Game One Links

Janny Hu of the SF Chronicle doesn't expect the postseason jitters to bother the Warriors for very long.

Only starters Baron Davis, Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson have any postseason experience, and Jackson is the lone Warrior with a championship ring. The veteran of 43 playoff games said the key is to stay poised.

"There's going to be times where we're up 10 points and they make one shot and it's going to seem like they're up 20 because the arena's so loud," said Jackson, who won a title with the Spurs in 2003. "I played in the Western Conference finals and I don't think any gym gets louder than in here because they start ringing those cowbells."

"We might get a little jittery," playoff newcomer Jason Richardson said, "but you just try to fight through it and settle yourself down as quickly as possible and play basketball."
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Eddie Sefko has a really good article about how Don Nelson will try to remind Dallas of what they used to be and trick them to playing at the Warriors tempo.
"Yeah, but you can't get baited into not taking the quick shot," Johnson said. "We're pretty good on the break ourselves. We do it a little bit differently. We don't stop and pop the 3's as much, but we like to get out on the break.

"Sometimes when you play against teams like this, you tend to not want to run. We want to run."

Here's the stat to file away: the Mavericks were 0-2 when they scored 100 or more points against the Warriors this season. They were 30-0 against the rest of the league. The Mavericks can run.

But they can't run the way they did when Nelson was coach.
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Dirk Nowitzki isn't buying Don Nelson's "happy to be here" shtick.
"I was listening to one of [Warriors coach Don Nelson's] interviews, and he's still full of it," Nowitzki said. "He said, 'We're just happy to share the same court with them.' I think they're a lot more confident than he says."
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Jeff Caplan has a good article on Jason Terry.
Said Nelson: "He's a way better player than anybody anticipated. I thought he was a scorer coming from Atlanta, but he's got plenty of stuff."

Terry will have to show that stuff, starting in this opening series in which he'll bear plenty of responsibility at both ends against the Warriors. Offensively, he must dictate the pace, utilize the team's post game and not allow the Mavs to get caught up in the Warriors' running game.

Defensively, the Warriors' small lineup boasts quick, sharp-shooting guards, which will test Terry's defensive mettle and the Mavs guards' ability to corral long rebounds off Golden State's 3-point attempts.
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Art Garcia compares the Warriors to the Mavs and gives the Warriors the edge for their backcourt and their coaching.

Janny Hu does the same thing but gives the Warriors the edge in "intangibles".

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Kevin Shrrington looks at some Mavs vs Warriors myths including one that's been brought up in the comment section here.
Nellie vs. Avery is mentor vs. protégé: myth.

You hear this all the time, and it's easy to see why. Avery Johnson played for Don Nelson, coached under him and got his chance to coach the Mavs because Nellie had the nerve to step aside in the middle of a season and allow Johnson to prove himself. They also have a close common friend in the Spurs' Gregg Popovich.

But other than a good working relationship and the obvious pride Nellie takes in what his successor has achieved, don't be fooled.

Pop is Johnson's mentor, not Nellie. Johnson didn't retain Nellie's system. Johnson saw firsthand what wins when he played for the Spurs, and that's the system he instilled here.
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Brian Davis writes about the Warriors Jason Richardson finally making the postseason.

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Warriors fans nearly caused a riot trying to get playoff tickets. Seriously, look at this...

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Eddie Sefko made JJT proud with his O'Brien trophy or bust column today.
Now, their mission is to complete the mission. Nothing less works. That's how far this organization has evolved from the days of back-to-back 11- and 13-win seasons in the '90s.

The ring is everything.

"I say every year that there's one winner and 29 losers and they're all tied for last place," owner Mark Cuban says. "Either we're good enough to win it or we're not. It comes down to not making mistakes and playing Maverick basketball. If we do that, good things can happen. If we don't, we won't be happy about it."
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And then there are the Don Nelson returning articles...

Sefko doubled up on the topic, writing one heartwarming article about Nellie facing the team he helped build and another article about the growing resentment since he left.
Legal proceedings are impending as Nelson argues that the Mavericks' owner owes him $6 million in deferred money from the original contract he signed with the Mavs' previous owner, Ross Perot Jr. Nelson has said the arbitration is ready to be served; it's only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, Cuban said in an e-mail to several media outlets Saturday that there are a lot of things he likes about Nelson, but that one particular problem irritated him.

"I'm not a fan of someone who quits on his team but will leave only if he got paid," Cuban said.
Randy Galloway touches on the subject as well.
Just think, a year earlier, Mark Cuban had given Nelson the title of "Mavericks' Godfather" when Nellie stepped down as head coach, and turned the team over to his handpicked successor, Avery Johnson.

But in the end, the Godfather was handed the Mavericks' version of the bloody horse head, although we are all certainly thankful it wasn't the noggin of Champ, Mr. Cuban's equine mascot.
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This Day in Mavs History
2004 Antawn Jamison was named as the winner of the NBA's 6th Man of the Year award. Jamison received 43 of a possible 120 1st place votes and had a total of 338 points. Al Harrington (Ind) finished 2nd and received 27 1st place votes and a total of 275 points.
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