LAKERS NOTEBOOK: BULLISH MAVS JOIN RIVALS CLUB.
Byline: Howard Beck Staff Writer
EL SEGUNDO El Segundo (ĕl sēgŭn`dō), industrial city (1990 pop. 15,223), Los Angeles co., S Calif., on Santa Monica Bay; inc. 1917. Its products include navigation and computer systems, aircraft parts, office machines, telephone apparatus, and -- It's not that the Lakers need another rivalry, what with Portland, San Antonio San Antonio (săn ăntō`nēō, əntōn`), city (1990 pop. 935,933), seat of Bexar co., S central Tex., at the source of the San Antonio River; inc. 1837. , Utah and Sacramento all vying for grudge matches throughout the season. But the Dallas Mavericks The introduction of this article is too short.
To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, it should be expanded. , who visit Staples Center This article
* Its neutrality is disputed.
* It may contain original research or unverifiable claims.
* It does not cite any references or sources. tonight, are bullying their way onto the list, whether the Lakers want them there or not. has multiple issues:
Dallas seems an unlikely rival. The Mavs have beaten the Lakers just once in the last five years and haven't had a winning season in 11 years. But they qualify for consideration because of the actions of their coach and their owner.
Mavs coach Don Nelson helped popularize pop·u·lar·ize
tr.v. pop·u·lar·ized, pop·u·lar·iz·ing, pop·u·lar·iz·es
1. To make popular: A famous dancer popularized the new hairstyle.
2. the Hack-a-Shaq tactic of intentionally fouling Shaquille O'Neal Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal (pronounced "shak-KEEL") (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq, is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). to make him shoot foul shots. O'Neal has never forgiven Nelson for that.
Owner Mark Cuban's list of offenses runs longer. Last season, he capped off the Mavericks' season-ending victory over the Lakers - Dallas' first since 1995 - with a ridiculous postgame celebration at Reunion Arena .
Then Cuban helped foil the Lakers' attempts to acquire Christian Laettner Christian Donald Laettner (born August 17, 1969 in Angola, New York) is an American entrepreneur and former professional basketball player who played 13 seasons in the NBA on six different teams. He started for the 1991 and 1992 NCAA champion Duke University Blue Devils. from Detroit and later snagged the forward-center himself.
And while Cuban was spending lavishly on his team and acquiring every available body, he took pot shots at Lakers management for penny-pinching to avoid the luxury tax. That touched off a week-long debate, via the press, with Lakers coach Phil Jackson
Philip Douglas "Phil" Jackson (born September 17, 1945 in Deer Lodge, Montana) is the current coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, an American professional basketball team. .
Cuban often travels with his team, so he and Jackson might get the chance to renew that discussion tonight.
On top of all of that, the Mavericks happen to have their best team in a decade and should make the playoffs, setting up a potential first- or second-round meeting with the Lakers in the spring.
``It should be a real interesting game,'' Jackson said. ``Dallas is playing well, they've turned themselves around, and I understand he (Cuban) has been traveling with the team. And I'm looking forward to the resurgence of the Dallas Mavericks.''
And a resurgence of his verbal melee with Cuban? ``Oh, we'll see what it brings,'' Jackson said.
--Bench Rider: J.R. Rider played a season-low two minutes Friday against the Spurs, but this time the short stint was not a disciplinary measure.
``I just thought that we needed to have some real concise execution out there,'' Jackson said, ``and he's still a little bit of a novice out there in what we're trying to do in situations where we get overplayed. We had a lot of ball pressure and we needed some guards out there, ballhandlers out there that really understood what we had to accomplish in getting into an operational space.''
Rider has been frustrated with his playing time, so Jackson sought to reassure him afterward.
``I went to him after the game and told him, just confirmed with him, that you're still in my plans, but this is that kind of game,'' Jackson said.
The Rider situation has calmed down since his late arrival and subsequent blowups Tuesday and Wednesday. An L.A.-based NBA NBA
1. National Basketball Association
2. National Boxing Association
NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (= security official is, however, documenting Rider's recent threat toward reporters and will be filing a report with the commissioner's office.
--Scorefest: Kobe Bryant's 43-point effort Friday raised his average to 27.9 points, within eight-tenths of a point of league-leading Jerry Stackhouse Jerry Darnell Stackhouse (born November 5 1974 in Kinston, North Carolina) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays both shooting guard and small forward for the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. of Detroit. O'Neal (25.8) ranks sixth in the league.
The Lakers pair could become just the fifth set of teammates since 1971-72 to finish in the top 10 in scoring and combine for 50-plus points per game. They could also become just the fourth pair of teammates to finish in the top five.
The last Laker duo to finish in the top 10 was Gail Goodrich Gail Charles Goodrich Jr. (born April 23 1943 in Los Angeles, California) is a former professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is best-known for his part in the Los Angeles Lakers' 1971-72 season. (fifth/25.9) and Jerry West (seventh/25.8) in 1971-72.
LAKERS vs. DALLAS
Tipoff: 6:30 p.m., Staples Center.
TV/Radio: Fox Sports Net; 570-AM, 1330-AM (Spanish).
Lakers (12-5) update: They haven't lost at home since Nov. 1, winning eight straight at Staples Center. That streak gets several tests this week, with Dallas, Philadelphia and Seattle visiting.
Mavericks (11-6) update: They're halfway through a four-game road trip, which began with a loss Thursday at Portland. Coach Don Nelson missed that game to have a biopsy of his prostate, and ex-Lakers coach Del Harris filled in. Nelson returned to the bench for Saturday's game at Golden State. The Mavs have been slowed lately by injuries to key reserves Hubert Davis (groin strain) and Greg Buckner (sprained foot).
- Howard Beck
Box: LAKERS vs. DALLAS (see text)