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Mercedes Mayer writes about how important Dampier and Diop will be in this series.

"We need [Dampier] to be active against this team," Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "He's got to be able to move his feet and be a factor in the paint for us, protect the paint as he always does for us."

Dampier returned Wednesday in Seattle after missing the previous four games because of a shoulder injury. Mavs coach Avery Johnson said Dampier, who had four points and six rebounds in 15 minutes against the Sonics, is feeling better and that he has "to have a monster series for us."
Dampier and Diop have to do one of two things. They either have to be able guard Al Harrington or they have to be able to score on Al Harrington. If they can do that, the Mavs win easily. If they can't the Mavs can still win, it will just be a lot more interesting.

Eddie Sefko has a similar article.
We don't know what Nellie's going to do," Terry said. "But we know we need our fives [centers] to play, starting out with Damp. He has to play strong inside, aggressive on the boards, finish strong and we're going to come to them. Damp's healthy, and we're going to need him to really punish these guys inside."

David Moore's article today about last years playoffs is hard to read.
Composure. The Mavericks have been there, lost that. They can't afford to let it happen again.
Still worth reading though -- tons of good quotes about what the Mavs would go back and change.


Jeff Caplan has about five articles in one, but he starts if off by writing about Devean George being healthy.
"It's fun to have everybody healthy," Dirk Nowitzki said. "We've said all season long, I think we can go to a lot of gears, we can go to a big lineup, and we can match up on small lineups."

George, who's worked his way into the starting lineup, and Buckner both battled back from nagging knee injuries. Their health is considered key for a long-term playoff run, especially getting started in the first round against a Golden State team loaded with athletic, jump-shooting guards.
George missed the first two games against Golden State this season.


Tons of love for Don Nelson in the bay area right now.



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This Day in Mavs History
1995 Jason Kidd had a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 13 assists. It was the 8th time a Mavs player had a triple-double and the 4th of 13 times Kidd had a triple-double with Dallas.