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April 16, 2:30 PM ET
Mavs Marathon with Jason Kidd

Haris (Chicago/Dallas)

Who do you think are more legitimate for reaching the NBA Finals, the Mavericks or the Spurs?

Skin
  (2:09 PM)

I think the Mavericks, based on their health more than anything. Parker doesn't look quite right to me and as we saw last year he's impossible to keep out of the lane when he's on top of his game. I think having two legitimate bigs who can defend also gives Dallas the best chance at matching up with the obvious favorite in LA who often times just throws over the top of smaller teams.

derrik (nacogdoches, texas)

What is John Hollinger's beef with the Dallas Mavericks? Why does he never pick them in anything? He obviously hasnt been watching these last 5 games where the mavs have put it all together. theres nothing better than a lilttle MO going into the playoffs.

Skin
  (2:16 PM)

I don't think Hollinger has beef with the Mavs. I can see why Mav fans feel dissed by him, but it's his system and he believes in it. No big deal, it's just one dude's perspective. From reading some of his stuff and hearing him on Galloway I thought it was very apparent that he was relying more on the data as opposed to watching them play a lot. I think if Dallas plays to their potential and is on point with their team defense, they have just as good a chance as anybody who ain't the Lakers. And they're the #2 seed so it's not like I'm swimming in treacherous waters here...

John (Dallas TX)

Do you think Dirk ( my favorite player ) will get enough help from his starters bench to win it all?

Skin
  (2:21 PM)

Dirk has been pretty vocal in acknowledging that this is the deepest, most talented team he's been on. I like their rotation at center. JET is a great weapon off the bench, but he had a great regular season and then a painful playoff stretch last year so that obviously need to be different this time around. I think Caron Butler needs to have a big impact in the half-court sets - a lot of that transition stuff they've been eating on will be harder to come by when there's a greater focus on transition D. But this team will go as far as the next dude chatting feels. When J Kidd has been fresh he's been far and away the most important Mav - with all due respect to your all-time favorite player John...

nish (mesquite)

Caron needs to be more efficient. Do you agree.

Skin
  (2:23 PM)

Yes. The main thing is that he doesn't settle for contested jumpers early in the clock. Attack that glass and he'll be everyone's favorite Mav. Seriously...

Tim (DeSoto)

Do you think that Coach Carlisle will use Beaubois the way Avery Johnson used Devin Harris to create open shots by driving past a slower Parker?

Skin
  (2:25 PM)

I don't. I think his best shot at playing time, if any at all, will come in short bursts off the ball with J Kidd at the point. Devin changed the complexion of that series. Roddy B won't get that opp.

Tim (DeSoto)

Are you worried about Blair after what he did to you all the other night?

Skin
  (2:26 PM)

If Blair gets significant minutes then that probably means that something went wrong for the Spurs so I don't worry about that.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will be the 2009-2010 NBA Champions?

Skin
  (2:27 PM)

Put me down for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That was my pick before the season started and I feel even better about it now.

jackson (fort worth)

hey skin, bob ortegal looks like he would be an original old spice guy, perhaps he dabbles with aqua velva too. any inside knowledge? ill throw out a wild card here........english leather?

Skin
  (2:30 PM)

Jackson, while those all seem like perfectly plausible possibilities, Bob O is actually a rare breed of super human who needs no artificial products to alter the way he naturally smells - which is the wicked awesome scent of manly greatness.

Adam (Los Angeles)

I too often hear about fatigue being a major concern in the NBA playoffs. Is it really a factor when there are 3 games in 7 days? Seems like more than enough time to get rested. Does that lessen the advantage a young team like OKC would have in the playoffs?

Skin
  (2:34 PM)

I think that's a great point Adam and it doesn't matter in the first round. It'll matter the further a team goes, for example I thought Billups looked like he was dragging weights around with him by the end of the Laker series last year. But there are no back to backs and no extensive travel in the conference playoffs so I do think that aspect is minimized

Cory Clay (San Antonio, TX)

I think the Spurs take this in 5 or 6. I just don't see how the Mavs will be able to handle Manu, Parker, and Hill. The Spurs are clicking at the right time, sorry Mavs Fans, maybe next year.

