Warning: Mavericks in rearview mirror appear closer than theyreally are.
The standings show only two and a half games separating the Lakers and Mavericks but the difference in class is further than the Earth to Pluto. Thursday night proved what the Mavs shouldn’t have to wait until the playoffs to learn. This is what champions look like.
A stunning second half will be overlooked thanks to some frustrations being unleashed in Staples.
The ejections of five players will no doubt be the hot topic around Stu Jackson’s office tomorrow morning. Jason Terry’s cheap shove of Steve Blake demonstrated the frail psyche of Dallas. What would follow were the ejections of Blake, Terry, Matt Barnes, Brendan Haywood and later Shannon Brown. The emotion even boiled over into the crowd as well.
A clear message was sent tonight. Too bad that message might come at a cost as suspensions will no doubt be handed out.
But let’s worry about that tomorrow.
Tonight all that matters is that telling 110-82 score line and those mere two games that now separate the Lakers from the Spurs.
One month ago it looked like getting a stranglehold on second place in the West was the only attainable goal. Now, not only is first a real possibility but grabbing the best record in the league is back in the mix too.
Funny how all this is shaping up. Amid all the public pondering of what was wrong with the Lake Show was the calm cool of champions.
While we’re handing out praise, how about more props for Andrew Bynum?
Drew’s fabulous form continued with another dominating performance. The Altered Beast went off for 18 and 13. Size dose matter but as Dallas is learning that having the size isn’t enough. It’s also about how you use all that size.
The Laker bigs bullied Chandler and Haywood and any other Mav that dared step foot in the paint. Meanwhile Lamar Odom took over during a dominant stretch at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth. LO scored 11 straight and helped to officially usher in the blowout.
This was supposed to be a playoff test. Instead it became a reminder of what champions do this time of year. While there was a definite playoff attitude, only one team showed up in a playoff state of mind. I’ll let you guess which team that was. Here’s a hint…it’s the team that has won the last two titles.