Thanks for joining me for some Mavs-Blazers talk. The Mavs have already headed to Portland. The ESPNDallas.com duo will take off this evening. On to the questions ...
The Mavs were Scary good when Stevenson started BECAUSE of their D. I understand wanting to give Roddy a chance to become a Monta Ellis kind of player but are people over looking Stevenson's impact on the team or am I over stating it? Just seemed like when he wasn't starting I didn't "really" think they were contenders but the way they've played the past 3 games....
You have to respect the Mavs' record with DeShawn Stevenson in the starting lineup. I believe it's now 36-9 when Dirk Nowitzki is healthy, although that number is off the top of my head. But it's really, really good. Stevenson doesn't play a lot of minutes, but he's a tone-setter. I was on board with sticking with Roddy Beaubois as long as possible, because I think this team needs another dynamic scorer to get out of the West. But it became painfully clear that Roddy B wasn't ready, so switching back to Stevenson was an easy decision.
Do you have any word on Caron's status?
Still no timetable. He took another step in his rehab this week, working on jab steps and off-the-dribble moves. I would still consider it a bonus if Butler is able to play during the playoffs.
Why cant JET play PG in the times JKidd is resting?
Not sure how to explain Jason Terry's inability to play point guard. This is a guy who was the starting PG on an NBA Finals team five years ago. But do you remember Jet starting at point when Devin Harris was out the couple of weeks before the Kidd trade? It's like he completely forgot how to play the position. He's strictly a shooting guard now. Plus, JJ Barea is a pretty good backup point guard.
How many games do you think were going to win during these Portland Home games? and how many to win the series
Well, I had Portland in six, so perhaps I ought to shy away from making any more predictions. But that's not my style. I'll take the Mavs in six now. Think Portland might even it up, but the Mavs won't lose at home and can close it out in the Rose Garden.
How big would it be if the Mavs were to finish this series in 4 or 5, in terms of giving players rest and getting re-energized for the potential Mavs-Lakers match-up?
That'd be especially nice for Jason Kidd, who is refreshed after his week off late in the regular season. But energy shouldn't be an issue in the second round of the playoffs, particularly against the two-time defending champs.
If the Blazers wind up losing this series, do you think McMillian deserves some blame for it? I don't understand Portland's inability to exploit the Mavs' smaller guards, the Laker tape is a perfect blueprint of how to beat Dallas.
They've tried to exploit the mismatches. At some point, the players have to get it done. If Brandon Roy can't get good post position on Jason Terry, it isn't Nate McMillan's fault. If you want to question McMillan, I'd start with his decision to keep Marcus Camby on the bench for the fourth quarter in Game 1.
Will the Mavs ever win a title with Dirk?
The odds are against them, but they'll have a shot as long as Dirk is in his prime. Considering that his game doesn't rely on athleticism, he should have at least a few prime seasons left.
Hi Tim, hope you arecdoing alright, Mavs have been playing awesome defense. Do you think they can continue in Rose Garden?
I wouldn't expect the Mavs to sweep the series, if that's what you mean. The Rose Garden is a tough place to play.
Tim, all due respect, is it safe to say you and a number of the media overrated the Blazers coming into this series? The first two games overall don't look like the Mavs playing out of their minds. It looks like the Mavs are just better than the Blazers, and namely Dallas' star player is better than Portland's star player.
You might be right. The one thing I've been absolutely wrong about so far was the Blazers' big guards posing major problems for the Mavs. That was true in Portland's two wins over the Mavs late in the regular season, but Brandon Roy and Rudy Fernandez have been total nonfactors. Wesley Matthews played pretty well in Game 2, but he was invisible in Game 1.
Will the record with Danny Crawford result in some form of investigation or did that train leave because of the win last night? Because to me, this is worse than the steroid scandal in baseball!
I strongly suspect that there has been some sort of investigation. I asked the NBA office that but did not get a direct answer, with senior VP of ref operations Ron Johnson just stating that he had "no concerns" about Crawford's officiating in Mavs games. But Crawford was a nonissue during Game 2, which shouldn't be a surprise given the spotlight on him.
What situation would be better for the mavericks...the Spurs to lose in the 1st round or the Lakers
The Lakers losing would be by far better for the Mavs, but it's also a lot less likely. The Mavs might be able to beat the Spurs in seven. I know they'd be confident going into that series. They'll never admit it, but I don't think they believe they can beat LA. How many times have you heard Dirk declare that the Lakers are the heavy favorite? Plus, they wouldn't have to deal with the Spurs until the West finals. LA would be in the way next round.
