively, however is a different story, Sacramento is #23 in total defense (points allowed per game) and the Mavericks are dead last at #29 even behind Golden State, while the Lakers are #8 in defense. Huge difference there.

If the Kings get home court on the Lakers, I still think the Kings can take them to 6 or maybe even 7 games before losing. I hope I'm wrong though because I'm rooting for the Kings.

The Mavericks lost again to the Lakers tonight. It was understandable because it was at Staples. But they've now lost 24 out of their last 25 games to the Lakers and 41 out of their last 44 games to the Lakers. The Kings don't have a great record against the Lakers but they've done better than that. The Mavericks really need to win the next game with the Lakers at Dallas. They need to get rid of that psychological block that the Lakers have on them before the playoffs start or I don't think they'll have a chance in a 7-game series with the Lakers either.
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Old 03-18-2002, 08:12 AM   #3
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Welcome to the SCMB! :wavey:

I think it is unlikely they are beaten, they are just too good and too balanced with inside-outside. No one in the West can stop a healthy Shaq and Kobe is perhaps the best player in the league. But if Shaq is unhealthy, that's when this team becomes vulnerable. It's all up to his bie toe.
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Old 03-18-2002, 06:27 PM   #4
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They can be beaten, but it's something restricted to luck and a bunch of great players. The Lakers are really balanced, and Shaq is unstoppable. But the toe... the toe... oh, the toe!
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Old 03-18-2002, 11:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome.

I believe there's a chink in their armour. Los Angeles hasn't look as dominating as in the past. Member Air-canada correctly coined "the toe- the toe". Can it hold up? Will the off injured Shaq be there for long haul? My guess- the injury will be a factor. It is also my opinion that Mavs head-coach Don Nelson will employ the hack-a-Shaq. With a four-headed center rotation to give away fouls - Nelson should make the controversial call.
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Old 03-19-2002, 06:11 PM   #6
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Hack-a-Shaq might be used, but Shaq is less productive if you
get him running, get him on the outside, you'll be all right, unless you can't defend this huge guy, which most teams can't. He's unstoppable unless he stops himself. What I mean by this is that Phil Jackson is a smart man; he will remove Shaq if the toe starts hurting. This should make for reduced minutes and therefore reduced points, which in turn leads to a slow in productivity for the Lakers. This halt is just what the Kings and Mavs need to beat the Lakers. If Shaq plays too long, he's harming both himself and the team's chances.
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Old 03-19-2002, 06:44 PM   #7
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Having the big fella run down that toe would be smart but what if it isn't a factor - WHAT THEN?

I find it to be unsmart to rely on an injury to flair up. This is why I like the Mavs. The trade for Lafrentz not Van exel will show to be more valuable.
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Old 03-20-2002, 12:19 AM   #8
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Welcome to the Board Mr. Professor. I think the Lakers will three-peat. They are now the New York Yankees of Basketball. I've been impressed with Portland, Dallas and Sacramento, but it will be almost impossible to beat the Lakers in LA or during the postseason. At least that is what history teaches me.
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Old 03-20-2002, 12:23 AM   #9
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They were beaten tonight by Dallas 114-98, but the Lakers beat them last night. It would be a great series if these two teams play in the postseason. Steve Nash led Dallas with 30 points tonight. Michael Finley had 22. Center Rael LaFrentz had 13 rebounds and scored 12 points. They have a very good offense. But will it show up against the Lakers in the playoffs?
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Old 03-20-2002, 10:17 AM   #10
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Simply put, with Shaq not a 100%, the Lakers were overwhelmed by all the offensive fire power Dallas has in its arsenal. Whoever plays the best defense (Dallas or Sac) will have the best chance to win the West. One team that has interestingly fell out of contention lately is the T-Wolves - on a 7-game slide.
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Old 03-20-2002, 01:33 PM   #11
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Default Good points

All good points!

The win shows the Mavs can play solid defense against LA. A key was Kobe's inability to get off.

Shaq did git his points but Kobe didn't get his. Factor in the depth in scoring of the Mavs offensive attack and you have a victory. This will get interesting.

In addition, I'm predicting a huge playoff individual perfomance from Dirkster - Dirk Nowitski. The match-up problems he causes will be magnified especially against the Lakers. History teaches us Los Angeles struggles with the elite power forwards. Rasheed Wallace, Chris Webber, and so on. So I must say the Mavericks are a team to BEAT LA.

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Old 03-20-2002, 04:38 PM   #12
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The thing about Dallas is that they are packed with talent. Although Nick Van Exel isn't what I'd call a "money" player, Raef LaFrentz is a big help to Dallas. Steve Nash, fellow Canadian, is one of the best point guards in the league. Michael Finley is a machine. He hasn't been known to be as spectacular as Vince or Kobe, but he is productive. Dirk Nowitzki is perhaps Dallas' greatest force. There is not much this guy can't do. Take a 6-11 power forward, pack in some shooting skills, handles and smarts and you've got Nowitzki. Dallas is the only team that can beat the Lakers in the playoffs, because Sacramento is not committed defensively, which could hurt them.
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Old 03-20-2002, 04:43 PM   #13
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You bring up an excellent issue of "money" players. The only money player in this match-up is Kobe. I've told my radio listeners on several occasions about who's money and who isn't.

Contrary to popular demand, Shaq is not money. He is dominate but Hack-a-Shaq works when used correctly. A team can inch back because of terrible free-throw shooting on the big fellas part. Kobe, on the other hand, is a superb free-throw shooter. Give him the ball late and it probably lights out.
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Old 03-20-2002, 04:49 PM   #14
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Shaq and his free throws... hmm! We could talk about this for years and one conclusion would be made: Shaq can't shoot free throws!!!! Oh come on, he doesn't even use the proper technique, he does it like he was 10 feet tall, which doesn't work.

On other matters, you're a radio broadcaster?!
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Old 03-20-2002, 05:02 PM   #15
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Yeah, I do a sports radio show down on the Suncoast of Florida. It's much more fun than I ever imagined.

Debating the local fans while expressing your opinion for everyone to hear is a pretty cool concept. Add in the fact, I can be controversial and you have something.
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