Last night, the Dallas Mavericks were on the brink of getting swept by the Houston Rockets. Thank goodness J.J. Barea kept the Mavs’ energy level up the entire night to move on to Game 5.
You would think the Mavericks would shut it down after being down 3 games, riddled with the injury of Chandler Parsons, and the sudden absence of Rajon Rondo from the Mavericks lineup. However, Dallas put all the pressure on their back and rose to the challenge.
I, personally, believe the Rockets took it easy on the Mavericks in order to close out the series in their hometown of Houston this Tuesday. One thing for certain is that Mavs fans can breathe a sigh of relief after avoiding being a victim of the dreaded, playoff series sweep.
A major part of the Mavericks’ new energy level can be attributed to the dismissal of Rajon Rondo. Bad blood between Coach Rick Carlisle and Rondo has affected the chemistry of the Mavericks’ success. Due to both individuals possessing an NBA championship, this most likely created a “proud” energy among the two. Although Rondo is a champion on the player level, he has found it very difficult to buy into Carlisle’s “championship-formula” on the coaching level.
“Mavs fans can breathe a sigh of relief…”
From the outside-looking-in, the Mavericks still have a chance with Rondo out of the picture. The only problem is our matchups. Dwight Howard has outplayed Tyson Chandler every night of this series. James Harden will always be an issue against our guards; although, Al-Farouq Aminu did a great job on defense last night. Lastly, Corey Brewer and Josh Smith are willing to be the X-factor in this series.
Dallas has met a Houston team that can go toe-to-toe with them in every position. If this series extends to Game 6 or 7, Houston may need to close this out as soon as possible. Dallas is playing desperate, which is bad news for the Rockets.
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