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May 6, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:01 AM)

Hey there! Can't wait for 8:30 to get here. The clock is moving WAY too slowly. Let's pass the time and get a little nervous together talking about all of this amazing stuff going on with the Mavericks

Matt White (Irving, TX)

With the Mavs having a track record of blowing series leads in the past, what makes this group of guys diffrent from the Mavs of old?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:04 AM)

Other than Miami, what is their track record in blowing a series lead? But I understand what you're trying to say, and the answer is simply that they have a lot of players who have been toughened up because of their past failures. It reflects itself in the defense that they play. It reflects itself in that they don't let calamities keep them down. The response in game 5 against Portland after blowing the 23 point lead and then going to Portland to wrap up the series told me all I needed to see about how different they are

Jason (Montana)

with these games happening every other day, as much rest for J Kidd as possible seems crucial. That said, does JJ Barea have to play like he did in game 2 every game this series in order for us to win? Thanks, Coop!

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:07 AM)

The fact that it's every other day is fine for Kidd. No back to backs are the key. And in fact, Kidd's minutes have not been abnormally heavy. In fact, Rick Carlisle has done such a masterful job of working the minutes throughout the team that no player has played 40 minutes in any of the eight playoff games. You don't see that very often at this time of the year. And as for Barea: Clearly, this is a much better matchup for him. Neither Blake, nor Fisher can stay with him, and they don't have enough of an offensive game to punish him the way the Portland guards could. Does he have to have a game like game 2 every game? No, but it couldn't hurt

Moe (Miami, FL)

The perception is that the pressure is on Dallas to close out this series, since they failed to do so in the past. What will be the mindset in the Dallas locker room tonight?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:08 AM)

The same it's always been. Play the game in front of you. They are a quietly confident bunch right now. The pressure is immense for both teams tonight. Dallas wins and history says the series is over. Lakers win, and while still trailing, perhaps put some doubt in the Mavericks minds.

Colby (Breckenridge. TX)

do you think the mavs high pick and roll will continue to give the lakers problems? or do you think the mavs will have to go a different route to come out of game 3 with a win?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:12 AM)

I do think it will simply because the presence of Dirk. Switch it and you've got a mismatch nightmare. Stay as you are and will allow for either Kidd, Terry or Barea to come off it and get into the lane to pass (Kidd) pull up (Terry) or take it all the way (Barea). The Laker bigs have to do a MUCH better job of showing on the pick and roll so they make the ballhandler take a much wide route to the intended area and thus, use time off the shot clock

Gabe Hart (Jackson, TN)

Even though they may not say it, is there any sense of surprise from the Mavs that they took two in LA and basically dominated (defensively) the second half on Wednesday?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:14 AM)

I don't think so. This team right now believes they;re capable of an awful lot. The defensive domination has been something, hasn't it. This is what the Mavericks were like before Butler and Dirk were hurt and Chandler got sick in December and January, At that time, they were probably the best team in the NBA. They're playing to that level right now

Julian Collado (Bronx New York)

If Dallas manages to sweep LA, And OKC does get the 4-2 Win in game 6 who on Dallas could guard the young Kevin Durant from stopping him from scoring 30+ PPG in the series?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:17 AM)

The same options they have while trying to slow down Kobe. Most notably Shawn Marion, who has had excellent success against Durant in the past, and also DeShawn Stevenson. The bigger issue in any series with the Thunder will be to make sure Russell Westbrook is the volume shooter he has turned into this season. But we are getting ahead of ourselves just a little big aren't we? Especially because OKC has their hands more than full with Memphis

Ron (San Antonio)

I keep hearing several people saying how Artest out for this game helps the Lakers and hurts the Mavs...your thoughts on this matter and do they start Barnes or Odom?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:19 AM)

Might start Shannon Brown at the 2 and move Kobe to the 3. I have heard the same things you have about Artest, and there's no doubt he's wired differently than just about anyone. But he is still a very good defender, and he was their most conisistent player in the New Orleans series. He did have 10 points two steals and three blocks in Game 2. They'll miss him

FJ (DC)

Chuck! Two quick q's: 1) What's your prediction for tonight/the series and 2) Do you think this is changing Dirk's reputation on the national scale?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:21 AM)

I picked the Lakers in seven before it started. It's hard not to pick the Mavericks now given what they have accomplished. But it's not done yet. No predictions on tonight, just ready to see it all unfold

Jarad (Ft Worth)

Howdy Coop, do you know if the "trust issues" have been addressed in LA? Being that Bynum is their only player shooting over 50% and he isn't getting too many shots, is that his way of demanding the ball in game 3?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:23 AM)

We'll only know if they've been addressed by how the Lakers play. And yes, Bynum was demanding the ball, and he's right about that. He is the one guy, the Mavericks have almost no chance against in the series the way he gets position so deep in the paint. He as a 70 percent shooter in the regular season against Dallas averaging 16.7 points and 11.3 rebounds. He had 18 and 13 the other night and barely saw the ball in the second half. Game is played from the inside out. Phil Jackson knows that better than anyone. Let's see if he makes sure that Bynum gets his touches.

