Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quick Eve of the Eve of the Playoff Thoughts

Word up: my official Mavericks/Blazers playoff preview will be dropping sometime tomorrow. I need to wrap my head around the series for one more sleep before I dive headfirst. If you're questing for Mavericks/Blazers playoff series knowledge, then Rob Mahoney can fill your Holy Grail for the time being. You might not like his prediction, so no trolling. Or I'll trap you in a room with her.

  • Not only did Kobe Bryant blow up the city of Sacramento Wednesday night, he pushed the Lakers to the No. 2 seed and an hilariously easy first round match up with New Orleans. I don't mean to count the Hornets out or diminish their overall effort this season despite losing David West late, but the Lakers have the Hornets outmatched in every way and every position on the court save point guard. Shame the Mavericks couldn't have grabbed that seed, as obviously I think every Maverick fan and their second-cousin would favor the Mavs against this Hornets team after Wednesday

  • Andrew Bynum hyperextended his knee and bruised it in the game against the Kings. It appears Bynum will be healthy (or healthy enough) for the opener. A Laker team without Bynum destroys any chances the team has for a title. Sure, there's Kobe and Pau Gasol, but Bynum (along with Gasol) created a frontline that NO team in the NBA could size up against. Not the Spurs, Thunder, Mavericks, Celtics, Heat or even Chicago. A fully-healthy Andrew Bynum Lakers squad seems to only be beaten by the Lakers themselves or Ron Artest. Would have made the second round match up with either the Mavs or Blazers swing considerably away from LA.

  • I never expected Roddy Beaubois to become the players all Mavs fans fantasized...this year. I never thought he'd be at an All-Star level. Heck, I didn't even think he could put up the ridiculous numbers in the small sample size of his rookie season. But I at least expected maybe 75-80 percent of that rookie season. Instead, Beaubois has tumbled out of favor, with DeShawn Stevenson looking to be the new starting two guard for the playoffs. I'll get into this more tomorrow but here's the biggest reason this irks me: Stevenson's two great assets (as told from the media) are his defense and shooting. Which are the two qualities of his game that are most hollow and overrated. Stevenson's shooting has nosedived and I've never been the biggest fan of his perimeter defense. Granted, the Mavericks played their best basketball of the season when he was a starter, but that almost unanimously has to do with Caron Butler's impact rather Stevenson's. 

  • Dirk is good. And he's in playoff form. 32 points on Wednesday and while the shooting percentage isn't exactly the Dirk we know (10-for-21, but with an awkward stretch where he missed four or five simple shots in a row) but the 11-for-12 from the free throw line was classic, playoff mode Dirk. So, no worries there. Expect to see Dirk average his typical 30 points, 10 rebounds and 50 percent shooting in the he always does. Jason Terry joins Dirk, also in playoff mode with a 4-for-11 shooting night. Terry hasn't been useful in any basketball way lately, with no scoring, shooting, defense or playmaking. Even better, with Beaubois not looking like the savior he was last year, Terry might have to play 35 minutes a game in the playoffs whether we like it or not.
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