NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks – Lineup Preview and Analysis

By Lee Golden
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Apr 2, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith (5) blocks a shot by Dallas Mavericks forward Richard Jefferson (24) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Rockets defeated the Mavericks 108-101. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Houston’s Bench: 30 PPG, 14.2 RPG, 6.8 APG, 41.8% FG, 60.4% FT, 31.7% 3PT, 5.2 TO

Dallas’ Bench: 36.1 PPG, 14.5 RPG, 7.6 APG, 45.3% FG, 73.5% FT, 34.7% 3PT, 3.9 TO

What To Expect

Both reserve teams will need someone to anchor their team while the starters regain energy. For Houston, Josh Smith or Corey Brewer will have to be that guy. Brewer can really take advantage of the shortage of shot blockers that Dallas has to offer off the bench. He’s been a frequent assassin on fast breaks so far this year.

Smith will need to earn the respect from Dallas from beyond the arc to reign as the unsung hero. He’ll also have to make his free throws. Oh and not commit silly/careless turnovers. As long as those three categories are polished, Houston will capture the advantage on the bench (which is easier said than done) .

Dallas’ X-factor off the bench will be J.J. Barea or Amar’e Stoudemire. Barea is equipped with deceptive speed and quickness. With another sub-par point guard defender in Pablo Prigioni, Barea will ultimately choose what spot he likes best on the floor. His size minimizes his ceiling but he can definitely be problematic.

Stoudemire will pose as the most skilled post player on either bench. He’ll be a recipient of some easy buckets and will also gain the opportunity of one-on-one plays. Collectively, the bench is very efficient. Anticipate Harden’s rest to be cut short once the game’s momentum slides in favor of Dallas.

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