Skin
  (2:35 PM)

If Parker and Hill were completely healthy and playing at a high level then you may be on to something. But that doesn't appear to be the case...or do you know something we don't?

Booker (Frisco TX)

Yo Skin who are your X factors for the series

Skin
  (2:40 PM)

Sorry to go double back-up point on you, but George Hill's health is a huge factor and if he's fine and ready to go I think all Mav fans should fear that dude. He's a baller who's really come into his own this year. And for the record I told Mav fans at the beginning of the year that they should keep their eye on Hill as that could be the Roddy B blueprint from a development standpoint. For Dallas, if they get solid production when JJ is on the floor like they did in last year's playoffs, then I'm thinking all is right in Mav World.

Steve (Dallas)

Do you think Dirk will be traded if dallas doesnt win a championship this year?

Skin
  (2:44 PM)

I don't even think it's a remote possibility. Keep in mind that Dirk doesn't have an agent trying to put him in different scenarios. Dirk will want to finish his career in Dallas so long as they're competitive and this team has maintained a cap flexibility that will allow them to be in the mix for years to come.

Mark (Dallas,Tx)

What is the favorable lineup Dallas can put on the floor that will be the toughest for San Antonio to defend?

Skin
  (2:48 PM)

I'd say it's Dirk, Marion, Butler, Roddy and J Kidd...I also think you have absolutely zero chance of seeing that. Even if you replaced Roddy with JET I'd be surprised if Carlisle ever weakened the interior defense by not having one of either Damp, Haywood or even Najera on the floor at all times...

Illa_da_Chilla (Duncanville)

What's up with Guru from Gangstarr?

Skin
  (2:50 PM)

I haven't heard any updates, did he ever emerge from the coma? One thing is for sure - it's mostly the voice....

Frank (Dallas)

Do you think Charles Barkley has gone crazy? He, Ernie and Kenny seem to be constantly taking shots at each other on the broadcast.

Skin
  (2:51 PM)

When you say "gone crazy," are you inferring that his recent behavior is a new trend we haven't seen before? For the record, I love Barkley - far and away one of the most entertaining analysts on the tube...

pat (arlington tx)

how far u do u think the mavs will go realistically

Skin
  (2:52 PM)

I don't think the WCF is unrealistic for any team other than Portland or OKC

Booker (Frisco)

Who should be able to conatin Ginobil, to be honest dude scares me

Skin
  (2:54 PM)

That's because you kind sir, have a healthy understanding of fear. The Mavs will throw a healthy does of Matrix and the Beard at him.

Matt (Gainesville TX)

Skin, will the mavs land a big name this summer?

Skin
  (2:58 PM)

I guess it depends on how big is big in your estimation. I don't think we'll see a Bosh, Wade or Bron. And though folks throw Joe Johnson out there, unless the Mavs want to give up Roddy B (which I don't), I don't see what the Mavs could offer the Hawks as they don't have bad contracts they need to dump. I think they'll add a good player, but no huge game-changers...though I'd love to be wrong

Frank (Dallas)

Put on the spot Skin, how far do you think this team will go?

Skin
  (2:59 PM)

I'll say the WCF and feel good about it. Homer Broadcast Skin says get ready for that elusive Championship.

Skin
  (3:01 PM)

That does it for me everybody. Good times. Enjoy the playoffs and make sure and tune in to the Ben and Skin show every weekday at 9AM CST on 103.3 FM ESPN - the absolute best place to talk Mavs. I will now unleash a Wes Unseld-like outlet pass to Mr. Kidd and he'll take it from here....

Jason Kidd
  (3:05 PM)

OK, we've got Jason Kidd with us for the next half our lets's get the questions rolling...

