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April 14, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:00 PM)

So Portland it is...Should be a fantastic series. Highly emotional. Let's get it out of the way right now and call it Dallas in 7

Brett- Orleans, Indiana [via mobile]

Who do you think will be the X factor for the Mavs to make it out of the first round for a change. I'm sick of one and done.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:03 PM)

Everyone is sick of one and done. I think there are two X factors. One is Shawn Marion and his ability to score in the paint. he has become q force in the last month, reviving the Phoenix memories. And the other is Jason Kidd's shooting. He doesn't need to score a lot, but he needs to score some. Last night vs New Orleans was a perfect example. Dallas is 24-6 when he scores 10+ points

Jim (FTW)

Chuck, do you think Portland was the worst case scenerio for Dallas, with all the teams jumbled up on the last day of the regular season?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:04 PM)

Memphis was the one team I didn't want. This one is definitely no bargain either. The one team that has fallen off the pace is New Orleans. Too bad Kobe Bryant wouldn't let it happen

Christopher (Dallas)

Finally Dirk shoots over 20 times. I think we need him to get that amount of shot for us to be successful. Because if he gives 4-5 of them shots to other they will be drastically lower % shots. What do you think?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:05 PM)

I would like to see him shoot more. I think in the playoffs you will see him do that. But the important thing is that the Mavericks make sure they get the right shot every time down the floor. I want Dirk at 20+ attempts, but I don't want them at the expsnse of him having to force stuff up that is unlikely to go in

Michael (Dallas)

Ok well I know we dont want to do anything that may prevent us from signing chandler. I though dirk gave up money for that. Getting Sjackson would of put us over the top. We are going to pay Butler the same as Sjax and he isnt at productive as Sjax. Am I wrong?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:06 PM)

Given that Jackson ahs spent much of the last month with a hammy. How much he would have helped would have been debatable. And you have two more years on his contract. He didn't interest me.

Ray (Dallas)

Offensively, isn't there cause for concern for the Mavericks because of the match up with the Blazers. Looking at the starting lineup, other than Dirk, where are the points coming from. A team like Portland can match up Gerald Wallace against Marion, Kidd and Stevenson can't dribble penetrate. So is a lot of this series about to fall into the hands of Jason Terry and his production off the bench? If so, here we go again...

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:10 PM)

No doubt Jason Terry hasn't been good in the last two playoff years. You assume that it will happen again. You could just as easily assume that he would shoot the way he has prior to those two years. Terry had a bad road trip in late March. But overall, he has had a very solid year. He remains one of the the best fourth quarter scorers in the league. Shoots a high percentage in the 4th (49 percent, and isn't afraid. That's why Rick Carlisle relies on him

Jaime (Chuck)

I think that Roddy benching was alright, but why Carlisle has been so rude with Roddy and being so fair with Terry when he is chocking I would like that Carlisle be like that to all his players, sure except Dirk his the only one who can be excused! Thank you :)

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:10 PM)

See the answer to the last question...

Joe (Portland)

Is Dallas REALLY playing the underdog card? Talk about setting low expectations: you're playing a team which essentially lost two of its best 4 players before the season even started.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:12 PM)

Dallas isn't playing the underdog card. Dallas is playing the disrepected card. There has never been a 57 win team less respected than the Mavericks. And there are obvious reasons for it. the only way the Mavericks can change it is to win

miet (cairo)

i am flabbergasted that carlisle changed his starting 5 one game before the playoffs! i mean, stevenson could have needed at least some games to find his groove. or should i expect changing starting fives with roddy, brewer, stevenson and peja in and out? i need some hope!

