NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks
Rockets Lead Series 3-1
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 28, 8:00 PM EST – RTSW, TNT
Toyota Center – Houston, TX
- Entering the series we highlighted it would likely come down to Houston’s Defense vs. Dallas Offense. Tonight it’s time the Rockets made that prophecy come true. Through 4 games Dallas has averaged 114.0 points per game while Houston is averaging 117.0 points per game. In the two games since Rondo left the team the Mavericks have upped their scoring to 124.5 points. It’s time to end their high scoring through a solid defensive effort.
- The two replacements in the starting line-up made a big difference for Dallas. Al-Farouq Aminu: provided length to stop James Harden (or at least made it more difficult) and JJ Barea has proven to be the catalyst the Mavericks needed at the point. His diminutive frame is difficult to guard given he increases the pace with a much faster speed.
- The other huge factor for Dallas was their rebounding They pulled down 16 offensive boards leading to second chance scoring opportunities and their additional 5 defensive boards led fast break scoring opportunities.
- In terms of perimeter shooting Houston had done a decent job of limiting Dallas until the last game when they scored above their season average. If the Rockets can summon the key areas of their game they’ve been better all season than Dallas: Rebounding, Perimeter Scoring and Defense and overall Defense then it will factor in at night’s end.
- Through the first 3 games the Rockets were able to offset Carlisle’s Hack-A-Rocket strategy, however it finally caught up to Houston in Game 4. They’ll need to make sure they make their free throws at home tonight so it’s not a factor in the final score.
- As mentioned last pregame each of the games has had it’s own personality with Houston’s offense showcasing excellence from different areas: Game 1 it was the ex-Mavericks who took over, Game 2 it was the tandem of Dwight Howard and Josh Smith, Game 3 it was All-Star James Harden scoring a play-off career high. Even in the loss Game 4 it the bench production of Josh Smith and Corey Brewer who kept the Rockets in the game.
- While we could hope for another aspect of the Rockets’ offense to show up or for a combination of all to appear it feels like it’s time to see the much touted top ten defense of Houston to show up.
Next: The Numbers Don't Lie