Well, spring is finally here, an escape from the winter. And in a way an escape from the regular season for the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs finished out another solid season with a record of 57-25. The Mavs had some adversity to overcome including the loss of starting shooting guard Caron Butler who was lost for the rest of the season after suffering a partial tear of the patella tendon against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 1st. The Mavs had their 11th consecutive season with at least 50 wins, and their playoff history is no mystery. Now they draw Portland in the first round, who has been playing some very good ball the second half of the season since acquiring swingman Gerald Wallace in a trade from Charlotte. LeMarcus Aldridge has had his way with the Dallas big men in their matchups this season averaging over 28 ppg in four games against Dallas this season. He is playing with great intensity leading into the playoffs. Many so called experts are stating that Dallas is ripe for an upset, something that is nothing new to the Mavs or the fans.
So what needs to happen to avoid a repeat of the Mavs playoff history?
Here are some keys to the Mavs having success against Portland in this series
Defending the paint, rebounding and playing physically on the perimeter will be important for the Mavs in this series. Barea and Beaubois must play physical against the bigger Portland guards and limiting Aldridge’s touches and second chance opportunities are key and should be the main focus of the Dallas bigs. Tyson Chandler is the one who brings the intensity to this team, it has fueled this team throughout this season.
The Mavs bench has always been a vital part of their success…and of their failures. Guys like Marion, Brewer, Haywood, Barea, Mahimi and so on need to give solid minutes when called upon. Just in case you were wondering, no, I didn’t forget the JET. Like always he says he primed and ready for takeoff. Jason Terry is just as important off the bench as any starter. He brings the scoring punch and the intensity that the Mavs need on many nights. Not to mention his 6.2 points that he averages in 4th quarter this season, almost tops in the league. But in the playoffs that hasn’t been the case in recent years. Terry had two 30 point games in the 2006 finals and it’s been a steady postseason decrease since then. Leading up to last season, in which he experienced the worst post season numbers of his career averaging just 12.7 ppg on .377% fg shooting, coming in a first round bow out against the #7 seeded Spurs. Terry MUST play well for the Mavs to win.
Finally, but possibly most importantly Rick Carlisle must figure out the right rotation of guys. Dallas has a deep bench and players on it who can do many things, but the rotation of the Mavs might be just as important as what each of them bring to the team.
Ultimately, I believe that the Mavericks and Rick Carlisle will get the job done in this series. The fans will show up Rowdy, Proud & Loud. And the Mavs will move on to the second round. It all starts tonight…
My prediction…Dallas in 6 games
Check back Sunday for my Game 1 post.
Link to the Dallas Mavericks War Cry
About the Author
Written by Andy R Strom
I was born in Dallas, TX and raised in the suburb of Coppell, TX. I grew up eating and breathing sports. I "buy local" when it comes to my teams, Mavs, Cowboys, Rangers, Stars, Longhorns. I am 28 years old and currently live in Wisconsin where I graduated college from the Univerisy of Wisonsin Whitewater with a degree in health, human performance and recreation with a minor in coaching. I still follow my teams just as much now as when I am living back in Texas, they're just a little harder to see in person now. However, I follow all major sports and teams and love a good debate.