Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers: My Top 10 Observer-ations

Mavs-Blazers.jpg
Game 1   at Dallas       Sat.                    8:30 (ESPN)

Game 2   at Dallas       Tue.                   8:30 (TNT)

Game 3   at Portland   Thurs., April 21   9:30 (TNT)

Game 4   at Portland   Sat., April 23      4:00 (TNT)

Game 5   at Dallas       Mon., April 25    TBD

Game 6   at Portland   Thurs., April 28   TBD

Game 7   at Dallas       Sat., April 30      TBD

10. While you were sleeping, the Mavs came thiiissss close to being the No. 2 seed. But, alas, after coughing up a 20-point, fourth-quarter lead the Lakers survived to beat the Kings in Sacramento in overtime and shove Dallas to the No. 3 seed. Kobe Bryant and his foul mouth made a game-tying 3-pointer to force overtime. He misses that shot and the Mavs would have the homecourt advantage in a second-round series with the Lakers. Of course, he doesn't miss that shot. He's Kobe. Sorry, Mavs fans. Beating the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round will be tough. Beating the Lakers without homecourt advantage will be improbable, if not impossible.

9. As for their best-of-7 series against the Blazers, it's troubling for the Mavs. The season series was 2-2, with each team winning twice on its home court. None of the games were decided by more than eight points, though Portland essentially blew Dallas out April 3 in the Rose Garden. Let's be honest, it's not a great matchup for Dallas.

8. The Mavs have historically struggled with Portland in the playoffs, losing first-round series in 1985 (thanks to big baskets from somebody named Audie Norris) and 1990 (swept out by Clyde Drexler), and almost blowing a 3-0 lead in the first round in 2003 before winning a Game 7 at AAC (behind Dirk Nowitzki's 31 points, 11 rebounds). The Blazers have length in the form of LaMarcus Aldridge, Gerald Wallace, Marcus Camby and Nicolas Batum and veteran guard play from Andre Miller and Brandon Roy, whose season appeared in jeopardy after two knee surgeries. Portland is also a different team than Dallas beat twice early in the season, after acquiring the athletic Wallace at the trade deadline.

7. By the way, I hope the Spurs enjoyed resting their stars and giving up a game via a D-League outfit Tuesday night against the Lakers. Karma, bitches. San Antonio, suddenly playing its precious trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli (who left the game with a hyperextended elbow) lost last night to Phoenix and is now the No. 2 overall seed in the playoffs. So if it's Bulls-Spurs in the NBA Finals, Game 1 is at the United Center. Idiots.

6. If I could wish one thing for the Mavs vs. Portland it's that Tyson Chandler stays out of foul trouble. Without him playing a lot of minutes at high intensity, Dallas will lose this series.

5. Went to last night's 32-point blowout of the Hornets at AAC and all was fine and dandy except ... Roddy Beaubois limped off the court favoring his foot. Yes, the same foot he broke last summer. Of course, Roddy hasn't been great this season. Fact is the Mavs are a better team with DeShawn Stevenson starting. Some of the loss of Caron Butler was supposed to be covered up by Roddy. But it ain't happening. If healthy, Beaubois will be only a bit player this post-season.

4. Which Jason Terry will show up? The one who can energize the Mavs with his emotion and sizzling outside shooting? Or the one who lost his emotions -- and track of the score -- several times in the last two weeks? Remember, the biggest reason the Mavs lost to the Spurs in the first round last year was that Terry got badly outplayed by San Antonio's George Hill.

3. Let me say this for the 1,314th time: Dirk is underrated and grossly underappreciated. He's a former MVP and a 10-time All-Star who has led Dallas to 11 consecutive 50-plus-win playoff seasons. And for those of you who say he chokes in the playoffs: There are five players in the history of the NBA who have averaged at least 25 points, 10 rebounds in the post-season. Elgin Baylor, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Bob Pettit and, yep, Dirk. He also, of course, joins Charles Barkley and Karl Malone among the greatest forwards to never win a championship. At 33, he's been as good as ever this season. But without help, I think yet again it won't be good enough.

2. Key to this series is Portland's length, especially in the form of Seagoville native Aldridge. At 6-foot-11, he possesses the athleticism, size and long arms to defend Nowitzki one-on-one. As we've seen in playoffs past -- and as looks to be the case again this spring -- after Dirk, Dallas has no consistent No. 2 option.

