By Jason Wojciechowski on April 9, 2003 at 4:25 PM
So once again, the Lakers played far from their best game to beat the Mavericks.
People talk about the mental blocks of teams like Sacramento, but what about Dallas? I'm not even going to quote the ridiculous number of times the Lakers have beat them in the past x years. It's in every story every time they play, so I don't need to repeat it.
I'm just happy the role players stepped up and shot the ball reasonably well.
I'm happy that the Lakers only committed as many turnovers as the other team.
I'm happy that Samaki Walker never gets playing time, but Jannero Pargo and Mark Madsen and Kareem Rush do.
If the Mavs manage to fall to third (if the Spurs overtake them for the top spot in the Midwest) and the Lakers stay in the sixth seed, I'll be a happy man. I like the Lakers' chances against Dallas in the first round. They'd still probably have to go through Sacramento and San Antonio to get back to the Finals, and I'm not pleased with their showings this year against the Spurs, but at least some momentum in the first round could be a good thing.
But maybe I'd better not make boasts like that, because I'm liable to see the Lakers get swept in the first round that way.