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:14 PM)

Stevenson has been playing better the last few games. He's knocked down a few three pointers and plays good defense. He has the size that they will need to better match up with the taller Portland players. It wasn't a difficult call for Carlisle. If Roddy was making a difference that would be one thing, but Roddy has been awful lately. It doesn't take much to see that

kevin (lewisville)

okay what matchup problems outside of dirk to the mavs present the trailblazers. I can see a lot for the mavs because our guards our one dimensional because they do not go to the basket outside of JJ. If we dont make three pointers we lose this series because its all we know how to do every year.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:15 PM)

I think Shawn Marion's ability is going to be something Portland is going to have to account for. He's giving them some inside scoring that they don't always get.

david (new york)

can someone tell me how in the world is deshawn steveson starting over corey brewer?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:16 PM)

Not hard at all. The Mavs love the edge that Stevenson plays with. And don't count out Brewer in this series. I have a feeling there is going to be a time when he is needed

Erick (Dallas)

So is Mark Aguirre better now? I haven't heard an update on his health since he clasped while working out.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:17 PM)

I haven't heard anything lately, but because there's been nothing out there, I'm assuming that things are coming along well. Wishing him the best

Dewayne (Tyler)

Charles Barkley and Karl Malone 2 of the greatest players to ever play and never won a championship. Dirk another power foward also one of the greatest players to play this game. Why dont people put him in the same catagory as those two? dirk is one of 4 people according to jeff caplen to average 25 pts and 10 reb in their playoff career yet he doesnt get his recognition. No one ever mentions that he hasnt had a superstar to play with. They always blame Dirk even though he is always amazing in the playoffs yet people want to say he isnt good in the playoffs. why is this? let me get off my soapbox now.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:17 PM)

Point beautifully made

Ken (Fort Worth)

Why is that everybody goes back to the cliche' of the Mavs being the "same ol' Mavs" when the entire team around (for the most part consistent) Dirk and Terry has changed?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:18 PM)

Because it's easy to do when the results have been poor

Dominique (Dallas)

When Roddy is healthy how do you see Carlise using him Because he cant play with jet at the same time. Does he just play about 10 min a game now?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:19 PM)

I don't think you're going to see much of Roddy in the playoffs. He's not ready. Unfortunately, it's obvious.

Drew (Dallas)

With Summer league being cancelled and Roddy B only getting training camp before next season starts, what can the expectation be of him next year? Also, is next year his contract year? Are we just developing him for the next team to enjoy?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:22 PM)

Cancelling Summer League is a big setback. Again, he's going to have to learn on the fly. It doesn't help. You may very well be right about devlioping him for someone else. although he seems so far down the road from developed that if the Mavericks did deal him, that they might not get burned.

Joe (Portland)

Chuck Cooperstein: "Dallas isn't playing the underdog card."Jason Terry: "Now, we?re the underdog and we?re going out fighting every night."

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:25 PM)

You don't live in Dallas. Jason Terry loves to talk. Sometimes his talk can be a little bit off the mark, In this case, Terry is talking in the context of few people beliveing the Mavs can win the series. And in that context he is absolutely correct. Again, it's disrepect for a team that has won 57 games

anthony (dallas)

carlisle completely ruined roddy beaubois. roddy had the potential in my opinion 2 be a monta ellis type of player. just a PURE LETHAL scorer. trying to insert him into the starting rotation AND change his position MIDSEASON was a HUGE mistake. totally ruined the chemistry of this team.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:28 PM)

Exactly how did he ruin him? he played him alongside Kidd. That is how he had his greatest success last year. When you saw him play point guard this year, did he show you anything to suggest he could be a high level NBA PG? It was a disaster. He has SO much to learn, and unfortunately, he missed almost six months because of his foot. It's time he'll never get back. Don't blame Carlisle. Blame the circumstances

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:30 PM)

The Mavericks have been scoring more in the paint of late because of Marion, and I think that's important. But neither team shoots a lot of free thors. Both shoot a little over 22 a game. Dallas was 26th and Portland 28th in that category. And I love your Haywood point. He's been playing his best basketball over the last eight to ten games. They will need him. Especially if Chandler continues to struggle with fouls.