Austin (Fort Worth)

Chuck, You said the other night that if Dallas had less than 13 turnovers, they would win. Kuddos to you for that? They have not turned the ball over as much this series. Is it because the Lakers are not being as aggressive or that Dallas is just taking care of the basketball?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:27 AM)

Really, anything over 14 turnovers gets any team in trouble. The Mavericks ARE doing a better job of taking care of the ball, but the Lakers aren't really a turnover forcing team like say Portland or Memphis are. They're known for a great halfcourt defense. You could see, though, in Game 2 that the Lakers were trying to force some pace by playing Kobe on Kidd as much as they did and having him pick up higher on the floor. I'm just not sure that works to the Lakers benefit

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:29 AM)

Would have to believe it favors the Mavericks to have the game called tighter. They have more players than the Lakers do to choose from

Jeff (Dallas)

What do you see happening if the refs stop letting both teams play inside and start calling a tigher game? Foul trouble on the both the Mavs and Lakers bigs could have a big impact on the final score.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:29 AM)

See your answer above

Corey (Durant, OK)

Is something wrong with Pau Gasol or is Dallas just not getting enough credit for how they're playing him?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:31 AM)

Gasol played poorly in the New Orleans series. And while he has had a double-double in each of the first two games against the Mavs, he has not been particularly impactful. He just doesn't seem to be nearly as aggressive turning into the lane as he has ben in the past couple of seasons. He's looking more like the Gasol that the CEltics took out in the 08 Finals

Ryne (Bradenton)

Chuck, can you see Mark Cuban committing big dollars to Tyson Chandler during the offseason? I realize we have Brandon Haywood, but can we really ignore the fact that Tyson Chandler has helped redefine the Mavs image for the better?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:31 AM)

Absolutely. And he will

Billy [via mobile]

Ok let's look ahead just for a sec... Rather face Grizz or Thunder?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:32 AM)

No looking ahead, I did it once already in this chat and it was a mistake. Keep your eye on the ball. The ball is LA in Game 3 tonight

Steve (Burleson)

I will give credit where credit is due. Haywood has been great so far in these playoffs. He and Chandler have been a great Center tandem.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:33 AM)

Tremendous. If the Mavericks get 11 points 15 rebounds and three blocks a game from their centers as they did in game 2, they are going to VERY difficult for anyone to beat

Ron (San Antonio)

I recall I asked you around the holidays I asked you who you would rather have to lead their team in the playoffs, Kidd or Nash? You agreed with me about having Kidd. Game 1 is exhibit A..no way does Nash guard Kobe they Kidd did and no way does he make that crucial steal...I love Nash but Kidd is a top 5 point guard of all-time..Magic and Stockton are probably the best I seen in my lifetime...didn't see Oscar but I heard he was pretty good...is Kidd in your top 5 for all-time point guards?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:37 AM)

I'm pondering this. Kidd, Cousy, Frazier, Tiny Archibald, Nash (despite what Galloway believes I believe), All different, all magnificent.

david (Greeneville, TN)

Do you think Roddy B. is going to see any playing time in this series? If so, what are the chances that he can be effective against the Lakers? Also, do you expect to see Corey Brewer playing in these next 2 home games?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:38 AM)

No on Roddy B. Brewer, only if Rick Carlisle feels the need to change the game. Mavs rotation is nine players. We don't normally see teams go that deep in the playoffs, but it is working well for the Mavs.

Gabe Hart (Jackson, TN)

What are the odds of Peja re-signing with Dallas next year? He seems to have accepted his role off the bench and seems to like playing with a veteran team.

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:40 AM)

Hate to play the "let's see what the CBA looks like" card. but in this case I will have to. I agree Peja has accepted his role, and played it very well, But he has really bought in as a replacement for Caron Butler. I think the Mavericks would look to re-sign Butler and Marion back in his bench role before they would bring Peja back

Ryan (Frisco)

Can 10 minutes from Caron, with Marion off the bench give us a title this year?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:43 AM)

Forget about Caron. It's not happening. Hate that because I love the guy and love his passion. And the players do too. But that injury was a bad one and you don't want to have to "work" Caron back in while you're trying to win in the playoffs.

