DALLAS -- No Kobe Bryant doesn't necessarily mean the Dallas Mavericks will have an easy time handling the Los Angeles Lakers when the two clubs collide at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at American Airlines Center.
At least that's what coach Rick Carlisle is publicly saying.
Carlisle believes the Lakers (2-2) are still a formidable foe, Kobe Bryant or no Kobe Bryant. He looks at the Laker roster and sees Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Hill, Steve Blake, Shawne Williams, Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and Steve Nash -- he turns 40 in February -- and insist that the Mavs (2-1) better amp it up a notch or two against Laker coach Mike D'Antoni's group or they'll end up on the wrong end of the final score.
"It’s different (without Bryant), but they’ve got a lot of guys playing well,'' Carlisle said after Monday's practice. "Kaman’s shooting 58% and making jump shots, Gasol is making three's and jumpshots, Hill’s doing a great job of rebounding for them, and they’ve got a lot of guys that are stepping up in
A lot of guys that even some hardcore NBA fans probably haven't heard of.
"D'Antoni does a great job of taking guys that aren’t household names and turning them into players,'' Carlisle said. "Xavier Henry is one of their leading scorers -- he's making three's this year.
"Wesley Johnson's playing well, Meeks is continuing to shoot the ball well. They’ve got a lot of guys that are dangerous.''
Bryant, by the way, is out indefinitely with a torn Achilles tendon.
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter