Originally Posted by foodguy
what's "better team" mean? the mavs are definitely the team that is playing better right now. 16 of the last 18 games, they weren't.
why didn't they get the ball inside? did you watch? the mavs were totally packing the paint. and because the lakers couldn't hit jumpshots, they got away with it (compare to the lakers doing a drive-by doubleteam on nowitzki, snap pass to kidd, snap pass to terry or stojakovich ... 3!).
What does the last 18 games have to do with anything? Last year they weren't better. LA was a better team. Even earlier this year, Dallas hadn't fully developed their defensive game.
I did watch. What I saw was a Mavs team that presented significant mismatch problems for the Lakers. The Lakers bigs are effective at hammering people inside. But when you've got a 7 footer who is a threat to either pound the ball inside or step out and shoot 40+% from the arc, the Lakers are (or anyone is) simply defenseless. When that player is also effective at exploiting double teams AND has great scoring options to dish off to, it makes for a pretty damned good team.
As for the Mavs packing the paint, I think you have things reversed. Once it became clear that LA couldn't shoot, Carlile decided to take away the interior until they LA proved they needed to guard the perimeter. Until LA proved they could hit the shot doing anything else would have been incompetent coaching. Dallas has significantly improved its perimeter defense this year. That they didn't need it in this series doesn't mean they were bad at it, just that LA didn't make them use it.
Face it. LA isn't losing. Dallas is winning.