Price (Dallas)

What about the crowd tonight: Will they be into it? Will the people in the lower bowl actually wear the blue shirts provided?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:43 AM)

Hope so.

meron (iyassu)

how can the mavericks go up 3-0 aganist the Lakers?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:46 AM)

Just keep doing what they're doing. Play great defense. Lakers are scoring 87.5 points and shooting 41.9 so far. Take care of the basketball. And ride the Big German's offense

alex (fla)

How much did the Chandler trade mean to this team? Is he really the difference or is that Dirk is awesome!

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:47 AM)

Yes, Chandler's arrival has meant a ton to this team. Yes, Dirk is awesome. Always has been. Always will be. Even if people, only now, outside of those who regularly follow the Mavericks are picking up on this

Eric (Dallas )

Above you said forget about Caron? Really? What if he played Stevenson minutes? Even if he just slashed to the basket? I hate to hear this Coop- by the way, best radio caller in the buisness by far- koodos-

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:49 AM)

Thanks for the kudos. Caron has to be fully back in order for him to do what you are asking. He will NOT be fully healthy from this injury until the end of June.

Ryan (Frisco )

It needs to be asked, why does Dirk look so differnt this year? I have watched every playoff series, I have been to every home game this year, and I have to admit, something in this Post-season seems different about Dirk...

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:55 AM)

The only difference is that the Mavericks are leading in playoff series instead of having to chase them. He's the same guy. Maybe a little more operating from the post. But that's about it. Winning=looking better

Jacob (Cedar Hill)

You said it earlier, before Caron and Dirk went down as well as Chandler, they were probably the best team in the NBA. We did beat the heat in great games, as well as Boston, SA, etc. wouldnt you think Butler would make us a dominate team again even with him giving us 10-15 minutes a game?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:56 AM)

No. Butler was playing 28-32 minutes in those games. And healthy. He's not healthy. I don't know how many more ways, or times, I can say it

Jeff (Boston)

If the Lakers win games 3 and 4, how concerned should Dallas be? Is it over at that point?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:57 AM)

They should be extremely concerned. They will have lost the homecourt advantage and the Lakers will have all the momentum. Hopefully it won't play out that way

Jeff (Little Elm )

I know the Lakers are the champs, but do you feel Dallas is just not getting the credit they deserve for two road wins?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (11:59 AM)

Of course, but that's the nature of the beast. Both teams know what has happened here. We'll find out tonight if it's more of the same or have things changed

ken (michigan)

representing dallas from up north... brendan haywood has played a great series but why isnt he working on his free throws? it bugs me hearing the commentators talking about his FT stats...

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:00 PM)

He IS working on his free throws. Constantly. Makes more than his fair share in practice. But it clearly is a mental thing right now. Practice in a gym can't replicate 20,000 screaming people

Christian (McKinney )

I agree with Eric, best in the buisness Coop- Now, who do you see as more likely to lift this team tongith besides Dirk? J.J., Peja, Brewer, or Haywood?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:01 PM)

JJ and Haywood since they are both in the rotation. If you're looking strictly at points it's barea, but if you're looking for the defensive physical presence it's Haywood.

John (Nashville)

Chuck, enough dancing around it. Tell it to us straight: will Caron be back for these playoffs?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:02 PM)

I'm not dancing around it. He's not coming back

Corey (Durant, OK)

Obviously the Mavs are in a great situation. Most teams (even if they don't acknowledge it) settle for a split in the first two road games of a playoff series. It seems like the perfect opportunity to try and finish the Lakers off. Playing at home against a team who has "trust issues". What do you expect to see from Dallas in the first quarter tonight?

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:04 PM)

Mavs have actually broken from the gate well against LA. They've led at the end of the quarter in both games, after going through a horrific stretch in the Portland series and the end of the regular season where they would fall behind by a lot and then try to really. I would expect them to come out hot tonight with the crowd behind them. It will be up to the Lakers to respond to that

Chuck Cooperstein
  (12:06 PM)

That's all for today. For all those headed to Game 3 tonight, make sure you either wear Royal Blue, or wear the shirts that will be provided for you. For those who aren't going but who will be watching (And hopefully listening) throw on some royal blue as well and get into the spirit of it all. Can't wait for 8:30 to get here. Hope you'll join Brad Davis and me on 103.3 FM ESPN. See you back here next week