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Sunday, April 17, 2011
Mavs look to limit Blazers' alley-oop

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks weren't happy about giving up six alley-oop dunks in Game 1, including five that finished in the man-hands of LaMarcus Aldridge. But, Aldridge told the Mavs to take heart because a half-dozen lobs really isn't all that bad.

He actually called it a below average alley-oop outing.

"We throw it a lot," Aldridge said. "We led the league in that that pass this year. We throw it a lot, so they did a good job of not giving it to me too much."

Aldridge said he doesn't expect the play to be readily available as the series progresses.

"We definitely didn't feel like we could exploit that," he said. "Teams have scouted that long and hard. It was just good reads in the game, just good flow during the game. We definitely don't think we can get that. I could hear the whole [Mavs] bench saying, 'No spin lob, no spin lob,' so they're definitely on it. I think those were just good moments where we just had good reads."

Maybe if Aldridge had received the lobs from one player it could be considered just good reads. But, from three? Center Marcus Camby hooked Aldridge up twice, as did point guard Andrew Miller and forward Nicolas Batum did the honors once. Rudy Fernandez hit Gerald Wallace for one.

Aldridge slammed in 10 of his 27 points off the alley-oop and Portland had 12 points off the play, which amounted to two-thirds of Dallas' total points in the paint (18).

"If we limit a lot of those lobs and easy buckets we'll be OK," Mavs center Tyson Chandler said. "I actually thought we did a good job on the post. He [Aldridge] made a couple good moves on us, but I felt like for the most part myself and Brendan Haywood did a good job of challenging him. We've just got to limit those 12 to 14 points they got off lobs."

But, how do you do that?

"They definitely made it part of their offense, but there's definitely ways -- communication, being a little bit more aware," Chandler said. "One they caught me sleeping on a spin-lob. You just can't give him any room."