Nikola Zuber (Washington DC)

Hey Jason, the greatest point guard to ever liveI was wondering, who is the player in the locker room who gets you pumped and ready to win

Jason Kidd
  (3:06 PM)

I would have to say Dirk and Jet are the two that make sure that I'm ready to go. They tell me to lead and set the tempo and I try to take their orders and do that when the game starts.

ray (arlington)

how does this team compare to his other finals teams he played on ?and can they stop kobie if it comes to that?

Jason Kidd
  (3:08 PM)

It's a very good team and hopefully it's the best team I've played on. This is the deepest team I've played on. Every guy on the team could start in the NBA. We had injuries during the season and we didn't miss a beat. We just plugged somebody in and kept going.

Chris (Shaw)

Jason, What do the Spurs do offensively or defensively that could give the Mavs the biggest problem this series?

Jason Kidd
  (3:08 PM)

They shoot the 3 well and when you talk about Tim Duncan, he gets a lot of attention. But, the 3 can definitely give us problems if we don't guard the 3 point line.

nish (mesquite)

Hi Jason, I will be asking you a tough question here. Who are you most comfortable backing you up at point.

Jason Kidd
  (3:09 PM)

I have confidene in J.J. and Roddy. Both have done a wondeful job so whoever coach goes with we believe in that person as the backup.

nish (mesquite)

In your view what is an unsuccessful season at this point for the Mavs

Jason Kidd
  (3:10 PM)

Well, our goal is to win a championship so anything short of that will be disappointing because that is what we've worked for all season, is to win a championship.

nish (mesquite)

Do you think Pop made a statement last night.

Jason Kidd
  (3:11 PM)

I don't think he made a statment. You look at the situation, he wanted to give his stars a break going into the playoffs. I don't think that was so much a statement.

Soroush (Plano, TX)

Jason, which player on both teams would you dub the X-factor for this series?

Jason Kidd
  (3:11 PM)

I think you look at any series there's going to be a player who is going to have a big game or a big series, hopefully that player comes from our team. From San Antonio maybe Richard Jefferson and from our team maybe Shawn or Caron.

Austin (Dallas)

Jason,How important is it that you guys come out strong and win these first two playoff games at home before San Antonio. It seems nearly impossible for a team to dig out of an 0-2 (although I haven't forgot the Miami series from 05)

Jason Kidd
  (3:12 PM)

I think it's important to get off to a good start so to protect home is your job. It's important to get off to a good start in Game 1 and then you can look to Game 2.

Austin (Dallas)

Jason,What do you attribute to your incredible 3 point shooting this year? You have been knocking down threes like a mad man! Keep up the good work and good luck in the playoffs!

Jason Kidd
  (3:13 PM)

Just a lot of practice. Being a good shooting team you have Dirk and Jet, those guys are competitive and I'm competitive, so I wanted to help those guys out.

Tim (DeSoto)

Who do you think will be able to match up best with Ginobli?

Jason Kidd
  (3:13 PM)

Well, we're going to have to throw a lot of bodies probably at Ginobili. You have Caron, you have Shawn, you have DeShawn Stevenson. It won't just be one person.

Anthony Kahn (Dallas, Texas)

Jason, do you feel like since you have returned to Dallas, the Mavericks now get a lot more respect around the league not only by the other teams, but by the refs as well. From an outside perspective, it seems we get a lot more calls with you in there as you're presence on the court picks up everyone's energy.

Jason Kidd
  (3:14 PM)

I don't know. I think you have talented players and a veteran ballclub, so I don't know if it's me, but being aggressive, taking the ball to the basket and putting pressure on our opponents I think is a big reason.

Kimberly Padawer (Memphis, TN)

Jason - do you and Dirk still go and shoot around in the gym by yourselves on the road like when you first arrived? Whatever you're doing, you're shooting the ball the best of your career and we LOVE it. Keep up the great work sir.

Jason Kidd
  (3:15 PM)

No, we don't. As I've gotten older, I have to save all my good shots. I have to get my rest.

