The Dallas Mavericks now faces another impending early exit in the NBA 2008 Playoffs. (applause! hahahaha) Last year, despite being the number one team in the West, Dallas was eliminated by the number 8 team, Golden State Warriors. This is perhaps the nightmare that haunts the entire team especially the management which is why the team made some major roster movement this year.
Mark Cuban, team owner of the Dallas Mavericks insisted on acquiring future hall of famer point guard, Jason Kidd. He believes that the 35 year old veteran point guard will spell the difference for his team this season. However, acquiring Kidd required letting go of spitfire guard Devin Harris, big man D. Diop, and other bench players.
Today, the Mavs lost once again to the youthful New Orleans Hornets to the tune of 127-103. CP3 lead the Hornets to a dominating victory over the Mavericks. Hornets now take a 2-0 advantage in their best-of-seven showdown. Chris Paul showed superb leadership on and off the court scoring 32 points plus 17 assists (now that's leadership for yah!). Stojakovic and all-star David West also provided support finishing with 22 and 27 points each.
Last season, according to critics, Dirk Nowitzki was the missing link. The sweet shooting 7-footer of Dallas didn't play well against the small but scrappy front-line of the Warriors. But this season, based on the couple of games that I've seen between these two teams, Nowitzki is very comfortable playing against Chandler or David West of New Orleans. So who is or who are the missing links, at least for the first two games of the series?
This is Game 2 box score for the Mavs. Looking at it, Howard, Stackhouse, and J. Kidd is way below expectations in terms of scoring. Josh Howard should always be scoring more than 20. I believe Kidd and Stackhouse should give at least 15 points per for them to deserve where they are right now and the playing time given to them.
Note that in Game 1, Howard, Stackhouse, and Kidd scored 17, 9, and 11 respectively. Howard's 17 points was a 4-16 clip from the field (poor 25% FG).
I have seen the Mavs play its A-game against the Hornets. It was a game were every jumpshot of Terry, Howard, and Kidd dropped. Stackhouse drove to the basket anytime he wanted to and Kidd dominated the young Chris Paul. They say playoffs is a different level of basketball. Here, the boys are seperated from the men. Looks like the Hornets have taken their game way higher than the Mavs.
Now, did Cuban had the answer in Jason Kidd?
It's the 2nd day of the highly anticipated NBA 2008 playoffs and guess what, the Philadelphia 76ers pulled-off a surprising victory over playoffs main-stay, Detroit Pistons.
It was a stunning 90-86 victory for the sixers. They did it with defense, limiting the Pistons to only 16 points in the final quarter. This was their lowest output in the 4 quarters. Andre Miller had 20 points and 6 assists, and 4 other Sixers scored at least 10 points. Rasheed Wallace headed the home team with 24 points and 9 boards.
Now, I believe that the 76ers can in fact steal the series from Detroit. It's defense that will propel them over the Pistons. Billups, Prince, and Hamilton can definitely shoot the lights out on any given night and so the Sixers' defense must always be tight on the shooters of Detroit. Winning one over the home team is a fantastic start but it never spells the outcome of the series.
Meanwhile, in the Western Conference, the number one team, LA Lakers proved the worth of its major player movement during the regular season. Gasol, a 27-year-old forward/center acquired from Memphis last February 1 had a scorching game scoring 36 points on 14/20 shooting and 16 rebounds. Add to that is Bryant's 30 points. Damn! this Lakers squad is for real! I believe they'll definitely make it to the Finals this season. I can't wait for Andrew Bynum to get back on the playing court. The Celtics has their triple threat in Garnett-Pierce-Allen but the Lakers can have a quadruple threat in Gasol-Bynum-Odom-Bryant. How about that?! I'm really not a Bryant fanatic but I must admit, number 24 has definitely proven his stands as a player, a team player at that.
How I wish I could watch every single game of the playoffs! gggrrr!