Dirk, Monta, Not as Sick as the Lakers

With stars Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis battling illness, bedazzling newcomer Rajon Rondo easily led the Dallas Mavericks to a win tonight against the moribund LA Lakers, who once again combined the worst defense seen in the NBA in many years with sub-40% shooting.

Rondo, an eight-year veteran at the young age of 28, averaged only 8.3 points per game, along with 10.8 assists and 7.5 rebounds, while with Boston, has now put in 13.3 points per game for the Mavs after hitting his season high 21 against the Lakers.

News reports the last day or so have said that the Lakers could have acquired Rondo from Boston, but that the Celtics would have had to receive injured rookie Julius Randle in the deal. In what is one of the few and far between good personnel decisions Lakers' management has made in recent years, that deal was rejected, as the powers that be must have realized that they had no assurances that Rondo, whose contract is expiring, would re-sign with the Lakers, and that their goal should
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be to build for the future with the likes of Randle, rather that try to salvage a few wins in the short term by mortgaging the future even more with an ill-advised trade for a veteran who would likely not even unpack his bags in SoCal (sarcastic Deee-Wight H reference).

In tonight’s game, the Lakers again trailed wire to wire, but also again managed a fourth-quarter comeback, with the final score showing only a four-point lose, despite the game never really being that close. The same old pervasive problems again did them in – a total lack of team defense, allowing uninhibited drives to the basket and open outside shots that countered every basket that the gold-and-black-clad Lakers could put in. But, those gold-and-black-clad Lakers again shot an embarrassing 36.4% on field goals, including 32.7% from the five starters. The Mavs’ five starters, by contrast, hit 55% of their shots.

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The Lakers have now lost two of the three games they've played during their 23-Million-Dollar-Man's vacation began, and all of Lakerdom is holding it's collective breadth that Kobe will have a full and speedy recovery from the terminal soreness that has kept him occupying a bench seat and in his designer Italian suits over these past few
heartache-filled days.

One upside of the missing millionaire has been some playing time and pro experience for Jordan Clarkson. The rookie actually spent 14 minutes on the court tonight, and his six points and three boards were his best numbers in six weeks. Of course, it is kind of hard to get any stats from the bench, but then again, look at the legendary talent playing ahead of him (sarcastic reference to the worst shooter in the NBA and the league’s absolute worst starting point guard seen in 50+ years of watching the NBA).

Due to a break in the schedule, the next Lakers’ loss will not be until Sunday against Phoenix. Rumors are the missing millionaire might make an on-court appearance, but I’m not holding my breadth.

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