Last night’s NBA games started off the 2nd round of the playoffs for the Lakers-Mavericks series and also the Bulls-Hawks series.
Both of the home teams lost these games, with the long shots either taking control early or battling back late to triumph over a fourth-quarter deficit. What were the problems with the experienced Los Angeles Lakers and skilled Bulls that triggered them to break down so significantly on their home courts?
In the first competition of the evening, the Hawks came out shooting well, where the Chicago Bulls struggled to hit shots the complete competition. The Bulls defense was as excellent as ever, but Atlanta hit plenty of challenging, contested shots. As with the series versus the Indiana Pacers, the Bulls came out flat in the first quarter and had to triumph over a 10 point deficit only to get back into the competition after the first quarter. Derrick Rose additionally hurt his ankle in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
The Los Angeles Lakers were in charge of their competition versus the Dallas Mavericks, leading by 7 coming into the fourth quarter. But then the Mavs went on a run, eventually winning the competition on a foul and turnover from the Los Angeles Lakers. Throwing up a last-second three, Kobe Bryant missed and Dallas took Competition One from the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. All competition, Dallas shot only slightly greater from the field and from three-point range to offer them the edge at the end.
Both the Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers need a tad of a wake-up call, and maybe last night’s losses will serve as that. Chicago has come out flat on almost every playoff competition thus far, ultimately making a comeback in the last quarter or last couple of minutes to pull out victories versus the Indiana Pacers. However the deeper into the playoffs they make it, the less that will work, and it did not work last evening.
The Los Angeles Lakers additionally have to start playing greater again. They sort of slumped into the All-Star Break, then had a wonderful 17-1 run, before slumping into the playoffs. The Hornets got a couple of victories, however the Mavericks are a much greater team. And now that the No. 1 Spurs have been removed from the playoffs, the tournament is truly there for the taking. Do the Los Angeles Lakers want it?