1. The prevailing perspective of the Mavericks is that they are heartless, soft underachievers. They'll -- if only temporarily -- shake that label by eliminating Portland in seven games.


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14 comments
cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

Until shown otherwise I expect nothing but fail from the Mavericks in the playoffs. Jump shooting and no defense gets you a reservation to the golf course.

Joey O'Hearn
Joey O'Hearn

I think Roddy getting hurt is a blessing in disguise. I'm about done listening to people say that Roddy needs to be out on the court because he is such a talent. He is an undersized SG who does not have the vision to be a PG. When will the organization realize that 6'0 180lb. shooting guards are not going to get you a championship?? How great would it have been to send Roddy to Charlotte before the trade deadline and have Gerald Wallace playing with Dirk this post season?!??! Instead we place Roddy B in the "untouchable" category?!?!? This is one of the many reasons why MY Mavericks are going to be lucky if they get out of the first round this season and will for sure be watching the Conference Finals and the NBA Finals from the couch yet again this season!

Scott
Scott

The Mavs should try to win the first 2 games.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Portland has been next year's team for several years...I think the little Mavs will grind them up in the halfcourt..but LaMarcus will average Dirk like #'s..say 28 and 12 for the series. If we can't stay in front of Miller then we're toast. Dallas in 6 (only because I'm a homer, I was gonna go with Port in 6..)

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

#7 Karma? Seriously? How about putting it on the Mavs. Win one more game and maybe you're not in 3rd. I guess you also think San Antonio should have let you beat them on your home court too right? The Grizzlies laid down the last week of the season, when they could have climbed to 6 or 7, but they rested their top players. I guess if other teams in the league are doing it but it doesn't affect your team you don't care. Uberdoucher.

Corby's Backpack Fullaweed
Corby's Backpack Fullaweed

The Spazzericks have been next year's team for damn near 12 years, and will be this year as well. When a bench spare with a reputation of not showing up when it matters is the vocal leader of your team, you never had a chance to begin with.

Joey O'Hearn
Joey O'Hearn

The difference between the Spurs laying down and letting LA beat them on Tuesday and the Grizzlies resting their top players is that IT'S THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES!!! Who cares?!?!?! 6,7,or8 seed doesn't matter, they are going to get blown out in the first round either way. The Spurs on the other hand gave up the chance to hold home court advantage in the finals if they meet the Bulls.(Which unfortunately is a strong possibility) That was a direct slap in the face to the Mavericks whether you would like to admit it or not.

kergo
kergo

First off, I knew you would get all butt hurt about his comment on the Spurs. Nobody can ever say anything about them w/o you chiming in. And he is right by the way. What they did makes no sense, but it won't end up mattering anyway.

Secondly, embrace your rage.

Kergie out.

Joey O'Hearn
Joey O'Hearn

I'm assuming you are referring to Jason Terry..... I was a little thrown off by the "Bench Spare" comment. I would hardly call someone who is the reigning 6th Man of the year, and a guy who averaged 16 points and 30+ min in ALL 82 games this season a spare. But I do agree with you that he has to step up in the playoffs this year or we are definitely going to be done in 5 or 6 games to the Blazers.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

If you're looking that far ahead to the finals then your ass is going to get dusted anyways. I doubt both teams will make the finals. In the west anything can happen. In the east I don't see any big upsets going down. If the Mavs would have lost any of the games that Kidd sat out, would you think differently? Rest is rest.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

It's too easy to point to the Spurs success, unlike Softy, I don't do the thing about the 4 titles. RW sounds like some, not all, Mavs fans that will whine about anything but refuse to look in the mirror. It's easier to blame other people for your shortcomings. I know we can all get along, I just don't know why RW harps on stupid shit. Instead of the hot team that everyone is talking about, he'd rather write stupid shit. I would have rather come in here and read his observer-vations about Oliver blowing that game yesterday. Unfortunately, the game started and ended on Wilonsky's sports watch instead of Richie's, so we don't get a post about it.

Joey O'Hearn
Joey O'Hearn

Not looking ahead at all.... I will be shocked if the Mavericks make it out of the first round against Portland. But I do think that the Spurs screwed themselves IF they do make the finals against the Bulls.

Judge_Softy
Judge_Softy

Only reason I do the thing about the 4 titles, is BECAUSE WE HAVE THE 4 TITLES.

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