You Live to Fight Another Day (Dallas Mavericks)

Dallas, Dallas Mavericks, Home, NBA

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.

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Coach Rick Carlisle and Rajon Rondo

 

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.

al-farouq-aminu-nba-minnesota-timberwolves-dallas-mavericks-850x560

Al-Farouq Aminu

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.

Go Mavs!

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Re-Fueling the I-45 Rivalry (NBA)

Dallas Mavericks, Home, NBA

A couple of days after the Dallas Mavericks acquired Chandler Parsons from the Houston Rockets last summer, I submitted a blog post titled Fueling the I-45 Rivalry. Months later, here we are. Dallas versus Houston in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

I’ve never been more relieved for the Mavs to play Houston instead of San Antonio, because the Spurs are on a mission to repeat. This well-oiled machine would have chewed-and-spit back out the Mavericks before Dallas fans could realize what happened. But, Mavericks fans everywhere can breathe now that we’re taking on the Rockets.

Before you throw jabs or anything about Dallas, I want you to know I do not have a problem with the Rockets. I just think they’re beatable. Well, especially beatable by the Mavericks.

james_harden

Dallas has had a rocky season, barely finishing with a 50-win record. Suffering from the injuries of Devin Harris and Chandler Parsons will affect the Mavs, but this series will come down to whether or not the Mavericks stop James Harden. I’m pretty sure everyone knows Harden is in the MVP race, so I’m expecting him to “enhance his resume” versus Dallas.This year is very reminiscent of Houston’s dominance in the ’94-’95 NBA champion seasons. Houston is not going to back down.

This series is calling all Dallasites and Houstonians everywhere to side with their city’s respective teams.

The matchup begins this Saturday.

Go_Mavs

Back in Business (NBA)

Dallas Mavericks, NBA

**Inhales deeply**

Ahhh, the sweet smell of basketball season!

Tim Duncan after winning the NBA World Championship

The season has been well under way for a couple of weeks and it’s also a sign that the NFL is nearing the end of its regular schedule.

James Harden (Houston Rockets)

The Cavaliers haven’t been as cohesive and dominant as they were projected to be during the summer. Also, the Mavericks are dealing with numerous struggles in their attempt to become a force in the West.

As usual, the San Antonio Spurs are rolling to a great start in “mid-season” form. The Miami Heat are doing very well with the departure of LeBron James, with Chris Bosh and D. Wade taking over.

Even the Houston Rockets are channeling their inner “Kenny Smith and Hakeem Olajuwon” days with their recent play.

What’s even more entertaining is the performance of Kobe Bryant with his “fresh and new” Lakers squad. Bryant is already in the running for MVP (who’s counting votes this early anyway?!); however, his team is suffering a great deal with his “prime” performances. In addition, Bryant recently broke the record for the “most missed shot attempts” in the NBA.

Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks)

In reality, the West (as well as the East) is up for grabs. At this point, it’s really too hard to tell who will really be the last team standing through 82 games.

Below, I have listed the top 5 teams to watch in the Western and Eastern Conferences (feel free to throw in your top 5, as well!)

Drake (Rapper) and Toronto Raptors mascot

Western Conference:
1) Houston Rockets
2) Golden State Warriors
3) Portland Trailblazers
4) Memphis Grizzlies
5) San Antonio Spurs

Eastern Conference:
1) Toronto Raptors
2) Chicago Bulls
3) Miami Heat
4) Washington Wizards
5) Charlotte Hornets

Fueling the I-45 Rivalry (Dallas vs. Houston)

Dallas Mavericks, NBA
Since the 2005 NBA Playoff Matchup with Dallas vs. Houston, this rivalry between the Mavericks and the Rockets has lost its sting over time. Tracy McGrady and Dirk Nowitzki would literally go shot-for-shot, and Yao Ming dominated every center the Mavs could offer. Those games always provided great entertainment.

Now, the on-court I-45 Rivalry may have a chance to (again) live up to its potential. To be honest, Dallas can only talk about the Spurs for so long. Come on, we’ve been complaining about the same group of guys (Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker) for over 10+ years now. And, quite frankly, it’s time to move on and bash another team in our division.
With Houston’s acquisition of small forward Trevor Ariza and Dallas’s pivotal pick up, Chandler Parsons, the atmosphere of this rivalry has the potential to shake up the Western Conference. 
Get your popcorn ready.
What adds even more fuel to the fire is the fact that Chandler Parsons played a key role in Houston’s playoff bid, but now he will join the lineup with Dirk and company to represent Big D.
I knew something was up when I heard Mavs owner Mark Cuban was showing Chandler Parsons around the city last week.

Furthermore, the Rockets’ owner was reported to have texted Cuban about trading Dirk to Houston shortly afterward the Rockets picked up Dwight Howard in 2013. Hopefully, Mark Cuban did not take this as an insult. Or maybe he did.
Rivalries only thrive when the fan bases, teams, and offices have some friction on and off the court. After a decade of arguably meaningless, regular season games between the Mavs and Rockets, it looks like the two camps are bound to collide at some point very soon.
Remember how much fire and drive DeJuan Blair brought to the Mavericks in this year’s playoff series against his former team (San Antonio Spurs)? Well, expect the same from Chandler Parsons and even more tension between the two as the days count down for one of the Western Conference’s premier matchups.