This kills me even today.
Yeah, that's Calvin Booth putting the Dallas Mavericks up with the series clinching points against the Utah Jazz back in 2001. (Pre 9/11) It is still upsetting to me. Well, in the preview (catch it in the stream) I talked a little about how the shoe may be on the other foot between these two clubs right now.
Yes, one is old and trying to hang onto the playoffs, and the other is young and trying to make a name for themselves. There are differences for sure. Obviously the first one is that both teams were in the playoffs. We're clearly not going to make it. Also we don't have a bunch of young studs (or maybe we do?) . . . but the main issue here is playoffs and different sides of the experience spectrum. Dallas has it, and we do not.
We're not going to the post-season, but we have a chance of making life harder for Dallas too. The Jazz and Mavs play each other three more times this season, twice in Utah. It's going to be tight to make it to that 7th / 8th seed. We can easily be the monkey wrench in their equation because we're younger, more athletic, bigger, and hopefully hungrier.
Tonight, and the two other games in this series could be payback.
Their starters are all old, out of their physical primes, but play very smart basketball. Well, I guess Monta isn't old, so that's not entirely a true statement. But he's very volatile. That makes his game less simpatico with the rest of the team, but Dallas makes it work.
Rick Carlisle finally has a semi-healthy roster to work with too, and I can see the Mavs looking at the bottom dwelling Jazz as a boon, not something to be worried about. He's probably right. But we still have to show that we have fight and make life hard for him.
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Favors is coming back from injury, Hayward and Burke are slumping -- but this team still has enough firepower on paper to make good teams have to work to beat us. If you are going to die, then die hard. That's one thing Jerry Sloan / Tyrone Corbin coaching line preaches. So I'd like to see that tonight.
Also, man, we really should crush them on the boards.
Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis vs. Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward
- Experience, poise, and explosiveness goes to Dallas here
- Burke and Hayward could be better defenders, we just don't know
- Jazz should try to post up Gordon Hayward / force Marion to check him
- Calderon is a vets vet, and is patient. Burke could learn much from watching how he runs a team without being super fast or super big
- Advantage Mavs.
Shawn Marion vs. Richard Jefferson
- This would be a good match-up a decade ago
- Marion will end up sliding to the four at times during games
- Hopefully RJ does not
- Both are on the downsides of their careers, but I still am conditioned to fear Marion. He's a Jazz killer.
- Even advantage.
Dirk Nowitzki and Samuel Dalembert vs. Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors
- Dirk is a HOFer, right now none of our guys are looking like they'll make it there
- Sam is long and can change a lot of shots. He's bigger than Favors.
- Marvin as a stretch four is a nice concept, but how will he defend Dirk? How can anyone?
- Even Kirilenko, one of our best defenders ever, had trouble with him.
- Advantage Mavs.
Vince Carter, Brandan Wright, Devin Harris, Jae Crowder
Alec Burks, Enes Kanter, Diante Garrett, Jeremy Evans
- Carter is another Jazz killer, and Harris' apparent speed should be a problem
- Wright has three point range, and Crowder can try from there
- Evans is efficient, but he doesn't get easy baskets anymore
- Garrett had an amazing game a few nights back, I'd love to see him keep shooting
- Burks / Carter is fun. Carter is a much better shooter, and I think he's probably a lot more athletic than people give him credit for at his age.
- If one of Gordon or Trey are misfiring, the Jazz will need someone from the bench to step up, probably Alec.
- Not getting into it, but Tyrone Corbin is perfect.
Overall I think we're a bad road team, and they can't rebound for their lives. It should be an interesting game. The Jazz play the Miami Heat tomorrow night, so that's always fun. For tonight, though, I hope to see a hard fought game where one of our three big players (Burke, Hayward, Favors) really shines and has a good game.