Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mavs and Hornets - It starts on Saturday

I guess I'm beating Big to the punch here, but this is my breakdown of your Dallas Mavericks opening series against the New Orleans Hornets.

Center

Hornets: Tyson Chandler
Mavericks: Erick Dampier

Brown's Take: If I've said it once, I'll say it again: it all depends on which Dampier shows up in this series. If it's the Dampier that played in Seattle, Chandler runs away in this contest. If it's the Dampier that we've seen show brilliance while playing with Kidd, it's Damp. As for Chandler, he's averaging a double-double this year about 12 pts and 12 board a game, and that's pretty much the same against the Mavs this year.

Result: Even

Power Forward

Hornets: David West
Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki

Brown's Take: Sure, I'm a homer, so I'm going to say that Dirk has this one by leaps and bounds. I'm pretty sure you'd all agree with me. I will say that West is averaging about 20 points a game this season and just under 10 boards. Look for him to keep moving and try and exploit Dirk's legs.

Result: Mavericks

Small Forward

Hornets: Peja Stojakovic
Mavericks: Josh Howard

Brown's Take: I like this matchup as basketball fan, not so much as a Mav's fan. Howard isn't exactly the greatest perimeter defender, and Peja would like nothing more than to pull Howard out of the middle and sit and wait to pop shots. Look for some kind defensive switch-a-roo to happen. That being said, Howard has come on as of late, and if he can manage to keep things rolling, he should outshine his counterpart.

Result: Even

Shooting Guard

Hornets: Morris Peterson
Mavericks; Jason Terry

Brown's Take: Morris Peterson isn't the contributor that Jason Terry is, and he's not exactly a defensive threat. Terry has this contest by a mile.

Result: Mavericks

Point Guard

Hornets: Chris Paul
Mavericks: Jason Kidd

Brown's Take: This is the matchup that EVERYONE is wanting to see. Jason Kidd, the last reamining pure point guard from the Stockton era (make no mistake, it's Stockton's era). Chris Paul, the new era and legitimate MVP contender. Whoever the Mavs put on Paul, he's going to get blown off the dribble. The Mavericks have to play "Spurs-ball" and say "we're shutting down Paul, beat us with West and Peja."

Result: Hornets

Bench

Hornets: Mike James, Jannero Pargo, Bonzi Wells, Julian Wright, Melvin Ely, The Birdman
Mavericks: Eddie Jones, Jerry Stackhouse, Bandon Bass, Tyronne Lue, Malik Allen, Howard/Magloire

Brown's Take: From a production standpoint, it's the Mavericks. Period.

Result: Mavericks

Coach

Hornets: Byron Scott
Mavericks: Avery Johnson

Brown's Take: Byron Scott knows how to coach teams, and this ain't his first go round in the playoffs. Has he had "ring success", no. Had he had post season success? Yes. That being said, I think it depends on what Avery does that decides this match up. If Johnson forces Kidd to try and shoot, the Mavericks are dead. Avery Johnson has to make sure he doesn't change this team's style like last year. Side note, does anyone else think Byron Scott looks eerily similar to the black detective on "Dexter"?

Result: Even

Notes
  • The season series is tied 2-2
  • The Hornets haven't been to the playoffs, more specifically this is Paul's first trip.
  • Make no mistake about it, this is basic science: which team's trio can do more damage? Paul/West/Stojakovic or Nowtizki/Howard/Terry?
  • Now is the time to show why the Kidd move was made. He was brought here to anchor this team and lead them on the court in the post season. He is not supposed to be jacking up shots, but distributing the ball. He's the guy who should be yelling at people when they need it and settling guys down when they need it. If we find ourselves saying "Devin Harris would have matched up better on Paul" after 3 games, then you'll know it was a bad trade.

Brown's Final Take: I like this match up because I think it's a good example of how the Mavericks are much better than a 7 seed and can prove it. Everyone is going to be buying into the love fest around Chris Paul, so I think this give Dallas a chance to sneak in and be this year's Golden State.

Result: Mavericks in 6 (Not sure how Big has the Mavs sweeping in 3...)

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