What the Lakers need to do.
The Lakers need to realize that their strength is up front, particularly their extremely long front line. They also have Kobe who is a great scorer, but they live and die by the front line.
Ron Artest is out for game 3 which might help them. He clogs up the offense too much. They need to start Lamar Odom and put Ron Artest on the bench when he comes back. The Lakers also need to bench Fisher and start someone else. Probably Shannon Brown. Shannon Brown is longer, quicker, faster, stronger, and younger than Derek Fisher. He will be better on defense and is a threat as a weak side shot-blocker. He is also better as a finisher on the fast break. He is a real energy guy and crowd pleaser which helps.
Shannon Brown isn't a great offensive creator or true point guard so I think he should be used primarily on defense, fast breaks and as a weak side finisher. The Lakers need to run the offense through Lamar Odom the rest of the way. He should feed the big men first, then look for Kobe. If those options are closed then he needs to look for his own shot.
The Lakers have a great scoring guard, but their strength is the Gasol/Bynum combo. Their ace in the hole is Lamar Odom. With Odom starting at the 3 he presents a matchup nightmare for the Mavs. Chandler can contain Bynum, but Pau can overtake Dirk in the paint. Odom would be a matchup nightmare for Shawn Marion. Odom is longer, quicker, and has a ton of moves. He can take him to the basket or post him up. I think if Odom gets close to a triple double the Lakers win game 3.
Lamar Odom needs to go into "Rookie Magic Johnson Game 6" mode the rest of the way.
He needs to orchestrate, pass, score, and rebound at a high level and make sure the big guys get involved. He needs to make sure that Kobe gets his shots in good spots on the floor, and look out for a cutting Shannon Brown on the wings.
The Mavs bring a couple of small shooters off the bench in Jason Terry and JJ Barea. The Lakers should counter with Fisher and Steve Blake. If one of those guys gets hot then he can play down the stretch in place of Shannon Brown (or make offense/defense substitutions).
I would bring Ron Artest as the main go-to scorer off the bench relying on him for post-ups and tough play on defense. I would use Artest as a 3/4. Then bring another guy off the bench to play up front for a few minutes. Maybe Joe Smith has something left.
But, they need to play through Lamar Odom, get Gasol and Bynum going, then get Kobe his shots in optimum scoring opportunities. Brown would help the back court defense, and with Odom starting the front line is really long and versatile. Fisher and Blake are the back up shooters who can change the pace. Ron Artest should be the new 1st option on offense and the designated enforcer. Bring those 3 guys in off the bench to go with a couple of other guys (preferrably a big man and another forward). Matt Barnes at 3 and Artest at 4 could work.
Later in the game when Bynum, Pau, and Kobe need a rest they can go small with Fisher and Blake in the back court, Shannon Brown or Matt Barnes at the 3, Ron Artest at the 4, and Lamar Odom at the 5.
The Lakers bench is very thin and very mediocre anyway so they might as well utilize it just to beat people up (Artest), slow the game down, and hopefully hit some threes (Blake, Fisher). Kobe-Pau-Odom-Bynum is their Big Four and they should MAXIMIZE their talents. With Shannon Brown in the lineup he is not as much of a liability at point guard, and he is more athletic. That new starting lineup would maximize the Lakers' size and also put them in a better position to fast break. Use the starting five to get a big lead, and then bring in the bench to run minutes off the clock and hold onto the lead. If they can break the game open with some stops and some clutch 3's then great.
This new strategy gives the Lakers its best chance to beat the Mavs as well as to go to the Finals and perhaps beat the Heat.
I was just thinking the same thing...that Artest being suspended is a BLESSING in disguise because Lamar Odom starting evens the odds for the Lakers. Maybe I'm just grasping at false hope, but I have a weird feeling the Lakers MAY pull off one tonite at least...
Shannon is starting at the 2 and Kobe is moving to the 3. Shannon usually has a pretty good game when he gets to start sg. More plays are actually ran for him which are the same ran for Kobe where he finds himself coming off of screans more often than with the second unit where he ends up having to create for himself too often. I definitely expect to see L.O. getting his Magic on a bit tonight. Like I've said before, Dal may be ahead 2-0, but they have been known to let they're leads slip.
Its not like they were BLOWN OUT in BOTH GAMES!! They had a chance to be up 2-0 RIGHT NOW!! But their lack of transition defense and inside turmoil is destroying the team..They have the talent to win 4 STraight Games
My bad,... looks like L.O. is starting the 3. Could be a big game from him. Hopefully he gets to be the primary facilitator and go back to his 06' Pippen role for the night.
That's exactl what I'm seeing Rude. A call in either direction differently, or a shot fall and we're talking about LAL taking care of business. Just hope Odom is gonna have his long ball ready tonight to go with a high agression level and keep his motor going at all times. Gotta eat all those loose balls and off ball cuts that lead to foul calls.
Can't bench Fisher or cut his mins since Blake sucks and the Lakers really don't have another PG.
Fisher isn't the only problem its the rest of the team too.
You don't want Kobe running the team they need his energy on offense, 81 pts last game there offense is struggling.
If Odom starts at SF and is defending Dirk that means Gasol has to guard Marion.
Whenever the Mavs his this lineup on the floor the Lakers are in trouble.
Kidd, Terry, Marion, Dirk, Chandler
Starting Shannon Brown at the point would give the Lakers a superior defender against Jason Kidd. Bynum defends the paint, and I think they should try Pau Gasol on Dirk, with Odom playing the passing lanes and as a help defender when Shawn Marion doesn't have the ball. Or put Kobe on Marion and let Jason Terry try to shoot over Odom.
They NEED to start Odom at the 3, run the offense through Odom and move Brown to point guard as a better defender against Jason Kidd. Fisher and Artest would give them two scoring options off the bench. Maybe Barnes and Blake can hit a couple of shots off the bench.
The main thing is have Bynum in there to keep Chandler off the boards, put a better defender on Kidd (Shannon Brown), throw different looks at Dirk (Pau, Odom, Artest) with Kobe playing the other guard (Terry or Stevenson) and let Shawn Marion try to beat you.
If Pau is on Dirk the main thing would be to get a hand in his face and keep him off the low blocks. Also, deny him the ball at the 3 point line. If Dirk goes around him then Bynum should be there to alter the shot. Odom could play great help D. If you put Odom on Dirk then the same thing holds, get up on him, get a hand on his face, and keep him off the blocks and box him out. Odom is a bit quicker if Dirk decides to drive. Then use Pau on Marion (main thing would be to keep him off the boards and try to alter his shot, give him a perimeter jump shot and don't let him drive). The Mavs need to worry about how they will guard a front line of Bynum, Pau, and Odom and still have a defender to run around with Kobe Bryant all night.
If the Mavs go small with Kidd, Terry (or Barea), Marion, Dirk, and Chandler the Lakers could go with Brown on Kidd, Fisher, Bynum at center and 2 of these 4 (Kobe, Odom, Artest, or Pau) at the forward spots.