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Dallas Will Win Tonight

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Dallas didn't do so well against Golden State last season (1-3), but I think they are the perfect team for Dallas to play right now. The Mavs biggest problem the first two games , besides Yao, has been the guard play and the inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to push the ball and attack the basket. That won't be a problem tonight. The Warriors don't just make pushing the ball easy, they encourage it.

There's no better team to play and get the offense back on track than Golden State. Devin Harris should have a much easier time finishing with Troy Murphy at center compared to Tim Duncan or Yao Ming. Jason Terry should be able to do whatever he wants with Baron Davis guarding him. And I would say that watching the Western Conference banner being raised before the game would fire them up, but after watching Miami on opening night I won't look to deep into the psychological effects that might have. I just hope the defense holds up; I can't handle 0-3.

Onto the links...

First off, Devean George will miss his third game 'with a seafood'.

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Dwain Price reports that the Mavs did a few things differently to prepare for this game. Jason Terry held a players only meeting and Avery Johnson divided the practices into small groups.

"I just needed to have some small group teachings, some isolating in small groups, and just had more of a focus hour with each group," Johnson said.
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Some people thought the decision to raise the banner tonight would be a slap in Don Nelson's face, but Sefko tells us it isn't and why.
Dirk Nowitzki would be loving life, paired with Michael Redd and leading the Milwaukee Bucks to playoff glory under George Karl.

The sideline would be a lot quieter, the Cajun drawl of Avery Johnson absent because he'd be pulling his coaching strings somewhere else.

And the Mavericks might still be known as the worst franchise in pro sports.

It's not a stretch to think that all of those things could have happened if not for Don Nelson landing in Dallas in 1997. The Mavericks had won 50 games the previous two seasons. That's not even an acceptable single season these days.
It's fitting that the Western Conference championship banner - won mostly with players he acquired and coached - will be unveiled in the rafters of American Airlines Center with Nelson in the arena.

"I'll be the proudest guy in the building," Nelson said Sunday.
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And if you read just one of these articles make this one. It's a great article by Art Garcia about Don Nelson and his deteriorated relationship with Cuban. Some of the quotes from Don Nelson are pretty surprising. And while Nelson says he has no problems with Cuban, the bitterness that comes across in the article says differently.
"We had a very bitter negotiation on my last contract, and it just never recovered after that. We didn't communicate the last couple years and it wasn't as much fun doing the job. They made personnel moves without me knowing, so I thought it was time to step aside.

If you don't have a relationship with the owner, it's time to move on. It's that simple. I like Mark Cuban a lot. He doesn't like me all that much. I have no problems with him, and he has a problem with me."
"I was never used as a consultant," Nelson said. "Mark never called and he wouldn't return my e-mails."

Though he was still part of the organization, Nelson said he wasn't allowed to attend the summer league or board the team plane.
Nelson agreed to defer a significant part of his salary, without interest, to help Perot's bottom line. Nelson said he received the deferred payments for two years before Cuban ceased.

"I'm being punished by the team I did a favor for," Nelson said. "I hope Mark Cuban comes to his senses and pays me the money he owes me."