- Calvin Watkins, ESPN.com
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HOUSTON -- While Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons believes he'll hear the boos from the Toyota Center crowd for Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round series against the Houston Rockets, don't expect much fireworks other than that.
The Rockets are not trying to exchange barbs with their I-45 counterparts.
Mark Cuban got things going in a Grantland.com piece.
"There’s no more predictable team than the Rockets," Cuban said in the interview conducted in early April. "You know exactly what they’re gonna do. But James Harden is so good. That’s what analytics have begot. Right? Predictability. If you know what the percentages are, in the playoffs, you have time to counter them. Whether you’re good enough to do it is another question. Because they are very talented, and James Harden, I think, is the MVP. Because that’s not a very good team over there."
Friday, when Harden was told Cuban said the Rockets are "not a very good team" he paused then said "no comment."
This series has so many connections: from Parsons' return; the previous trash talking between Rockets GM Daryl Morey and Cuban; Jason Terry and Corey Brewer being former Mavericks who won a title; and the coaches, Kevin McHale and Rick Carlisle being teammates with the Boston Celtics back in the 1980s.
The last time Dallas and Houston met in the postseason was 2005, when the Rockets lost in seven games.
Saying these teams are familiar with each other is an understatement. Of course, having some trash talk doesn't hurt either. Just don't expect the Rockets to get involved.
"We just got to play, man, we're not going to go into the back-and-forth talk," Rockets forward Josh Smith said. "That's the things and tactics [Cuban] likes to do. We're not focused on anything that anybody on that side has to say. We're just trying to control our own destiny and trying to keep the negativity from everybody out of the locker room and focusing on the positive things we're doing in order to win this series."
On the eve of a playoff series, James Harden had no comment on Mark Cuban's remarks in early April that the Rockets aren't a very good team.