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April 28, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:02 AM)

Good Morning from Portland! Hopefully a clinching night for the Mavericks is upon us. Obviously easier said than done. Mavs have lost eight straight playoff road games, are 2-18 since the NBA Finals of 06, and are 1-9 in Game six in the Dirk era. But all trends can be changed. We'll see if the Mavericks can do that tonight

Jeff (Texas)

Hey Chuck. I hope you are contracted with the Mavs until at least 2035. You and Followill are some of the best out there. Anyway, how challenging do you think it will be for Chandler to maintain that aggressiveness we saw in Game 5? Seems like the home cooking in every game this series makes it hard for the visiting team to be really aggressive defensively.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:04 AM)

I hope I'm around for the next 35 years to be able to make your wish a reality. LOL. Chandler faces a big challenge tonight. The thing he really needs to avoid are the silly fouls that come when he gets called for the illegal screens. Those aren't always his fault, but when he gets those fouls, it keeps him from being as aggressive as he needs to be on the other end.

Monroe (Mcallen, TX)

Chucky my boy, I gave a valid question about the Mavs last week and you did not post and answe them? WTF is going on? And I did not realized your the voice behind the games on ESPN I thought it was Followill as well...

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:06 AM)

Sorry. don't remember your question. I try to get to as many as I can. I'm finishing my sixth season with the Mavericks. Loving every minute of it

Ray (Dallas)

Why does Portland switch every time Dirk sets a screen for Kidd? When is the last time Kidd aggressively took the ball to the basket and looked to score. It seems like if I'm Nate McMillan, then that would be an easy adjustment to make to stop Dirk from taking advantage of small match ups along with getting to the rim and foul line.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:09 AM)

But it isn't always about looking to score, although in this series, there have been a couple of times where he has done just that. Other than that, I think you might have a point, although the attitude may be that's it's easier to switch than have the PG have to deal with fighting over the screen

Joe Gibson (Kansas City, MO)

Big Mavs and Coop fan here in the Midwest. Chuck, do you think that biggest factor between the Mavs wins and losses thus far has been Dallas' ability to dictate game tempo? It seems that when Dallas sets the tempo, the Blazers' bigs have a harder time getting any rhythm.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:11 AM)

Biggest difference has been the ability to get to the free throw line. In the three games in Dallas the Mavericks have averaged 30 free throws a game to the Blazers 19.7. In Portland They have averaged 16.5 to Portland's 22

Adil (NYC)

If Memphis ends up eliminating the Spurs, would it be considered a bigger upset than the Warriors over Dallas?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:14 AM)

Probably not for several reasons. 1. The difference between Memphis and SA is not as great as it was between the Mavs and Golden State. 2. The Mavericks were coming off a trip to the Finals and were perceived to be in their prime as a team. San Antonio is perceive to be an older team and perhaps close to the end of the line with this group. 3. The Spurs have four titles. The Mavericks, alas, have none

Kyle Sinclair (Richardson)

What do you expect to see from the Mavs tonight? Are they going to come out with the fire from game 5 or are we going to see the Mavs from the 4th quarter of game 4?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:21 AM)

Probably somwhere in between. The likelihood is that they will start slowly (They even did that in Game Five). But they have been in a position to win the two games in Portland, and they will probably be in hat position tonight. 4th quarter play has been the story in all these games. It will be that way again tonight

Gabe (TN)

A couple of writers on this site have questioned the minutes Peja has been getting in the playoffs because of his lack of defense and athleticism, but the Mavs offense looks much better and more spaced when he's on the floor and his +/- is excellent. Do you see an increase in his minutes in the second round?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:23 AM)

I see his minutes as right where they are right now. They are getting the offense from him that Marion was giving them when he was coming off the bench. He was a factor in the loss to the Lakers, and he would be against them in the next series (And yes, I think the Lakers are going to close out New Orleans)

Ray (Dallas)

When Lamarcus Aldridge plays nearly the whole game, would you agree that fatigue takes him out of 4th quarters which reflects his numbers, because it seems like the Mavericks haven't done anything different to stop him.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:29 AM)

They did do something different the other night by having Dirk guarding him and then as he would turn left into the lane, Chandler would come over and force him to give it up. Great adjustment by the Mavericks, but there is no doubt that the more minutes Aldridge plays, and the less help he gets from anyone else (Roy, Wallace, etc) the worse it is for the Blazers. But really, what choice does Portland have right now?

