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[ESPN] 5-on-5: Western Conference playoff preview

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by JHL85, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. JHL85

    JHL85 Member

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    http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2015/story/_/id/12700982/5-5-western-conference-playoff-preview

    Rockets part quoted below. It seems like 3 favor Rockets, 1 favor Mavs, and 1 is a toss-up.

    "2. Rockets-Mavericks will be ...

    Adande: Tex-Mex -- i.e., a regional cuisine that might not suit the tastes of the rest of the country. The Mavericks have slipped in the second half of the season and two of the biggest names in this series, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwight Howard, had seasons that ranked among their least productive. Regular-season MVP candidate James Harden needs to get back in a postseason groove; he has shot below 40 percent in each of his past three playoff series dating to 2012. He also hasn't won a playoff series since 2012, which he'll fix with a five-game Rockets victory.

    Pelton: Competitive. The six-game gap between Dallas and Houston in the West standings overstates the difference between the two teams. The Rockets' point differential (plus-3.4) was only marginally better than the Mavericks' mark (plus-2.9). Add coach Rick Carlisle's playoff track record and I'll be surprised if this series doesn't go at least six games, though I'm still picking Houston.

    Shelburne: Heated. These teams have battled for every free agent to come on the market since Dwight Howard chose the Rockets in 2012. They don't like each other. They don't pretend to like each other and it shows. If it's a short series, I like Houston. But if the Mavericks can extend it, which I think they will, I like their experience in six or seven versus the injury-riddled Rockets.

    Stein: Deliciously spiky. I'm not sure how good the actual basketball will be given the Mavs' various issues -- Chandler Parsons' health, Monta Ellis' mood, defense, rebounding, etc. -- ‎but these are two teams that don't have to expend an ounce of energy to manufacture true tension. Harden, Howard, Jason Terry and Daryl Morey on one side. Nowitzki, Parsons, Carlisle and Mark Cuban on the other. You have to favor Houston and you have to give Dallas a puncher's chance ... but most of all you just have to like the matchup for the sparks bound to fly with all those names in the same vicinity.

    Wallace: A toss-up. This is perhaps the one series in the entire playoffs where seeding and home-court advantage mean the least. The Rockets' late-season push to get the No. 2 seed was nothing short of fantastic. Harden's offensive onslaught and Corey Brewer's relentless energy fueled the charge. But Carlisle and his defensive schemes are tailor-made for a series like this, when Dallas can lock in on one opponent. Still, the intensity on the court might pale in comparison to the front-office fireworks between Cuban and Morey."
     

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