Adam Lan (Dallas, TX)

Jason, who will you start out guarding in Game 1? I think you are one of the best defenders in the league in guarding 2 guards.

Jason Kidd
  (3:16 PM)

I'll probably end starting off on the point guard whether it's Tony Parker or George Hill.

Simon (Garland)

Is Dirk the best talent you've ever played with?

Jason Kidd
  (3:17 PM)

Yes. His work ethic is tremendous and his love of the game as well as his talented is the ultimate high. I've never played with a guy with that talent and also works that hard and loves the game. So he would definitely be the best I've ever played with.

Simon (Garland)

With the trade for Butler and Haywood, is this the best team you have ever been on in your career? and I was really glad when we traded Harris for you.

Jason Kidd
  (3:17 PM)

The trade made the team better, but I think overall this is the deepest team, so, yeah, I would say this is the best team I've played on.

jorge (garland, tx)

what makes this run into the playoffs for the mavericks any different then previous years? seems like the mavs are always hot but never have enough to bring it all together for the big one..is this year any different? if so why?

Jason Kidd
  (3:18 PM)

We hope it's our year. I think we're playing good basketball through the season and at the end of the year. Hopefully this will be the year we can put it all together.

DC (Missouri)

Should we still be concerned about defensive disposition? The Mavs have proven to be an Elite team when they come out focused on the defensive end and play with that intensity. Will the playoffs ignite that fire and keep it burning?

Jason Kidd
  (3:19 PM)

No. I think we're going to be ready defensively and offensivley. This is a veteran ballclub so we understand what we have to do.

Jason Kidd
  (3:19 PM)

Well, I think he's going to get his chance. I think he will have an impact when he gets his chance.

Kidd>Parker (New York)

Do you guys feel confident based on what you did to the Spurs last year? Or are you preparing in a whole new way?

Jason Kidd
  (3:20 PM)

We're preparing for a new year, this is the beginning of a new series. Last year doesn't matter or count. We're getting ready to execute our game plan and not so much what happened last year.

Andy (Irving, TX)

What is the one thing that you will personally need to focus on in order for the Mavs to be successful in this series?

Jason Kidd
  (3:21 PM)

Well, keeping the emotion of the game on an even-keel, not getting up too high or lettng the adrenaline rush get you tired early in Game 1 and keeping our composure in the game is going to be important.

Alex (Houston)

Do you think its important to handle the Spurs as fastly as possible in order to rest up for a possible track meet with PHX?

Jason Kidd
  (3:22 PM)

You can't worry about any other series that's happening. You have to take care of your business first. No one has even thought about that. One game at a time. One series at a time.

Nathan (Austin)

How is your stamina holding up after playing so many minutes? Seems like you have been shooting better of late, so the minutes must not be effecting you.

Jason Kidd
  (3:23 PM)

I feel great. Physically and mentally I feel as if this is the beginning of the season. I am excited and ready to go.

Tony Parker (San Antonio)

Would you agree that the key to beating the spurs is stopping my dribble penatration?

Jason Kidd
  (3:24 PM)

Welcome to the chat, Tony. He's extremely good at that. When he gets into the paint he creates so much havoc by scoring and finding the open guy. That is a task in itself and something that we definitely have to try to do.

Matt Wisson (Lubbock, Texas)

Is Shawn going to have the defensive workload for Manu? Does he seem to be back to 100% after he strained his side?

Jason Kidd
  (3:25 PM)

We don't know who's guarding who yet. He will have times to guard Ginobili. His length can hopefully help, but Ginobili is such a talent so we have to try to make it as tough as possible.

Rita Kahn (Dallas)

J-Kidd,I am curious to know if you keep in touch with Jamal Mashburn and Jim Jackson these days? Honestly, what is your relationship with those guys, particularly Jackson? Thanks for your candid response.

Jason Kidd
  (3:25 PM)

I haven't talk to neither one of them.

