We've talked a lot about game 1, so I don't think there's much else to be said. We're before our first true must-win game of the season. Let's make some changes, focus, and win this game.
I actually forgot it was my turn to write the preview, so get ready for the very first Hack Preview (tm PTR) of these playoffs. It should be fun!
Switching to 1st person for a second here: Tony, Tony, Tony. You can be a force of nature when you're defended by people slower than you (that'd be just about 99% of this league), but fast, pesky defenders give you trouble. Recognize that and try to move the ball around, please. Also, I wish you'd go to your jumper early and see if it's as effective as it was for the entire season, instead of late in the game when penetrating fails to work. Kidd is hurting, I hear, so remember that.
I hope that Mason has the chance to test his playoff mettle soon - but not tonight. Barea was a nightmare for Tony, but I think the Spurs overplayed him a little. If we stop him from penetrating and kicking out we should limit the number of dagger threes that put away the game in the 4th. And hopefully Tony will wait for the screen instead of going one-on-one on Barea. (I don't know if Barea will start... but he should.)
Stampler (I think - or was it someone from ST?) was right on the money on this one - playing with two bigs at all time should help cut down on the offensive boards given to the Mavs. Dampier hurt us with a couple of tip-ins that could've been easily avoidable. Timmy has to destroy this guy. Destroy him. If that doesn't happen, look forward to more "fire Pop" FanPosts.
I wish Bonner didn't start - but I think he will. For better of worse, he's started for most of the season, and that's not likely to change now. Matt has to understand he's useless if he doesn't shoot, and that his defense alone isn't enough to keep him on the court. If he doesn't make his first two 3s, he should be benched immediately and Pop should have him massage JV's shoulders for the rest of the game. Nowitski will likely get his points tonight, but Gooden looked somewhat good defending him. Please, Pop, give it a shot.
Finley's shooting well. I hope we'll go to him more often if his great shooting streak continues. I can only hope Howard's ankle is still bothering him.
Keys To The Game
Some other reading
Mavs Moneyball - SB Nation blog. Nice guys.
48 Minutes of Hell - Tim and Graydon knock it out of the park every day. (Or should that be "drill the buzzer beater"? Hmm.)
Other things of possible interest
Check this game thead at gametime for specific links to good quality feeds. If you arrive late in the game, there game feed links are usually among the first 50 posts of the thread.
Spurs audio feed - You can use it to replace a foreign feed's audio - simply pause to synchronize it.
Recap: Quick cap after the game, then Stampler will probably do his. We're so professional.
Hope is the word of the day.