Jarad (Ft Worth)

Hey Chuck, What residual do you see the portland team/ fans taking from the Cardinal screen?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:29 AM)

Nothing. Much sound and fury signifying absolutely nothing.

Rob (Berlin, Germany)

Am I the only one thinking the perception of Dirk is that he is underachieving even though he scored a bunch of 4th quarter points?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:32 AM)

If your definition of underachieving is that he's shooting only 42 percent in the series then yes. Otherwise, I think you can look at the fact that he's been willing to take it to the hole and get fouled to get his points instead of settling for jumpers as a sign of major growth. I mean he IS still averaging 26.2 in the series

Gabe (TN)

If L.A. makes it out of the first (which they will), do you see Haywood playing more in order to physically match up with Bynum?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:33 AM)

Play more? Depends on the Chandler foul trouble, but Haywood has been very good in this series, and has been very good for about a month now. Other than the awful FT shooting, he has given the mavericks exactly what they've wanted and needed

Daniel (Euless, TX)

Hey Coop, the Mavs have won their games by an average of 10 points while the Blazers are only averaging a 3 point margin in their games. Isn't about time the odds catch up to Portland and Dallas closes this thing in 6?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:34 AM)

What it shows is that they've been the better team in the series. It's time for them to confirm that tonight

Jeff (Dallas)

Coop, please tell me we won't see the JJ, Jet, Peja, Dirk, Haywood lineup again tonight. That lineup has been getting torched all series. Also, why no minutes for Brewer? It seems his length could give their bigger guards some problems.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:38 AM)

You will see it. All four, but Barea have played well in this series. And Barea has to play unless you want Kidd to play 48 minutes. Which you don't. But it is time for JJ to have a more positive impact on things

Jason (Chicago)

Coop! I maybe the only person in the world who thinks this but if Dallas beats this Portland team, I think they'll have a legit shot at The Finals. I think getting past the 1st round against that team will be overcoming a tremendous mental hump for the mavs. At that point they'll play The Lakers and the pressure is finally off Dallas and on LA. And that's when I see the best Mavs basketball... when the pressure is off. Thoughts?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:41 AM)

There's no doubt winning this would be a huge relief. And it could loosen them up in the next round. Even if there's more pressure on the Lakers, the Lakers know how to deal with it. It would be a very good series, but the Mavericks would have to play great to beat them

Ray (Dallas)

How much, if any, does Mark Cuban's presence behind the bench affect the players play and their mindsets? I've heard many critics of Cuban claim that the Mavericks will never be to win a championship as long as Cuban is owner, mainly because of the 'whining' about officiating which leads to David Stern and the league to somewhat handicap the Mavericks.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:44 AM)

I think the players have come to accept the fact that he will be there and deal with it accordingly. And as for the critics, so far, they're right. Doesn't mean they won't ultimately be proven wrong

Chris (NYC)

Chuck, assuming that there is life after the 1st round, who sees action first: Roddy or Caron?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:45 AM)

Roddy

Adam Casburn (Fort Worth)

I think it is time for Barea to have more of an impact in a game but the question is what can the Mavs or Barea do better defensively to stop Miller just posting up Barea and laying it up easy like we saw in Game 5?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:46 AM)

Not much they can do because of the size differential. Miller has been the Blazers best player in the series.

Bronson (FL)

If the Mavs close it out and end up meeting the Lakers and Gasol do you think the intensity picks up in terms of physicality between Gasol and Dirk? I mean both guys are known around the league as "softies"

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:47 AM)

The intensity picks up because of what's at stake, not because of any labels that are attached to either player

Asas (U.A.E.)