Adam (Dallas)

What do you think Dallas has to do differently in order to come out on top? I think Dallas will win in 6, but the two key points to their success will be if they get to the foul line more than Portland and be aggressive in the paint instead of settling for contested jumpers as they have in the past. Also will be if Brendan Haywood can step up and earn his contract... He showed great signs last night against the Hornets.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:30 PM)

See your answer above

Cameron Ongena (Waco)

I'm getting the sense that the players were not on the same page with the coaching staff/owner in regards to Roddy Beaubois and his role on the team. Seems like the players were clamoring for DeShawn to get back his starting role after last night's game. Is this something you sense too? Could that have contributed to that rough patch of games the Mavs went through at the end of the season? Did Roddy coming back HURT the Mavs?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:35 PM)

No doubt the players love Stevenson and want him to play. It was Dirk, and Kidd going to Rick Carlisle early in the season and suggesting that Stevenson start. It looked like genius especially when DeShawn was shooting 50 percent from three point range. But when he started struggling, and Roddy got healthy, the move was made to put Roddy in, largely because everyone thought he would be the player he was at the end of last season. He's clearly not, and if wasn't going to be different and better, then Stevenson should be back in there

Joe (Portland)

I think you are confusing specific matchups with disrespect. ESPN has 8 of 10 "experts" picking the Mavs. Most people agree that these two teams are pretty darn close, and that it is hard to infer much from the 1/4 of the season spent with the current lineups. Would you disagree that, based on matchups, Dallas will be the most likely team in the West to be upset? Doesn't mean people would bet against big D straight up

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:37 PM)

No confusion here. There is no doubt that people don't think of the Mavericks and their 57 wins the same way they think of the Lakers and their 57 wins. Why is that? The Lakers have won in the playoffs and the Mavericks haven't. Simple as that.

George (Frisco)

How do you think Haywood and Mahinmi should be used this series? And more importantly, can Chandler be a low-post scoring threat (besides alley-oops)?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:39 PM)

Mahinmi will play only if Chandler and Haywood get into foul trouble. And no, Chandler won't be a low post scoring threat. Shawn Marion will be.

eddie (college station)

Roddy actually did pretty good against the blazers this season, averaged 2.5 fouls and 17 points

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:39 PM)

And many of those points came in garbage time in the last game in Portland

Ryan (Portland)

Lets hope for another thrilling series like the Blazers-Mavs of 03

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:40 PM)

Right there with you

FJ (Wash, DC)

Chuck! Quick question: how badly for the Mavs mental state (and Mavs' fans') will it be if Portland steals the first game??

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:44 PM)

It would be devastating. Dallas absolutely has to win the first two games of this series. Even though their road record the last two years is the best in the NBA, they are just 2-16 on the road going back to the 06 Finals. If they split the first two games, the Blazers are going to flying. And Portland was 30-11 at home this season

Fans (dallas)

Why does FJ feel the need to call us 'fans' we are some of the most loyal fans in the whole league!!!!!!!! (We get down on our team but thats because we want the best)

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:46 PM)

I would say Mavericks fans are from the "Show Me" school There is not unconditional love in the AAC so that the place is crazy from the start. They need to be shown something before they get involved. Now when they do, it can be pretty good. Watch the games in the Rose Garden and see the difference. It will be an insane asylum from the get go

Jim (Dallas)

Chuck, the Mavs, in the past, have always taken care of the ball. Why all the turnovers this year and what do they do to improve that during the playoffs?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:48 PM)

I don't know, other than the fact that they're just carless with it. Lots of looping, cross court passes that are easily intercepted, Trying to make the pass off the dribble (Like Steve Nash) instead of just using two hands and making the sure the pass is on target. It is something that is going to be critical in the series. Especially with Portland being such a low possession team. Every possession counts

kevin (lewisville)

okay your prediction in the series is mine 4-2 portland because dallas shoots too many threes and no scores but dirk just like last year.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:50 PM)

As I said at the start, I like Dallas in seven. Portland doesn't shoot a lot of three's but they don't really penetrate either. Got to always like the home team in a Game Seven

Chuck Cooperstein
  (4:52 PM)

On that note let's wrap it here. It's going to be a blast. And it starts on Saturday night. Hope you'll join me throughout the series on 103.3 ESPN. We'll be bqack next week before Game 4 in Portland