NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks
Rockets Lead Series 3-0
Record: 56-26, Western: 2 Seed Record: 50-32, Western: 7 Seed
Southwest: Won Division, last ten 7-3 Southwest: 4th, last ten 5-5
vs. Houston Rockets
Fri Apr 26, 9:00 PM EST – ESPN, C+D, RTSW, KTXA
American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX
- The Rockets enter the night up 3-0 in the series looking to end the series on Dallas’ court.
- We spotted Clutch City fans in the crowd Friday I wonder if there will additional fans at American Airlines Center Sunday night toting brooms. Let’s face it this is pay back for the last time they met Dallas in the playoffs and got embarrassed in the final game of that series.
- Friday was the first time in the series we saw the Dallas offense get rolling in the series. In fact, the offense resembled a closer example of what the Mavericks were running prior to acquiring Rajon Rondo.
- To that end, with Monta Ellis taking more shots the Mavericks had a more free flowing offense and were successful from the perimeter. The ball doesn’t get stuck as much and that was demonstrated in their fast break opportunities.
- Without Chandler Parsons the Mavericks needed others to step up: Al-Farouq Aminu, Amare Stoudemire and JJ Barea were the ones who benefited the most.
- After spending the year dealing with injuries to core players the Rockets entered the post season minus Patrick Beverley who is less than a month from getting his cast off and Donatas Motiejunas out following a minor back surgery (if that’s not an oxymoron I don’t know what is). But, it’s the Mavericks who were relatively healthy all season that have been hit hard by injury. First they lost Chandler Parsons and if you believe the press Rajon Rondo to a back injury (more likely just a parting of the minds and jersey this summer), but more injuries occurred in Game 3. Devin Harris returned, but isn’t 100% and can’t go extended minutes, Raymond Felton got additional run, however it’s clear his hamstring is still an issue as is his ankle and Richard Jefferson had to leave the game with some sort of leg issue.
- Each game of the series has seen a different component of the Rockets’ offense emerge. Game 1 it was the ex-Mavericks and speedy wings Jason Terry and Corey Brewer who were the x-factors. Game 2 it was the interior presence of Dwight Howard and his AAU connection with Josh Smith that took over the game. And, Game 3 it was the All-Stars: namely James Harden‘s offense that exploded and Dwight Howard who controlled the game on the boards. Both stars achieved career playoff highs, Harden mostly due to the fact Carlisle had to remove the double team off the bearded man to stop the inside dominance experienced in Game 2. I’m thinking tonight might be the game where they have a little of everything and I have a feeling it could be the night Houston goes off from the perimeter.
- We knew Rick Carlisle was going to utilize the Hack-A-Rocket strategy given many of the players inability to shoot from the line, but shockingly Howard, Smith and even Clint Capela have all been hitting well above their seasonal average.
Next: The Numbers Don't Lie