Nathan Scott (Dallas)

Jason-You used to post up a lot and use your strength in the post. Do you see yourself doing that much in the playoffs much, given that Parker will be guarding you, and that may make him work harder defensively and wear him down?

Jason Kidd
  (3:26 PM)

It's something I'm hopeful we can do. We try to post up other guys like Caron or Shawn and keep me behind the arc. We won't change anything.

Ana (Cedar Hill texas)

Do you feel that the new guys are really happy and getting along with old guys off the court?

Jason Kidd
  (3:27 PM)

Yes, this is one of the best locker rooms I've been a part of on and off the court. Everybody wants each other to have success, so it's been great on and off the court.

Haris (Chicago/Dallas)

Do you think that Dallas is a legitimate contender for the NBA Finals?

Jason Kidd
  (3:28 PM)

Oh, we hope so. We believe that we have the pieces to have that type of success, now it's a matter of us going out on the fly and doing that.

Gabriel Wigington (plano,tx)

Hey Jason, iive always loved your game and how unselfish you are. In what ways did you mature from when you were younger the 1st time playing for the Mavs early in your career? and also as someone who aspires to be a coach one day, who made the biggest impact on you in a positive way to develop you as a young player in h.s. or college?

Jason Kidd
  (3:29 PM)

Just understanding what it takes to win in the NBA. Early on you think if you get up 10 in the first quarter you think you can win that game. But you learn to understand that the last six minutes of game is when they are won or lost and that is a big difference to understand.

kovon23 (arlington tx)

do you think the spurs defensive ways can give the mavs trouble?

Jason Kidd
  (3:29 PM)

They are a great defensive system team, so they've always given teams trouble. We have to be patient and we have to get good looks. That's something we're going to see throughout this series.

Tommy D. (Mckinney, Tx)

So how is everybody feeling going into this series, knowing its going to be a physically tough serious?

Jason Kidd
  (3:30 PM)

I think everybody's health is great and we understand that it's going to be a test mentally and physically and I think we're all up for that challenge.

Haris (Chicago/Dallas)

How do you think Dirk will play considering how much he has "dominated" against the Spurs this year?

Jason Kidd
  (3:31 PM)

Well, we're looking for Dirk to have a good series. We know he gets a lot of attention and will probably get a lot of double teams. We'll have to put him in the right position, get him good passes and that will help him to knock down those shots.

Jason Kidd
  (3:32 PM)

OK, everybody, thanks for alll of your questions. I wish I could stick around to answer all of them, but I've got to get my rest. We're looking forward to a great playoff series against the Spurs and we appreciate your support.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:34 PM)

Hello everyone, much thanks to Jason Kidd for sticking around the last half-hour to give his taken on the upcoming playoff series with the Spurs. Hope you enjoyed that.Now somehow I've been put in the situation to follow up a future Hall of Famer. Great.Oh well. I'm going to reset the deck of questions and let's get rolling....

"Nugs" Armstrong (Philadelphia)

Do you see Roddy B playing a bigger role in this upcoming playoff series despite being a rookie? His size and speed matches him up well with Tony Parker.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:36 PM)

I really don't see Roddy B getting much time in this series, simply because he is a rookie and the Mavs are so deep. If I can read anything into the way Rick Carlisle handled his rotation at the end of the year, I think DeShawn Stevenson likely earned some minutes as a spot defender.

TJ (Dallas)

The game tends to slow down in the playoffs, but your Mavs have tended to push the pace whenever possible throughout the season. How important do you think dictating the tempo will be in this first round series?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:38 PM)

Most of these questions are directed at J-Kidd, but let me try to give some insight from talking to Kidd and others about many of these subjects...The Mavs will continue to push the tempo. They want an up-tempo game against the Spurs, who will try to limit possessions. But, the Mavs know that playoff basketball will certainly have plenty of grind-it-out sequences, especially in the fourth quarter. The Mavs have fared well in those instances. They were one of the best teams coming from behind and winning close games, which requires execution down the stretch.