When this series is over will you talking heads at ESPN still be discussing how well the Blazers match up with the Mavs and how many Dirk stoppers they have? The sportscenter media will always overvalue irrelevant things like franchise playoff history and glamor basketball that often has little to do with actual results, and so you're always shocked by a results like these. Admit it.
I admit that I was shocked when the Warriors beat the Mavs in the first round. And I admit I was shocked when the Mavs bowed out in five rounds against the Hornets. And I was a little surprise when the second-seeded Mavs lost to the Spurs last season. But the Mavs beating the Blazers wouldn't be shocking. It would just mean my prediction was wrong.
Will Haywood be traded in the offseason so we can resign Chandler and have Mahinmi as a back up?
I wouldn't count on it. First, Ian Mahinmi might not be a legit backup. Go back and look at how he fared in the two losses to Portland. He's not prepared to play defense and bang with good bigs. I also don't see a team wanting to trade for Haywood without shipping back a bad contract. Haywood is overpaid, but he has a significant role on the Mavs. Why get rid of him for, say, Mike Miller?
Bigger need... Backup PF or true SG?
True shooting guard. Shawn Marion gets most of the minutes at 4 when Dirk isn't on the floor. That's a pretty good backup power forward, if you want to look at it that way. This team hasn't had a regular-sized shooting guard who could score since Michael Finley. That's the biggest hole on the roster.
When will the NBA and the Media finally acknowledge Dirk Nowitzki for being one of the best in the league? He's outstanding but for some reason always flys under most peoples radar...Hype is all over Rose, Kobe, Durant... all these guys have outstanding players playing with them..While Dirk has savy vets who would be on most peoples bench.
The guy has won an MVP and gets a lot of votes every year. That's voted on by the media. The people who are around the league on a daily basis recognize Dirk for what he is -- one of the best players of his generation.
Why you hate Mavs so much? it seems like you are always negative to Mavs. Anyways what's your revise after seeing 2-0? still Blazers in 6? ;P
I'm confused. Portland fans are irate that I'm a Mavs homer after reading the article and blog posts I wrote about the Danny Crawford/Dallas dynamic. I reckon if both sides are mad at me, I must be doing something right.
Who's better? GAC or Ben and Skin?
Well, Ben and Skin have me on the air more often, so I'll vote for those boys. Keep telling Galloway that GAC needs more me.
I don't see the Blazers taking 4 of 5 games from Dallas. With Dallas being the best road team in the league, as well as Portland being mediocre at best on the road, I think Dallas steals probably game 4 in Portland (though if they steal game 3 it could be a sweep) and then closes out in 5. You still have Portland in 6?
Check out my column from last night. The prediction revision is a done deal.
Tim, do you see Cuban making a play for CP3 to replace Kidd or maybe even Dwight if he opts out? Either of those players matched with Dirk would be scary. And if I were McMillan, I'd play hack a Heywood. Honestly how can you be THAT BAD at FREE throws??
We've got to wait to see what the new CBA looks like to even be able to speculate on what moves the Mavs might try to make that far down the road. As far as Chop-a-Wood goes, I don't think Rick Carlisle would put Haywood on the floor if the Mavs are in the penalty if Portland uses that strategy.
How does Aldridge make every shot he takes? He makes re-donk-ilus shots...
He doesn't make every shot he takes. Just about 55 percent of them in this series. He's good. Chandler and Haywood have made him take some tough shots, but he's made a good amount of them.
When you pick against The Mavs, do you still cheer for them?
I don't cheer for the Mavs. I don't cheer for their opponents. I cover the games.
Any word on who the Mavs are looking at in the draft? I'd love to get a true SG.
Tyron Smith. Oh, wait, that's the Cowboys. The NFL draft is the only one that's even remotely on my mind right now.
Will Roddy B be back at all this series? I like the move to the bench - I think he's more effective in short spurts off the bench.
Don't see Roddy B. playing a role in this series, even if he gets healthy. You can't play him and Jet together.
Do you think JET can play under control for the rest of the series or will he lose it eventually cause he's not getting his toches. I like the fact that he's only get 10 points if those points are not forced.
I think Jet's attitude is very good right now. He wants to win. He's highly paid because of his ability to score, but he's not a selfish guy who is going to force shots because he wants to put up numbers. He's willing to take what he can get in the flow of the offense. He had a tough last month of the regular season -- on and off the floor -- but I think he's got his mind right now.
Folks, I gotta head to the airport. Appreciate the questions, especially the ones that rubbed my nose in Portland-in-6 prediction. If you've got anything else for me, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon