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I'll start with the schedule.  First game this Sunday at 8:00 PM.  As usual for the playoffs, no back-to-back and two days off between games one and two.


Marc Stein says the Warriors definitely cause matchup problems for the Mavs, but isn't sure it matters.

...there is some substance to the notion that the Warriors, after winning five straight regular-season meetings, present real problems for the Mavs.

But if you believe that there's a big difference between playoff basketball and the regular season, or if you believe that Josh Howard, Jason Terry and Jerry Stackhouse are too good not to start punishing Golden State for its Dirk obsession -- and I do on both counts -- you'll share my fear that Mavs-Warriors won't be nearly as even on the floor as it figures to be on the quote board with Nelson and Mark Cuban around.


Jerry Stackhouse throws out the B word.
"God forbid we don't win a championship, then obviously we're in line to be the Buffalo Bills of basketball," Jerry Stackhouse said. "There's a lot of story lines that are waiting to be written."

I like this quote from Stack because it shows the Mavs have respect for the Warriors but are also confident.
"They've been one of the hotter teams toward the end of the season, but we feel like we've been the hot team for the course of the season," Jerry Stackhouse said of the Warriors. "It's just a matter of us sticking to do what we want to do, our system, and we'll be fine."

Avery says the team is ready.
"These guys are ready for the playoffs," coach Avery Johnson said. "They're at the point now where this time of year is what we've been gearing up for all year. Every strategic move we've made was with the idea that we wanted to get better all year."

Eddie Sefko has a good article about the history of 1's vs 8's in the NBA.


Golden State of Mind appears to be having a "happy to be there" festival.

A festival that it sounds like Jason Richardson will be attending.
"I felt like I did in college, when we won the championship game,'' Richardson said of his freshman year at Michigan State in 2000. "I just wanted to hug everybody.''