David (KC)

Talk about how the morale has changed since the depature of Josh Howard.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:41 PM)

I can tell you that the trade sort of just brought some fresh air into the locker room. It's not that the guys didn't like Josh Howard any more, but there was a continuous build-up of drama on Howard's part, stemming from his off-the-court encounters as well as the injuries that took him in and out of the lineup. Players need to know they can count on their teammates and that wasn't happening with Howard. The team needed more accountability. The new guys just brought a freshness, an eagerness and an excitement having come from a franchise that hasn't experienced much success. So I think it was refreshing for the guys already here and the guys that came in.

Matt J (Durham, NH)

Offense doesn't really seem like a problem, but what are the Mavs going to be doing different defensively once playoffs roll around?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:43 PM)

I'm not sure there's anything different that they can do. They just have to make sure they are engaged mentally to play solid defense. When they lose concentration, as we've seen this year, it can get pretty ugly defensively. If that happens in this season, I hate to see what Manu Ginobili will do. The Mavs have a size advantage inside and Erick Dampier and Brendan Haywood must provide good help defense to cut of Ginobili's and Tony Parker's drives. If the Mavs play good team defense they will be tough to beat. When they get lax, they're easy to pick apart for layups.

JT (Bedford)

How is Tim Thomas doing? I believe his wife is ill. Is there any chance of seeing him in the playoffs or next year?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:44 PM)

There's actually been a lot of Tim Thomas inquiries. There hasn't been really any new updates on how his wife is faring. Tim won't be back for the playoffs and there's very little chance he'll be back in a Mavs uniform next year. Obviously, basketball is not a top priority for him right now.

Thomas (KC, MO)

Jason, I'm hearing a lot of experts saying that Tony Parker is headed for a big series at your expense. Think you can show them a thing or two?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:45 PM)

I can help answer this for Jason. He does expect to start Game 1 guarding Tony Parker, assuming, of course, Parker is in the starting lineup. If it's George Hill, then Kidd will guard him. This is one of the real difficult matchups for Kidd because of Parker's speed. Remember last season's series? The Mavs won 4-1, but Spurs did not have Ginobili and Parker was brilliant. So Jason has his hands full.

Kelly (Dallas)

How many games do you think this series will be? (mavs. vs spurs)

Jeff Caplan
  (3:48 PM)

I've tabbed this game as going 7, just because of the intensity these two teams bring against each other. Now, I say 7 games thinking both teams are fully healthy, but George Hill's status will have a big say in that. If his sprained ankle forces him to miss any games, I give a huge nod to the Mavs. I just think Hill has been that good and his versatility to play the point or shooting guard and defend is a big plus for the Spurs. Think about it, if he's out, suddenly he or Parker is not coming off the bench and that kills San Antonio's depth. If Hill misses two or more games, give me the Mavs in 6.

Frank (Dallas)

Who contains Dirk Nasty? The Spurs don't seem to have a match up for him.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:50 PM)

No one single player. There are no more Bruce Bowen bear hugs or bothersome Bowen tactics like "tripping" people as Dirk said after today's practice. Dirk thinks he'll see a lot of different coverages to keep him guessing. He always sees plenty of double teams so his ability to kick the ball back out, especially to Jason Kidd, who is often left open at the 3-point line, is a big key in this series.

Frank (Dallas)

Damp gets slammed constantly by the Maverick faithful because of his deficiencies, however he seems to play solid D against Tim Duncan. Do you think that match up will be pivotal in the series?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:51 PM)

That's a great observation, Frank. Dampier does play pretty good defense on Duncan. Damp has a bit of a bulk advantage on Duncan and can kind of push out maybe just a little bit further than Duncan would like. I think the addition of Brendan Haywood gives the Mavs a really nice 1-2 punch to throw at Duncan and then Dirk will take him for a few possessions to mix things up even more. I think Rick Carlisle would likely agree with your assessment as well.

