Mavs paying close attention to other series
May, 11, 2011
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks got back to work Wednesday with a full-on practice. Homework comes later tonight when the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies hook up for Game 5 (8:30-ish).
The guys are watching.
"Real close," center Tyson Chandler said. "I watch every game, do as much scouting as I can. You can scout both teams, but you don’t know which team you’ll be playing so you kind of just key into the game and watch how Memphis rolls, how Oklahoma City runs things. I guess we’ll see tonight maybe where you’re going to land."
The winner of Game 5 will hold the advantage. Game 5 winners go onto win the series 83 percent of the time.
Both teams will provide a bit of a changeup for the Dallas Mavericks, who can only wait and watch as they look to stay in rhythm for the start of the Western Conference finals either Sunday or Tuesday. The Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers were both older andless athletic teams than two battling it out in OKC tonight.
Here's how Mavs coach Rick Carlisle sized up the Thunder and Grizzlies.
"We know that next round whichever opponent it is we’re going to be dealing with a different kind of athlete; much more dynamic teams getting up and down the floor," Carlisle said. "So, we spent time on transition defense [at Wednesday's practice] and we’re going to have to take care of the ball next series. Both of these teams do a great job of ripping at the ball, creating turnovers. We can control a lot of the positive things defensively by being good and efficient offensively."
The Mavs, the No. 3 seed, will hold the homecourt advantage on either potential foe.
Nowitzki, who really loves this game like a fan and makes it a habit throughout the regular season to watch games on TV, said OKC and Memphis present different challenges.
"Oklahoma is a little more perimeter oriented, they have a lot of scorers on the perimeter, and Memphis likes to pound it inside and play inside-out," Nowitzki said. "But, I think whoever we are going to face we've got to be ready and play our game. We saw defensively that we [have to be ready] to battle inside like we did against the Lakers and be ready to move the ball offensively and make shots."