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Tuesday Morning Mavs Roundup

I'm really surprised how much debate the West/ Nowitzki incident is generating.  Yesterday it was whether or not Dirk should have done something back, and Avery has kept the conversation going with this quote yesterday.

"We need players to not back down from anybody," Johnson said. "That's what the playoffs are all about. More than Dirk doing something about it, I would have liked for somebody else on the team, preferably at the center position, to do something about it."

Tim MacMahon and Jeff Caplan swiftly pointed out that Dampier was on the bench during the incident and if he stepped on the court he would have been suspended, but that's not really the point.  We all know Avery believes in the hard foul, and that's all he was saying here.

So does mean we'll see Damp put West on the floor at some point tonight?  Or maybe Stackhouse, he has shown he doesn't mind doing that kind of thing...


Sefko has an article about the changes the Mavs are going to make with the way they defend Paul -- sounds like there will be a lot of them.

The trap is the first line of defense when trying to slow down a torrid player. But it's not the only weapon at the Mavericks' disposal. They also may try to put a bigger defender on Paul, perhaps Josh Howard. And they might tell shot-blocker Erick Dampier to hedge his positioning so he can help when Paul gets into the paint.

Josh Howard spent a little bit of time on Paul in game one and the results were mixed.  Howard usually game him too much space which doesn't work if Paul is shooting like he was on Saturday.

Caplan confirmed in his article that the Mavs will be throwing a lot of things at Paul tonight.

"Using bigger defenders is a good tool in some situations, but then sometimes it's good to go small because of the quickness factor," Johnson said. "The key for us is steadily trying to give him different looks; have Kidd on him, if it's Josh or Eddie, then try Jet [Jason Terry] on him some because we're trying to play certain other types of defense."


David Moore says it's time for Avery to make some adjustments and seems to wonder if he's capable of doing so.

Does Johnson tweak a few things or does he go for shock and awe? Does he shift strategic gears or make a lineup change the way he did to open the Golden State series last season?

Remind me, how did that work?


Jan Hubbard writes a about Dirk, not Kidd or Avery, being the leader of the team. This isn't an article that is written very often, but it should be.

Nowitzki's return from the ankle sprain was an example of his unique brand of leadership -- and all his teammates noticed, especially his new ones.

"Just coming back from the injury in 10 days said a lot," Lue said. "We thought he would be out for the rest of the season. That's the same injury Pau Gasol had and he was out for three weeks. Dirk came back in 10 days. Guys looked up to him for doing that. We looked up to him already, but just coming back and helping the team to get in the playoffs, that was a big step for us."


JJT actually has a pretty good article today saying the Mavs need to up the tempo and focus on creating a good fast break.  Obviously it's easier to say that then do it, but given the Hornets have been open that they want to force Dallas into a half court team, it's a good idea.  He even came up with a good stat.

At home, the Mavs feed off the crowd's energy and play at a fast tempo. On the road, they don't.

In their last five home games, the Mavs averaged 28 fast-break points. In their last five road games, they averaged 9.6.

JJT points to Avery's hands on coaching style for one of the reasons the offense stalled, but Dirk knows the real cause for playing such a slow pace in game one.

"But it's tough to get our running game going if we have to take the ball out of the basket every time."

It's not impossible though - Nash taught us that.


Randy Galloway says Dirk can't win this series on his own, and he doesn't mean it as any sort of insult.  He points out that Tim Duncan and Kobe can't win on their own either.

He does however take a shot at Josh Howard.

By now, do we have to surrender on the idea Howard is the Mavs' main man after Dirk?