Opposites Will Collide In Dallas

By: 05.17.11  •  66 Comments
Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook (photo. Jeff Forney)

How long will it take the Mavs to get the creaky joints moving again? The Western Conference Finals finally kick off in Dallas tonight at 9 p.m. ET and the Mavs need to be sharp after having more than a week off. One team is coming off a dragged out, never-ending, physical war while the other has been sipping on green tea and getting deep-tissue massages on all of their old limbs. On the other side, how will OKC react to starting out on the road? Home-court advantage ultimately helped them against Memphis but Dallas’ notoriously riotous crowd may catch them off guard. Additionally it’ll be interesting to see what version of Russell Westbrook shows up in Game 1. Perhaps he’ll be the playmaker from Game 7. Yet, with Kidd guarding him, we bet he drifts back into “Durant who?” mode. As long as he controls that, we’re fine with it. On the other end, can the Mavs’ bench continue to apply pressure after their extended break? Jason Terry shouldn’t be a concern given his track record. But cats like J.J. Barea and Peja Stojakovic look a tad suspect considering how well they played against L.A., especially Peja. Thing is, Peja can get into lulls of alright-to-poor shooting. Keep an eye on him. It’ll be interesting all the way around and while mostly everyone wants Dirk to finally get a ring, some new blood would be fun as well. If the Mavs advance to the Finals, it’ll be the 13th straight year that the old timers from the Lakers, San Antonio or Dallas have won the West. Where was everyone else all these years? … Before the start of the WCF, the NBA will have the Draft lottery at 8:30 p.m. ET. Who needs to win it the most? Who do you want to see win it? Will Kahn be planning to draft his 29th point guard? And does everyone agree with us when we say Kyrie Irving should be the number-one pick? … With so many still unanswered questions in Boston, Doc Rivers finally truthfully spoke on the Kendrick Perkins trade, saying the timing was off. Perkins’ contract will always come to justify it. But it just shows being pennywise isn’t always the best route. Dude doesn’t quite fit in on the Thunder like he did in Boston. Nevertheless, he’s provided the toughness they sorely lacked last year and they’re a better squad for it … We got a chance to chat with the TNT boys covering the Chicago/Miami series yesterday, and besides TNT revealing that the ratings for Game 1 showed it was the most watched NBA game of all-time, we picked the brains of Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr. While Reggie did compare Serge Ibaka to a young Hakeem Olajuwon on the defensive end, much of the conversation centered around Miami and what to do with their rebounding weakness. After Erik Spoelstra sidelined Erick Dampier and Zydrunas Ilgauskas for the first game (even though they’ve combined to start pretty much every game at center all year long), now what? Does Spoelstra bring them back? Does he give more minutes to Udonis Haslem? Does he go big with Wade at the point? Lots of questions and not a whole lot of time. Miami is picking their poison either way. When your star player’s (Wade) kid is dunking on a Nerf hoop and screaming “Gibson!” you could be in trouble … Game 2 between Miami and Chicago won’t take place until tomorrow but we’re anxious to see if Chicago can play even better. Luol Deng was an unsung hero for the Bulls all year as their secondary scorer, and he outplayed LeBron in Game 1. On the other hand, Carlos Boozer could be a more visible offensive force. Having Chris Bosh drop 30 on your head after you dissed him is about as far from a good look as it gets. How will Boozer respond on offense? When it comes to his defense, well, we’ll leave the criticism to Scottie PippenAmar’e Stoudemire is now officially a New York legend, earning his first NYC billboard to promote Sheets energy strips. But who came up with their slogan: Take a Sheet! … Life lessons from Tony Allen‘s Twitter feed: can’t grit and grind without stayin drug free twerps … We’re out like Take a Sheet!

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