Thursday "That's More Like It" Links

Avery Johnson was much calmer at his press conference last night than on Sunday.

"When we have a healthy respect for our opponent and when we play at a high level, we can be pretty good," Mavs coach Avery Johnson said.

"We looked like the Mavericks," Johnson said.
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Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson -- not so calm.

I loved what Stackhouse had to say about their ejections.
"Baron's from L.A. He's Hollywood," Stack said. "He's going to keep stuff going. And Jack's crazy. We're not going to get into that with them."
And if I'm a Warriors fan I don't love this quote from Baron Davis
"Stephen Jackson is my shrink," he said, "and I'm his shrink."
Gil LeBreton was unimpressed with Bennet Salvatore.
Salvatore's fickle whistle managed to agitate the Warriors enough to incite a third-quarter shovefest, and Golden State's Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson were tagged with technical fouls. Before the night was through, Salvatore made sure that both Davis and Jackson, the Warriors' two best offensive players, had second technicals and were ejected.

Can't this guy referee an NBA playoff game without interjecting himself into the outcome?
The officiating wasn't great last night, but I didn't think Salvatore had much of a choice with the ejections. Baron Davis actually looked like he was trying to be thrown out on purpose and Stephen Jackson will have a five digit fine arriving shortly.

These guys wouldn't have lasted a second in the Finals...

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Anyway, it still wasn't the Mavs at their best last night. The three point shooting stands out as being particularly awful. And Kevin Sherrigton is still wondering where Dirk is.
Still, the pressure on Nowitzki wasn't nearly as intense Wednesday. Not that it needed to be.

Not when Nowitzki doesn't get the ball, doesn't demand it and doesn't make his shots when he does.

And it's not just a product of this series, either. Since March 18, over the course of 17 games, Nowitzki has scored 30 or more points only once. He's had double-digit rebounds just three times.
A win is a win.

Dirk probably will need to be better in Golden state though...

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Avery was pleased with the play of the centers.
"[Diop] is only down for one blocked shot, but I thought he contested a lot of shots inside," Mavs coach Avery Johnson said. "His ability to get out there on the floor and play the pick-and-roll really helps us tremendously.

"Even Dampier and his ability to get out there and guard smaller guys... When our [centers] can do that, they can play. When they can play, we're pretty good."
Having our centers on the court didn't seem to hurt the Mavs on either end, but it did appear to make everyone a lot more comfortable.

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Hey, Golden State of Mind got a mention in Ray Buck's article today!
A poll on goldenstateofmind.com, a popular Warriors fan blog, asked which team will win this series.

It was a simple multiple choice.

"Warriors baby!" garnered 1,118 of the first 1,274 votes, or 87.8 percent.

Mavericks (without the baby) had 156 votes, or 12.2 percent.

Looks like Nellie's bandwagon has a few dissidents aboard.
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Marc Stein writes in his Daily Dime that the Mavs were only kind of played like the Mavs last night, but it was still an improvement.
That's because it was the experienced Mavs who inexplicably looked like jittery playoff rookies in Game 1. It's also because they'll be greeted in Oaktown by a rabid crowd that's been waiting 13 years for a playoff game, in a building where Golden State went 30-11. Winning one or two there will require the Mavs to be their 67-win selves by then, as opposed to kinda resembling them.
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This Day in Mavs History
1984 Moody Madness. The game was played at Moody Coliseum due to a scheduling conflict. In the first round of the playoffs, Dallas defeated Seattle 105-104 in overtime to take the series 3-2 and advance to the second round. It was Dallas' first ever playoff series win.
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