Dallas suffered one of the playoff losses in franchise history in Game 1, going down 108-70, and it wasn't even that close. It's hard to even fathom something like THAT happening again, but with three of Dallas' top players probably out, it looks like it's going to still be ugly.
So who's actually going to play?
David Lee is still out with his plantar fascia injury, but two guards will probably join he and Chandler Parsons in street clothes. Deron Williams' nagging sports hernia finally bothered him again in Game 1. It showed, as D-Will was 1-of-9 from the field for just two points. Honestly, it's surprising that Williams was able to return at the end of the regular season to help Dallas make the playoffs. Re-aggravating that injury really isn't at all shocking.
Meanwhile, J.J. Barea's groin injury acted up again. Barea didn't play in the second half of Game 1 and only mustered two points. Rick Carlisle said he was very concerned about Barea's injury and has already been ruled out for Game 2.
The Mavericks roster was already overmatched against Oklahoma City, but now the difference between the two squads is an enormous chasm. Devin Harris and Raymond Felton will get most of the point guard duties, and Justin Anderson will surely get a big role. But Dallas is simply outmatched no matter what.
Rebounding rebounding rebounding
Out of all the issues Dallas had on Saturday, this was one of the biggest. The Thunder beat the Mavs on the glass 56-33 and manhandled them in the paint.
Each member of the OKC starting five had at least five rebounds, led by Serge Ibaka's 17 points and nine rebounds. Enes Kanter, meanwhile, came off the bench for 16 points and 13 rebounds. Salah Mejri played 16 minutes for 1 points and four rebounds, and Zaza Pachulia had five points and six boards. It was so bad that Carlisle even went to JaVale McGee.
Again, OKC is a far more athletic team than Dallas is. It's not even close. That eliminates Zaza has any kind of option in this series, meaning Carlisle has to play Mejri way more than 16 minutes. Even someone like Justin Anderson can help the rebounding issue. Speaking of which...
This has been talked about a lot, but Anderson rode the bench for most of Game 1. There was nothing Carlisle could've done to win Game 1, but not playing the rookie who helped spark a late season winning streak is just aggravating. Carlisle said after the game Anderson will have a bigger role going forward, and he's going to have to with all the injuries.
Anderson's athleticism might help with the Mavs' rebounding problem and would provide a different look to defending Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. He's in no way the answer to everything that ails Dallas, but there is not reason not to play him.
How to watch
Game 2 tips off at 7:00 p.m. Central on TXA21 or TNT.