Tyson Chandler, Take a Bow. Mavericks, Take a 2-0 Lead.

Tyson Chandler Happy.jpg
Weird game at American Airlines Center last Saturday night. In Game 1 of the Mavs-Blazers first-round series, Jason Kidd made six 3-pointers, Marcus Camby had more assists than Dallas' point guard and the Mavs shot 19 fourth-quarter free throws to Portland's two.

The Mavs survived an ugly game, but things have got to change if they hope to go up 2-0 in the series in tonight's Game 2.

Namely, Dallas has to play faster to play better. There were only 83 possessions in the game, by far the lowest of any Game 1 in the NBA's first round. Portland's half-court defense is as physical as it is good. The Mavericks need to push the pace and get open looks in their early offense. The higher scoring the game, the better Dallas' chances.

I think Roddy Beaubois will be back in uniform tonight after missing Game 1 with a sore foot, but I'm not sure we'll see him in the game. The Mavs also need more than five combined hoops from Jason Terry (2), Shawn Marion (2) and Tyson Chandler (1).

Remember, after a grind-it-out, six-point win in Game 1 last year against the Spurs, the Mavs kerplunked in Game 2 at home. Apparently satisfied by their Game 1 success, they came out flat, fell behind San Antonio 9-0 and eventually lost by 14. I don't have to remind you that Dallas lost Games 3 and 4 and the series in six.

If the Mavs are amped to play this game, we'll be able to thank one player. I know Jason Terry thinks he is the emotional leader of this team but, sorry, it's Chandler.

A scene from Game 1 was telling: After blocking a shot, Chandler flexed his muscles and let out a primal scream. Exactly none of his teammates as much as raised an eyebrow, much less ran over for a high-five or back slap. Undaunted, Chandler ran up the court with arms waving, bringing the crowd to its feet.

Willing passengers or not, he's dragged Dallas' defense up a notch or three this season.

On Monday Chandler earned the highest defensive honor ever for a Mavericks player, finishing third behind Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett in the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year voting. He averaged 10.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game this season. For a change, the Mavs finished among the NBA's Top 10 in points allowed.

The Mavs have been playing basketball since 1980 and have never had a better defensive player. In fact, I'll say that Chandler -- sorry, 1988 All-Star James Donaldson -- is the best center in Mavs' history.

That said, if Chandler's defense is the best thing about this series the Mavericks won't win it.

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19 comments
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Scott
Scott

Mavs in 7

kergo
kergo

oh hey Rob/dr. g./Russell.

what, no tremendous sports opinions that you heard on Norm's show?

Typical Rob M/Scott Post:

I think the Mav's in seven because the "big game" is not going to be a factor......blah blah blah blah......the Rangers need good pitching from rotation cause blah blah blah

Scott
Scott

You make some good points,....Mavs in 6

kergo
kergo

Meh. Did Greggo really call me a douche last week? Really? This coming from a guy that would snort asphalt? Wow.

Anyhoo, anyone with any details, please let me know, for I was busy working last week. If this is true, I "cain't" wait to turn my vitriol onto moto gregger, the husky hugger.

Storm_71
Storm_71

You and your little NASCAR buddy Mr. Merkin.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Im thrilled to know that my blog commenting has earned me greggo douche status, but what really brought that up, what was the context, maybe Richie could get us some audio. I was busy last Friday

Kergo's prolapse
Kergo's prolapse

I don't think he was bashing you specifically, he was just naming names he prolly sees on here lots. Something like, "richie if you write something that inflammatory you'll be bashed by those idiots rooster, scottsmerkin, and kergo."

kergo
kergo

I am very iterested in knowing what Gregger, like you SM, I'm honored to earn db status! I think think one thing I'm not, (and I have MANY faults) is insecure. Nice try? Hmmmmm. Troll much?

kergo
kergo

Please, sir. I'm really insecure. I need to know what was said about me last week. I'm so angry I could squeeze that olive branch outta me ass!

kergo
kergo

Let me repost that: I had my 2 year old chasing the dog around the house with his baby lawnmower that shoots bubbles......it sounds like a train crashing into a mall-sheeesh!

I am very interested in knowing what Gregger said, like you SM, I'm honored to earn db status! I think think one thing I'm not, (and I have MANY faults) is insecure. Nice try? Hmmmmm. Troll much?

kergo
kergo

really? obviously on that DREADFUL radio program.......what did he say?

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

The way I read that headline, I thought I missed a game last night. I follow basketball, but don't really watch too much until the playoffs, but I freakin' hate Jet Terry doing the "jet". What the hell is that?

ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

Weren't you crowning Brendan Haywood the best center in Mavs history just last year?!

Judge_Softy
Judge_Softy

<danbloodcock>Hah, I remember that.</danbloodcock>

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

The sooner the Mavs get this series over with, the better. Like Greggo says, the cream always rises to the top and the Mavs are a better team. Even with the hiccups the Spurs and Lakers had(the top two conference seeds have never lost the opening game in NBA history) they'll eventually win. The Mavs need the rest, if Kidd is on they won't lose. F Jason Terry.He's the Fan of the NBA, does a lot of talking but doesn't come close to meeting your expectations.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Good OBSERVERation on Jet, you're dead on. This thing isn't over in 4, it'll go atleast 6

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Well with that proclomation in the blog headline of 2-0 Im putting my paycheck on the Blazers tonight. j/k richie you've got this one nailed

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