Why is it that when Brian Cardinal plays the mavs are 3-0 in this series?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:48 AM)

Second question in the queue about this. Love me some Brian Cardinal. As good a guy as you will EVER be around. he's played two minutes in five games. Really now people

Brian (Dallas)

Who is your MVP of this series so far?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:50 AM)

This really has to be asked? It's Dirk. In a series where points are hard to come by, he's averaging 26.

Michael (Dallas)

Barea has been epicly bad in this series. Similar to last year vs the Spurs. Is it time for Donnie and Carlisle to realize Barea size is not sutiable for playoff basketball. If he isn't making his shots (28%) he gives us absolutely nothing.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:51 AM)

As I said earlier, the problem is you don't have another option.

Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)

Chuck it seemed that the zone defense worked in the last game, are we going to see more of that tonight by Rick Carlisle?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:52 AM)

I think you have to see some more of it. It's a great changeup to have in your arsenal. But you can't give them too much of it

Austin Schubert (Plano)

Why do you think the Mavericks have struggled in Portland so much? This always seems to be the case for them; they play great on the road in the regular season but can't win on the road in the playoffs. Why is this and do you see them closing out the series tonight?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:55 AM)

They've struggled EVERYWHERE in the playoffs since the 06 Finals (2-18). And historically, they have struggled in Portland. In fact the only places where they have fared worse on a percentage basis are LA, Milwaukee and Utah. I think their chances of closing it out tonight are 50-50

Joey (Dallas)

What's Roddy's status? Should we expect him to be styling in a suit again tonight? He couldn't play much worse than Barea for the 2-5 minutes Barea gets at shooting guard every game.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:55 AM)

They've struggled EVERYWHERE in the playoffs since the 06 Finals (2-18). And historically, they have struggled in Portland. In fact the only places where they have fared worse on a percentage basis are LA, Milwaukee and Utah. I think their chances of closing it out tonight are 50-50

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:55 AM)

Hold your breath. Not going to happen

Daniel (Euless, TX)

What is the advantage of having Kidd and Barea on the court in crunch time like we've seen lately? Isn't Marion a better fit over Barea for the grind it out basketball the Mavs are trying to play in the 4th?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:58 AM)

JJ was barely out there in Game 5 in the 4th quarter. But he was out there as they built the lead up to 20. Usually in crunch time, he's out there because they have such a hard time creating penetration. They do need Marion out there in the 4th. And he is playing the crunch time minutes

Rob (Akron, OH)

Hi Chuck, Tim M. and Jeff C. both stated that Roddy's value (I'm assuming as a trade piece) has greatly diminished due to his late play. Do you agree and do you think the Mavs will consider trading him (since it didn't seem that way before)?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:59 AM)

In the right deal, yes. He can't be considered an untouchable anymore. Nor can the Mavs expect a huge return for him,

Jeff (Texas)

Chuck, give us some behind the scenes stuff. Is Rick Carlisle physically capable of smiling or laughing? Has he ever said why he shaved his head? I assume he was tired of the Jim Carrey comments.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:01 PM)

He said he shaved it down because he was losing his hair anyway. He does smile. Especially when the talk is of his little daughter, Abby, who is adorable. In fact when you gt away from basketball, he's an engaging guy.

Fantana (Bos)

Lets talk Celtics-Heat!! I got C's in 5!!

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:02 PM)

I've got Boston in 7

John (Frisco)

Do you see the Mavs having any chance against the Lakers if they close out Portland?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:02 PM)

Yes, I do. Lakers aren't quite what they were, but they're still formidable. Dallas would have to play great to get it done

Dave (Arlington)

If San Antonio does not pull their series out, do you see memphis advancing any further?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:03 PM)

I think Memphis is dangerous against anyone because of their ability to pound it down low with Z-Bo, who is just a beast. Would love to see him and Ibaka (Nine blocks last night) match up

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:05 PM)

And on that note, we'll close it down for this week. Hope you'll join me from the madhouse that will be the Rose Garden tonight. Ball will go in the air at 9:45 on 103.3 ESPN. And we'll be back next week, hopefully talking about a second round series. Take Care