Have you recovered from the throbbing hangover that you've experienced every waking moment of your life since the Mavericks lost Game One? Let's hope that you have. Drink more water if you haven't. Might I also suggest a La Croix or Topo Chico? You'll be feeling better in no time...as long as you don't think about it. Just forget that it happened.
Unfortunately, I'm about to talk about it. Sorry.
What adjustments do the Mavs need to make?
Honestly, there are far too many to address in a short preview. However, the main concern should be on defensive positioning. The Mavericks were frequently caught out of position leaving Houston's shooters wide open or with lanes to the rim. If Dallas hopes to even the series, they are going to have to do a better job keeping their man in front of them. No one wants to see Dirk Nowitzki suddenly becoming the last line of defense after a breakdown on the perimeter.
Which team stat might determine the game?
Houston is going to continue to put up 3-point attempts at a high rate. It's just what they do. In Game One they attempted 25 threes, connecting on 40 percent of them. Not surprisingly, former Mavs Jason Terry and Corey Brewer led the way making a combined seven 3-pointers. There were moments when whoever was defending those players would slack off and give them space along the perimeter. While Brewer has the ability to beat his man off the dribble, Terry certainly doesn't anymore. He's almost strictly looking for his shot from outside. It would behoove the Mavs to guard him close.
As for the Mavs, they simply need to make their shots. Only six of their 3-point attempts found the bottom of the nylon. Shooting 35 percent from deep isn't a recipe for success against an offensive powerhouse like Houston.
Which Mavericks player might be due for a big game?
I honestly feel that Amar'e Stoudemire will have a positive impact on the game. He only made two of his 12 field goal attempts. However, he did make all six of his free throws. Stoudemire has become the focal point of Dallas' second unit offense which can get bogged down if he isn't producing. His post moves are good but he needs to score. It stands to reason that he will play significantly better in Game Two.
Which Rockets player might be due for a big game?
Too much Monta?
Umm, yeah. I don't like to make disparaging remarks about people who are far more athletically gifted than I am unless they are named Rick Fox, but Monta Ellis is beginning to test my limits. I'm not sure what's wrong with him and I can only assume that he's playing through an undisclosed injury. That said, he is certainly taking some questionable shots and Rick Carlisle seems content to let him fire away. For the sake of the team, I hope those shots start falling because I know he is just going to keep hoisting them.
What say you, Judge Mills Lane?
8:30 p.m. Central on TNT