EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) – The Los Angeles Lakers will have to pick on somebody their own size to make it to another Western Conference finals.
For all of Kobe Bryant’s brilliance, the Lakers’ back-to-back title runs were built on the defensive dominance and offensive mismatches created by their two 7-footers, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Few teams can match Los Angeles’ sheer size, and even fewer can overcome it in the paint.
But here come the Dallas Mavericks, whose roster is stacked with three talented 7-footers: Tyson Chandler, Brendan Haywood and superstar Dirk Nowitzki.
The Lakers won’t control the game from the inside out in this meeting of two perennial playoff teams that somehow haven’t run into each other in the postseason since 1988.
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