Game 1 aftermath: Sunday news wrap

Game 1 is in the books. The Hornets won. Here's some reactions…

From Tim McMahon's blog on

  • This drops the post-Kidd-trade Mavs' road record against .500-or-better teams to 1-9, just in case you care about such trivial stats.

Over at, John Hollinger says the Mavs ineffective traps for Chris Paul can be blamed on them not making shots, and therefore not having much time to set the defense. Quotes from Avery Johnson in that article…

  • "We tried to [trap]," Johnson said. "We have to make it much more difficult than what we did. When we trap him we can't let him out of our traps. I thought our traps were much more effective [Wednesday] because we squeezed him more."

    But Johnson also said Paul played better.

    "When we came out and tried to double-team him, he split our double-teams," he said. "That didn't happen the last time we played them. He was much more aggressive, he watched film and saw what we did to him [Wednesday], and even when we trapped him he kept moving."

From the game notes over at

  • Chris Paul out-shot the entire Mavericks team, hitting 10-of-15 field goals, while Dallas hit on just 9-of-36 as a team in the final two quarters.

According to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, Chris Paul's performance in Game 1 brought back memories of what Dwyane Wade did to the Mavs in the 2006 Finals, and what Baron Davis did to them in the first round a year ago. Sefko also brings up some interesting statistics…

  • In best-of-7 series, the Game 1 winner takes the series nearly 80 percent of the time. When it's the home team that wins, the number goes up to a whopping 86 percent.

Jean-Jacques Taylor says the Mavericks will need much more from Jason Kidd if they hope to win this series…

  • Paul scored 15 points in the third quarter, assisted on five other baskets and made 7-of-11 field goals as New Orleans zoomed past the Mavs and took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter.

    Kidd played the entire third quarter, when he managed two assists and no points.

    That's unacceptable.

    The Mavs have no chance to win if Kidd doesn't force Paul to expend some energy on defense.

    It's that simple.

Among this bunch of notes from the Dallas Morning News

  • The Mavericks came close to setting a couple of dubious franchise playoff records. Their 24 field goals were two more than the franchise low, set against Houston in the 2005 playoffs. They shot 33.3 percent from the field, slightly better than the 31.6 percent they shot against Miami in Game 4 of the 2006 Finals.
  • After New Orleans' Mo Peterson hit a jumper with 5:36 left in the third quarter, the clock was stopped. When the Mavericks inbounded and kept possession for 10 to 15 seconds, the clock never started. Dirk Nowitzki was fouled and Tyson Chandler was assessed a technical with 5:36 still left in the third quarter. There were five points scored with no time going off the clock.

In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Randy Galloway figures the Mavericks need to worry more about their own scoring, and less about stopping Paul…

  • Josh, Terry, Kidd, Stack. Beating the Hornets and being competitive in this series comes down to those guys providing more offensive production.

    Stopping Chris Paul is a chore. But outscoring his team shouldn't be as difficult as the Mavericks made it Saturday night.

Also from the Star-Telegram, Jeff Caplan reports on Josh Howard's performance

  • Josh Howard, 4-of-16 overall, missed all eight of his shots in the second half.

    "I'm not worried about my shot, we're trying to win games, man," Howard said. "I'm going to do what I got to do to win. I don't give a damn if I'm shooting 5-for-20 or 7-for-7. I just want to win the game."

Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer says George Shinn is living the good life again, and with a better team than ever…

  • They're good, these Hornets. But are they as good as the Hornets of Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Muggsy Bogues and Stephen Curry's dad?

    "This is without a doubt the best team we've ever had. Period," Shinn says.

(Check out the end of that article for an absurd suggestion: The Bobcats and Hornets swapping cities. Huh?)

John DeShazier of the Times-Picayune thinks the Hornets look like championship contenders

  • Dallas only needs to win one at the New Orleans Arena to position itself to control the series.

    But at the risk of being premature, Game 1 seemed to suggest that the Hornets aren't going to be overwhelmed by this step in their maturation process. The wait for New Orleans to collapse has grown from days to months and now, from regular season to postseason. And — at least, through one game — there's no detectable sign of slippage.

Also from the T-P, Teddy Kider reports on Pargo's defense against Jason Terry

  • Hornets reserve guard Jannero Pargo scored five points on 1-of-9 shooting, but his defense provided the foundation for stopping Terry.

    "I thought Jannero didn't shoot the ball well, but he played real good, solid defense on him," Scott said. "You've got to match energy with energy, and Jason Terry poses a problem because he moves so well and he's extremely quick. We have to put an energy-type guy on him, and I thought Jannero did a pretty good job."

Les East quotes Byron Scott in the Baton Rouge Advocate

  • "Before the start of the second half I told (Paul) that the superstars and the MVP candidates, when a series or a playoff game is up in the air, they go out and impose their will," Scott said. "We went out and did that. That was a pretty damn good (playoff debut)."

Among this notes package in the Advocate

  • (Tom) Benson was relatively unenthused early in the game, but stood, cheered and applauded as the Hornets blew out the Mavericks in the second half. When Benson was introduced during the fourth quarter, he and Shinn locked hands and raised them above their heads as the crowd roared.
  • The Mavericks flew back to Dallas right after the game because of the two-day break between games. They’re scheduled to return to New Orleans on Monday to finish preparing for Game 2 on Tuesday.

From the Dallas Morning News: Dirk Nowitzki on the physical play and confrontations in Game 1

  • "Every playoff game is a little nippy here and there," Dirk Nowitzki said. "Guys are playing extra hard. Every possession counts.

    "It sounds stupid, but that's what you've got to do, play extra hard. Guys are on each other a little more. You run into a few elbows here and there. It's part of playoff basketball. It wasn't anything special."

Apparently Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley of the TNT crew thought Dirk should have retaliated when David West squared up to him and put a finger in his face in the fourth quarter. Mike Fisher of Dallas Basketball disagrees…

  • Retaliate against West on Saturday? Depending on the nature of the retaliation — from Kenny’s suggestion of a slap to Magic’s vague notion of doing "something’" violent — that could’ve earned Dirk a playoff suspension.

    And that would’ve meant the end of the Mavs season.

A nice game recap as usual from At the Hive. Rohan was surprised by the frustration level of the Mavericks…

  • I would've expected much more frustration on the part of the Hornets and much less for the Mavs- for Dallas, this was just the first game on the road. Win Tuesday, and they’d still go home with a split. Instead, they showed ample frustration; Dirk's hard but pointless foul on Paul at half-court attested to that.

And finally, there's reat post by Alejandro de los Rios over at the Best of New Orleans Blog, where he examines the homemade signage that's seen around the Arena on game days. If for no other reason, you gotta follow that link to see the half-naked Peja sign.

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