NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks
Rockets Lead Series 1-0
Record: 50-32, Western: 7 Seed Record: 56-26, Western: 2 Seed,
Southwest: 4th, last ten 5-5 Southwest: Won Division, last ten 7-3
Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets
Tue Apr 21, 9:30 PM EST – TNT, RTSW
Toyota Center – Houston, TX
- The Houston Rockets can take a strong advantage on the first round series with a win at the Toyota Center tonight and more importantly retain home court advantage.
- Injuries are already playing a part in the series with Devin Harris not able to go following a lack luster 10 minutes in the first half of game one.
- Moreover how Chandler Parsons recovers from the rigors of Game 1 and the health of his knee could have a dramatic effect on the series.
- James Harden produced a solid all around effort in the first game of the series, but it wasn’t a typical scoring night. Kind of crazy to say a 24 point scoring effort wasn’t enough yet most of his points came from the line as he shot poorly from the field (4 of 11 FG, 1 of 5 from three). Throughout the season Harden tends to follow up poor shooting efforts with breakouts the next game.
- Can Dwight Howard stay on the floor? While 3 blocks in a 5-minute span was awesome, the center fell into early foul trouble allowing Tyson Chandler to have his way on the boards. Look for Howard to make a concerted effort to manage his time on the court better tonight.
- Adjustments between games are always key factors and Dallas has one of the best in the Association in head coach Rick Carlisle at game strategy between games (let alone between halves of games). Look for some tweaks to both line-ups. And I’ll re-iterate at some point in this series Carlisle will make a move that costs the Rockets. Let’s hope we can limit it to just one game.
- The ex-Mavericks Jason Terry and Corey Brewer figured prominently in the win Saturday. Can they replicate that effort in game 2?
- The x-factors in Game 1 were Terrence Jones and Clint Capela. Carlisle will have a tough time slowing Jones especially if Howard remains on the court and Josh Smith has a better game (he needs to play with more focus).
- From the Mavericks side of things the keys will be whether Rajon Rondo can produce more than one solid quarter. Can Monta Ellis become a factor and what defensive adjustments the Mavericks can make to offset the Rockets’ offense specifically from behind the arc and in transition. Personally, I think Carlisle’s ability to address the defensive prowess of Trevor Ariza will become an on-going discussion in the series
- Carlisle employed the Hack-A-Capela in game one (but only briefly) will tonight find him utilizing the strategy more prominently?
- Will McHale stick with rookie Capela or will Joey Dorsey get some run at center?
Next: The Numbers Don't Lie