jose (irving texas)

do you think that the mavs are better than what they were in 2006 when the reached the nba finals? do you think that they have a chance this year

Jeff Caplan
  (3:57 PM)

Better? That will ultimately be determined. Now, are they more talented? I would have to say yes. Do you like Jason Kidd or Jason Terry as your point guard? Do you like Caron Butler or Adrian Griffin as your shooting guard? Those are two key positions that are far better this season than in '06. Now, can Butler and Marion score enough. Can Brendan Haywood give you good minutes like DeSagana Diop did back then (really, remember he actually beat out Damp that season and started opposite Shaq in the Finals).

Jeff Caplan
  (3:57 PM)

Sorry for the delay, connection glitches, but we're back rolling...

Ray (Corsicana, TX)

If the Mavs happen to 'beat the Cavaliers in the finals in seven games' *hint*, do you think Mark and Donnie will make any significant changes in the offseason considering Damp's contract?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:57 PM)

Damp's contract is extremely valuable as a trade chip to potentially upgrade the team. I don't think anything will change with that.

Jason F (Montana)

Who do you think will be the X-Factor of this series? For both Teams?...

Jeff Caplan
  (4:00 PM)

We all know Parker, Manu and Duncan are the Spurs' Big 3. I have two x-factors for the Spurs. One is the red-headed Matt Bonner because he is a streaky 3-point shooter and can win the Spurs a game. The other is Richard Jefferson. He's had such a difficult year, I mean the guy was taken out of the starting lineup and not that long ago. But, he's come on and he'll have something to prove in the playoffs, so he's a guy to really watch. For the Mavs, J.J. Barea seems to be able to get in the lane against the Spurs. If he puts up 10-12 points a game, what a huge break for the Mavs when Kidd takes a breather.

Mike (Pheonix)

Hey, is Dirk going to keep his good shooting on or is he going to lose it during playoffs?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:01 PM)

Why in the world do you think Dirk would lose his shooting touch in the playoffs? I would be really suprised if that happens. I expect Dirk to do what he always does and it's going to be up to guys like Caron Butler to get his share of buckets and get to the free throw line. Of course, the Mavs' team defense will dictate everything, good or bad.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:02 PM)

OK everybody, thanks for joining me.Up next is everybody's favorite Tim MacMahon. Give him a hard time.

Reid Stein (Philly)

Who is more of the x-factor in this series, Manu Ginobili or Dejuan Blair? Both present matchup problems but both have weaknesses that can be exposed. Kidd could probably play Manu very well and get the benefit of the doubt with the refs if Manu tries to flop around everywhere.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:05 PM)

I wouldn't call Manu an X-factor. He'll be a primary focus of the Mavs' defensive game plan. DeJuan Blair, a rookie wide body, is obviously much more of an unknown. Kind of like Roddy B, a lot of folks are wondering whether a veteran coach will give Blair significant playing time in a playoff series. He showed in the regular-season finale that he can give the Mavs' big men fits.

Armando (Oak Cliff Texas)

How much will Rick Carlisle use Roddy in the playoffs ??

Tim MacMahon
  (4:08 PM)

There will probably be several games that Roddy doesn't get off the bench. JJ Barea has a firm grasp on the backup PG gig and there just aren't many available minutes at the 2 with Caron Butler, Jason Terry and defensive stopper DeShawn Stevenson in the mix. But I wouldn't be surprised at all if Roddy made a major impact in a game or two when given a chance. I could definitely envision him sparking a Mavs comeback as part of a three-guard lineup.

Haris (Chicago/Dallas)

How much longer do you think Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd, and Dirk Nowitzki have left in the NBA?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:10 PM)

All three of those future Hall of Famers don't rely much on pure athleticism, which means they can play a lot longer than most. Dirk has maybe four or five good years left. Kidd wants to play until he's 40, and that certainly looks possible at this point. Duncan has had knee problems, which might lead him to hang 'em up in a few years.

derrik (Nacogdoches,Texas)

do you see it being a problem when jason kidd guards tony parker? i know how fast point guards give kidd trouble but parker is no where near the same parker. Is it still a problem?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:12 PM)

Kidd is much better defending 2s or bigger guards than the waterbugs, so yes, Tony Parker presents some problems. But Parker hasn't been playing that well since recently returning from a broken hand. Manu Ginobili is a bigger concern entering the series.

