Too Much Blow, Not Enough Out

I think it’s safe to say that losing by 35 points to the Lakers is an aberration. Los Angeles is undoubtedly the class of the West and one of the best squads in the league, but to be so completely and utterly embarrassed requires a very special level of futility. So special a level that we haven’t seen anything close from the Mavs all season, and hopefully won’t again. This game was absolutely a statement for the Lakers, but the Mavs have the benefit of moving on, trying to forget, and preparing for next week’s rematch.

via Los Angeles Lakers 131, Dallas Mavericks 96 » The Two Man Game.

Rubber match will be huge. Why?

Mavs took down LA in their second game of the season. It blindsided Lakers fans. Their fans were looking for 72. To be taken down that soon, that thoroughly, was a bit unsettling. But, of course, it was only the second game of the season and they didn’t have Pau (nor did they have him for much of the night after a hammy tweak, nor Artest). So while the loss was unsettling, it didn’t mean a whole lot. It was a huge win for the Mavs to announce that they were going to be a force this season.

Last night’s game? The opposite, a nice way for LA to get back on track after looking like suck for five games. But it was almost TOO much of a win.  This wasn’t just a 12 point solid victory over the Mavs like they usually pull. This was a(nother) Sunday night win over a team coming off a back-to-back in which DJ MFREAKINGBenga was nailing 10 foot jumpers. It was an absurd win. I’m not taking anything away from LA, but these games happen. This is not a specific intent to take away from the Lakers. The same could be said if Boston were to blowout Orlando, or how Orlando dismantled Cleveland late in the season last year by 30 some odd at one point. Orlando ended up being the better team, just like the Lakers will. But games which feature margins this large do not present an accurate representation of either team, unless LA’s on one side and the Nets are on the other.

So that last game should be really fascinating. Teams tend to bounce back from getting destroyed. But LA is good enough to roll this team by 15-20 if they’re feeling it that night. They’ve both got an impressive win that was too impressive. Maybe we can get a fair fight next game if the fates allow.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.