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Will Extra Time Off Help or Hurt the Mavericks?

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With OKC and Memphis being tied up two games a piece, the Mavericks will not play again until next Sunday, and more than likely it was will a couple days after that. That's a lot of time off between the Lakers Game 4 and the OKC/Memphis Game 1. And no matter what anyone else says, it is absolutely a good thing for the Mavericks.

The counter arguments are simple: the bench players are in just a ridiculous groove right now. Jason Terry missed just six shots in the final two games while scoring 55 points. Peja's shot the ball seven times Sunday afternoon and seemed to never even hit rim. JJ Barea's penetration and scoring is some of his finest work ever. With as long of a break as the Mavericks will get, there will be, without a doubt, some rhythm will be lost.

But while the bench is a major strength, this team is centered around Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd. Both were given tremendous loads in the Lakers series. Kidd was assigned as the Kobe-stopper, and his savvy and smart play on him was a key to the series. Dirk was matched up against that trio of Laker bigs, and even though Pau Gasol turned out to be much easier to guard, the constant banging down low against those huge bodies takes its toll.

The Mavericks need those two rested. To head into the Memphis/OKC series with fatigue or tired legs is suicide. Both teams are young, fast, athletic. Memphis boasts two more dominant bigs for Dirk to match, both playing as good or better than their Laker equivalents, and a quick, pace-pressing point guard in Mike Conley, whose fast break style will have to be countered even if Kidd doesn't guard him one and one. Oklahoma City has a point guard who blurs at full speed, too, in Russell Westbrook. The Mavericks have shown that, as a veteran team, they can make teams play at their own pace for stretches, but no doubt these games will be much higher scoring and much quicker paced than Portland or Los Angeles.

This isn't just about match ups, though. Kidd needs the rest. He was just 7/24 from deep against the Lakers, and showed no signs of the mid range game he used to dominate the Blazers in the first few games, hitting just two shots from inside the line. Funnily enough, Kidd had a week off before the Blazers series too. After the effort Kidd poured forth against Kobe and co., he clearly needs to rejuvenation time.

Dirk could probably use it too. No, his offense is about as steady as one can get. However, his defensive effort that was just fantastic in the Portland series has faded ever so slightly, and with both potential playoff teams full of players who will attack and get to the rim, the Mavericks need him to be rotating well and giving weak side help, even if he's not going to straight up block anyone.

And of course, never underestimate the advantage the Mavericks have in scouting, including both the coaching staff, but also the players. Maverick scouts would have been prepping for Memphis and Oklahoma City regardless, but the players get much more time studying and readying for this team, both playing a much different style than either Portland or LA. The Mavericks may lose the insane shooting touch that a few of their players had, but Terry and Peja are good shooters, and as long as Dirk is on, we've seen that it only takes one or two more contributors. And trust me, Dirk is someone I'd worry too much about his play.