Dallas Mavericks: Los Angeles
"I'm fine," Barea said. "My ugly nose is fine."
As for those trust issues that Lakers center Andrew Bynum brought up after Game 2 concerning L.A.'s rotations on the defensive end, Barea does expect adjustments in tonight's Game 3.
"I'm expecting them to do something different. I don't know if they're going to switch or whatever. They're going to do something," said Barea, who picked apart the Lakers defense for eight points and two assists in the fourth quarter of Game 2. "I think they're going to change what they were doing the first two games and we've got to read that early and see what happens."
It wasn't just Barea killing the Lakers off the pick-and-roll. Tyson Chandler got loose for multiple alley-oops, something L.A. will certainly have to take a close look at. The Mavs' ball movement has been excellent in the series. The Lakers have had to contend with the Mavs' wing shooters, plus Dirk Nowitzki. It's made the Lakers indecisive and a step slow in the first two games.
"Spacing the floor and having guys who can knock down the 3 helps," Jason Kidd said. "In this league you're going to give up something. For us it's just a matter of trying to get to the paint and make things happen. If you can take the layup, take the layup, but if people come in and contest the layup, you got guys that are open on the perimeter."
Does it matter which seed the Mavs ultimately end up with? Only that a slip to No. 4 will mean the Mavs, losers of four in a row, will head into the playoffs with little to no momentum. The No. 4 seed will play the No. 5 Denver Nuggets, as hot a team as it gets at the moment, but one that features a new cast of characters with no pressure moments together to lean on in the heat of a series.
|Nuggets head coach George Karl says he would prefer to face the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.
So where will the Mavs finish? Here's a quick look at Dallas' and Oklahoma City's final four games:
Dallas Mavericks (53-25)
Games against playoff teams: 1 (vs. Hornets, April 13)
Games against non-playoff teams: 3 (vs. Los Angeles Clippers, Friday; vs. Phoenix Suns, Sunday; at Houston Rockets, Monday).
Oklahoma City Thunder (52-26)
Games against playoff teams: 2 (vs. Nuggets, Friday; at Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday)
Games against non-playoff teams: 2 (at Sacramento Kings, Monday; vs. Milwaukee Bucks, April 13)
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.