Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Dirk wants lead heading to Portland
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki is the leader of the Western Conference's best road team. He has no desire to go to Portland with the series all tied up.
"This win means nothing if you lose Game 2," Nowitzki said. "That's what we did last year here."
The Dallas Mavericks lost Game 2 at home to the Spurs after a Game 1 win and never recovered, losing in six.
Tuesday's Game 2 winner will seize the series momentum. If Dallas can assert a some muscle and defend the home court, it would require Portland to win four times in five games. A loss and the entirety of the series shifts with it to the Pacific Northwest and inside the raucous Rose Garden for Games 3 and 4.
"As we know, they’re very, very good at home," Nowitzki said. "They’re one of the best home teams we have in this league. Their fans are phenomenal, so we’d love to go up there leading 2-0."
To get to there, it will take a victory here in Game 2.
"I really like our energy right now, the way we’re focused in practice, the way we’re executing, the way we’re paying attention to detail," Mavs center Tyson Chandler said. "I see something different. It’s the same way we were approaching training camp and that’s the mentality that you really have to have."