Samuel (Dallas)

Do you think the addition of better defensive players will help Dallas' playoff run this year? Stevenson, Butler, and Marion are all great defenders.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:14 PM)

I wouldn't put Butler in the "great" category as a defender. More solid. Brendan Haywood was another huge acquisition in upgrading the defense. The Mavs, even after the trade, have been up and down defensively. But there's no doubt they're better put together for a playoff run than last season. They have two legit shot-blockers and a few guys who can rotate on the elite wing scorers.

Tyler (Seattle)

Everybody is talking about how the Lakers are slumping and won't mmaker the finals. Do you agree or do you think they are just as dangerous as last year?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:17 PM)

LA is still the favorite, but it's not a foregone conclusion that they'll make the Finals, which was pretty much the case last season. So much depends on the health/effectiveness of Andrew Bynum. They're so big and versatile when he's playing well. When he's out or struggling, they're much easier to match up with. And, of course, Kobe's health is a huge factor. Hindsight is 20/20, but it looks like he should have taken time off when he originally injured his finger instead of fighting through it.

Beam (DC)

Is Haywood back on the upswing? For a little while he seemed disinterested. Those 15 boards gave me a huge sigh of relief. We need both him and Damp to do what they've shown they can.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:20 PM)

Inconsistency has long been the biggest knock on Haywood. That's continued to be true since the trade. When he's active, he's a double-double guy who is a defensive force. But there are too many times that he looks like he's coasting. You'd like to think that the playoffs would bring out the intensity in him, but we'll see. Rick Carlisle says the starting situation at center could change, but I'd expect Dampier to continue in that role, at least in this series.

Breon (Phoenix,Az)

What's the status of Tim Thomas?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:22 PM)

Thomas will not rejoin the Mavs. He's completely focused on his family while his wife continues to fight a serious illness.

Brady (Phoenix)

What would you make of a series with the Suns playing the Mavericks or Spurs? I believe it's going to be a great series either way but how would you see either opponent doing against the Suns?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:24 PM)

Throw all the West teams in a hat and pick two. You'd probably get a great series. That goes for PHX and either of these two teams. Mavs-Suns would be a ton of fun to watch. Both teams want to run, so it wouldn't be the grind-it-out style you see so often in the playoffs. And the Nash-Kidd-Dirk storyline is a great one.

Eddie (Fort Worth)

If the Mavericks did face the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals (yea it's a stretch) would the Mavericks prevail this time? This time the Mavericks have home court advantage and are a better team than they were last season.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:26 PM)

I would pick the Mavs over the Nuggets without hesitating. Carmelo Anthony killed the Mavs in last season's series. Shawn Marion shut him down in both games that the Matrix played against Denver this season.

Dave (Grapevine,TX)

Don't you think that Haywood's mobility will help when Parker can get past Kidd? It seems that we've got better help defenders these days.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:28 PM)

Haywood definitely will help protect the rim, but Parker is so good at those floaters before the big men can get to him. The other thing that Parker does so well is knock down midrange jumpers off pick-and-rolls. If big men help too much in those situations, Tim Duncan will have a field day.

Randy (Dallas)

Hey Tim. Who would win in a fist fight between you and Jeff Caplan?

Tim MacMahon
  (4:29 PM)

If he tries to take the ESPN Dallas courtside seat, we might find out. I'm confident that I'd whup him the way Brendan Haywood used to beat up Etan Thomas.

Tim MacMahon
  (4:29 PM)

Gotta run now. Hope you enjoyed the chat block. Thanks for all the questions. We'll try to do this again soon.