The Lakers season opener didn’t go as well as some had hoped as they were embarrassed at home by the Mavericks 99-91, a team that featured 9 new players, none of them frontline stars.
Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman were both sidelined by injuries. Dallas was led by newly acquired point guard Darren Collison, who finished with 17 points, 4 assists and Brandan Wright who contributed 14 points and 5 rebounds.
One the biggest concerns entering the season for the Lakers was chemistry, and it was clear the preseason didn't offer them enough time to develop it. Brown said it might take until Christmas before the Lakers are comfortable with each other.
The Lakers moved the ball well in the first quarter when they had 10 assists, but totaled just 14 more the rest of the game. Nash became one of the game's greatest point guards during his days in Phoenix and Dallas by controlling the offense and tempo and finding teammates for open shots. But with the Princeton offense, the ball was often out of his hands.
Another concern of the Lakers is their health. Howard said his back felt fine in just his third game since offseason surgery, though Brown thought Howard was "still a little off" with his reaction time. Kobe Bryant played with a strained right foot, and scored 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Still, he had no explosion, no dunks and no free throws.
Howard had 19 points and 10 rebounds while missing 11 of his 14 free throws before fouling out with 2:02 to play. The teams overall performance from the free throw line was horrendous, missing 19 free throws in 31 attempts for a dreadful 38.7%.
Lakers have now lost 11 straight games dating back to last year’s playoffs and will try to get their first win as they visit the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night.