Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Playoff Preview: Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets

Dallas Mavericks (58-24): #4 seed
Houston Rockets (51-31): #5 seed
Head to Head Matchup: Series split (2-2)

Keys to the Series:

#1: Will Dallas play defense? This is the question that has dogged this team for years. Can they shut down McGrady, Yao, etc.? Avery Johnson seems to have instilled a real desire in these guys to buckle down and play hard, and I have never seen Dirk Nowitski play with as much desire on both ends of the court.

#2: Who is Erick Dampier? Will a powerhouse show up that will take it to Yao and provide the Mavs with a real inside game? Or will a lacksidaisical defender and half-hearted team player show up? Dampier can be the difference. Will he be?

#3: Will the Rockets feed the ball to Yao? Imagine having one of the top five big men in the game, and making him a weak part of your offense. What?? Yao must be huge for the Rockets to advance.

#4: What style of game will we see? Jeff Van Gundy has softened his stance and run a little more, but when the playoffs come, expect more of a slowdown game from Jeff. On the other hand, the Mavs will want to run and gun while playing that hard defense. The winner of this battle will probably win the series.

#5: Are the Rockets actually playing on national TV? A little sarcasm here. It seemed that the Rockets were either on TNT, ESPN, or ABC at least once a week, and they were BORING to watch. Just boring. The last thing I need is to see them play in multiple series.

Breakout player: Jason Terry. Dirk will be special, and I think Dampier will step up. But Terry is clutch, and is from Seattle, and I would love to see him flourish in the playoffs. America should grow to understand how special this guy is.

Most important stat: Touches for Yao. If the offense is flowing through Yao, the Rockets play much better. If the offense is flowing through McGrady, expect a lot more one-on-one play and some awkward shots.

Fearless Prediction: The new and improved Dallas Mavericks are for real. They are fast, they are deep, they are excellent shooters, and they have added a great defense to their resume. Houston just does not have the firepower to compete with them. This looks like a good matchup up front, but I will be bold and predict the Mavericks to sweep the Rockets, erasing them from TV for the rest of the year.

posted by colin_hesse @ 7:42 PM  0 comments

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