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NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks Game 3 Preview

By Tamberlyn Richardson
3 of 5

Apr 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith (5) in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bench Mob:

Season Stats:

[table id=102 /]

Full bench stats at

As noted in the story lines the fact Houston has held their own in terms of bench production is key. Now with 2 starters out (Parsons/Rondo) the Mavericks will be hard pressed to replicate their seasonal production with key reservists moving into the starting 5. Game 1 the Rockets were +4 in bench scoring, Game 2 Dallas was +1 in bench scoring.

Key Match-up:

With no Parsons or Rondo the match-ups really come down to Monta Ellis going video game mode while James Hardenis due to have a big shooting night.

For Carlisle the question becomes who is going to guard James Harden? And if you stick with your current game plan (potentially playing Al-Farouq Aminu a bit more to add some size on him) then how do you plug the other gaping holes?

Dirk Nowitzki had a tough shooting night Game 2 (3-14 from field and 0 – 2 from three) but will need to bring as much tenacity to the court tonight as he did versus his battle with the microphone at the post game interviews.  The Houston bigs trio of Terrence Jones, Josh Smith and Clint Capela have more than held their own versus the big man.

Meanwhile Tyson Chandler had his hands full defending Dwight Howard who looked to be in peak physical form and in my opinion the best he’s looked since his Orlando days. (pre-back surgery)

Next: Difference Makers