The Dallas Mavericks enter tonight’s game 6 in Portland after a big bounce back win in game 5. The Mavs were led by the tenacity of center Tyson Chandler and his rebounding exhibition with a 20 board night. Keeping Chandler out of foul trouble and on the court will be an obvious key to the Mavs success in game 6. The Mavs have always had a tough time getting wins in Portland thought. The Blazers are 46-18 all time against The Mavs in Portland, including 8-1 in the playoffs. No one will be surprised by a tough, grind it out, game tonight between these two teams. Here are a few things I’ll be watching in tonight’s game.
Blazers adjustment on Chandler
One would assume that the Blazers would not be happy with a repeat of Tyson Chandler’s game 5 performance in game 6. They will make some adjustments on how they play when Chandler. Look for the other Mavs, particularly Shawn Marion, to be a big part of the Mavs rebounding efforts tonight. Extra attention on Ty will also mean the Mavs will get open looks from outside with good ball movement. Knocking down those open looks will be key.
The Mavs were able to use the momentum from an outstanding 3rd quarter to carry over into the 4thquarter of game 5. Great team play and energy gave the Mavs what they needed to close out and get the win. If tonight’s game is tight going into the 4thquarter either Dirk or Terry must get their offensive game going to give the Mavs what they need offensively to close a game out.
Late screen by Brian Cardinal in Game 5
With about 12 seconds left in the game and Dallas up by double digits a screen was set on a full court pressing Paddy Mills by Mavs reserve Brian Cardinal. Mills ran into the pick without any warning from his teammates who failed to call the screen out for Mills, which sent him flying towards the scorers table. After the game Cardinal said that he only set the screen because of the pull court pressure that the Blazers applied to JJ Barea as he brought the ball up. True. Several Blazers took exception to this screen set by Cardinal. We will see what if any affect this will have in the minds of the Blazers as they will already be playing with emotions very high tonight trying to hold off elimination. Personally, I do find it funny that there may be some bad blood between the Blazers and Mavs because of something that happened between two players who have tallied a total of less than 7 minutes of game time in this series, not to mention with only 12 seconds left. That’s the playoffs though I guess.
My 2 cents. Mavs eliminate the Blazers tonight at the Rose Garden.
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.