PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Ryan Hollins #50 of the Boston Celtics and Elton Brand #42 and Spencer Hawes #00 of the Philadelphia 76ers fight for the ball in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers won 82-75. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The Rockets are such a disaster. Here especially, but everywhere, really. -- Sharp
Motiejunas looked surprisingly good in summer league -- but come on. -- Perrin
The Rockets effectively waived the white flag with their youth-only lineup of Lin, Lamb and Motiejunas, but running two quick guards against a Mavericks lineup with only one small (West) introduces lots of unpredictability. Too bad it's a halfcourt game and the Mavs have that Dirk guy. -- Madden
This series will likely come down to how well Dirk Nowitzki can position himself for good shot attempts. I think that the combination of Dirk's experience and Delonte West's quickness should be able to generate enough open looks to give Dallas the nod. -- Sherman
Good analysis from our SBNation judges. Frank Madden, of BrewHoop, says that only having Delonte does cause some slight match-up issues, but points out that it doesn't really matter in a half-court setting. He's right -- Lin and Lamb would kill this three-on-three team if they were able to get on in transition and run the ball. However, with the ball starting at the top every possession, the defense is able to set up and has less court to defend.
- Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Dallas wins 12 of 20
- Andrew Sharp, SB Nation NBA -- Dallas wins 19 of 20
- Steve Perrin, SB Nation NBA, Clips Nation -- Dallas wins 14 of 20
- Frank Madden, Brew Hoop -- Dallas wins 15 of 20
- J.A. Sherman, Welcome to Loud City -- Dallas wins 12 of 20
- Overall probabilities -- Dallas 72 percent; Houston 28 percent
Out West, things got very interesting. In a Texas shootout, the Dallas Mavericks threesome of Delonte West, Dirk Nowitzki and Elton Brand squared off against Jeremy Lin, Jeremy Lamb and Donatas Motiejunas of the Houston Rockets. The experts made Dallas pretty heavy favorites, giving them a 72 percent chance to win any single game. When the first roll came up 86, Houston took the first game of the series leaving Dallas in a position where it had to win two straight to advance. A 51 on roll number two tied the series. The all-important third roll showed a 69, giving Dallas a narrow victory. Rockets fans, you can blame Andrew Sharp, who said Dallas would win 19 of 20 meetings. Had Sharp given Dallas just 15 of 20, more in line with the other panelists, the Rockets would have won game three. Don't feel too bad though -- Dallas now moves on to face the winner of Oklahoma City and Sacramento, and that doesn't figure to end well for the Mavericks.
Andrew Sharp, you're a cool dude. Dinner's on me if you're ever in Denton, as long as we stick to Taco Bell. As mentioned, Dallas will play the OKC trio next week, easily one of the toughest teams in the tournament. However, Oklahoma City chose to pair Nick Collison with Durant and Westbrook. Although the Thunder have the edge in superstars, the individual match-ups actually look alright. It will be an entertaining match-up, to say the least.