Game 2 Aftermath: Wednesday news wrap

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Published: April 23, 2008

More thoughts, reactions and opinions from around the web after the Hornets Game 2 win yesterday. Let's dig in.

If you read just one recap of Game 2 today (besides mine, of course), make sure it's the one delivered by the infamous GreyTone tag-team over at SLAMonline.com. Some gems from that…

  • Booooooo for…Stack? The hometown crowd has recently taken to booing on every possession for quarters at a time, regardless of which opposing player has the ball. Far as I can remember, Stack never did anything to them. Or did they rent him a time-share once?
  • Peja hits a three, and a group of hypemen runs along the baseline with giant Peja heads on sticks, like great, smiling Serb popsicles. Jesus. It freaks me the hell out.
  • A German reporter is sitting next to us, interesting dude named Heiko Oldcarp. He motions towards the Mavs and says, "The time has passed for them, I think." Very metaphysical, and perhaps very true.

Joseph Schiefelbein of the Baton Rouge Advocate talks about the great first quarter by Chris Paul and the Hornets in Game 2…

  • Twice, Mavs coach Avery Johnson called time in the first quarter: after Paul slipped through the Nowitzki-Kidd double team to money a runner in the lane, then, after Paul beat a Bass-Kidd double team to feed West for an open jumper.

    "Early on, everything we tried on Paul didn't work," Avery Johnson said. "We wanted to get the ball out of his hands. We tried that. He split us a couple of times, got away from us… Just an awful first quarter."

Over at ESPN.com, John Hollinger was also impressed

  • That 39-point first quarter rocked the Mavs onto their heels, and they never recovered. The Hornets had only five empty trips in the entire period, a quarter that ended with Paul making a buzzer-beating floater down the right sideline for the second straight game to put New Orleans up by double figures.

Included with the Game 2 recap over at ESPN.com were these franchise Playoff records set by the Hornets on Tuesday…

  • Most points in a quarter: 39 in 1st
  • Most points in a half: 67 in 1st
  • Most points in a game: 127
  • Most 3-pt FG made (team): 10
  • Most assists in game: Chris Paul, 17
  • Paul first player in history with back-to-back 30-pt, 10-ast, 3-steal games. Also first player in history with 30 points and 10 assists in first two career playoff games.

Also worth noting that Michael Jordan is the only player to ever have three consecutive 30-pt, 10-ast games in the Playoffs. Something for Chris to shoot for, I guess. 

From Jim Eichenhofer's recap over at The Official

  • With New Orleans grabbing a 2-0 lead, reporters immediately began firing questions at Paul about the Hornets' lengthy losing streak in Dallas. The Hornets haven't won there since 1998.

    "We're not blind to the fact that Muggsy (Bogues) was probably running the point the last time we won in Dallas," Paul said. "We understand that we have a great opportunity to go in there and go up 3-0. We've got to go in and accept the challenge."

Wes Cox from Mavs Moneyball

  • It's almost impossible to not feel like this is the end. I know that all New Orleans did was protect home court, and the Mavs could still have two more chances to get the necessary road win. I know it, but I can't feel it.

Peter Finney raves about Chris Paul in the Times-Picayune…

  • The reason the Hornets wound up shooting 60 percent, the reason every member of the starting five scored in double digits shooting better than 50 percent, was the daylight created by the point guard's wizardry.

    Yes, as the losing coach put it, "Chris Paul killed us" and "the big thing was their other guys stepped up big and they really jumped out on us in the first quarter."

Also from the T-P, Jeff Duncan talks about the Mavs' defensive efforts against Chris Paul

  • They trapped. They double-teamed. They pushed, grabbed and grasped. They did everything short of recruiting Saints cornerback Mike McKenzie from his courtside seat to apply press coverage on the mercurial third-year wunderkind. And nothing worked.

Bradley Handwerger of WWL-TV quotes Byron Scott, who's not getting too far ahead of himself despite two impressive victories…

  • "We've just held serve," Scott said. "We've done what we were supposed to do as far as keeping home-court advantage. That's the only thing we've accomplished in this series."

Dirk Nowitzki doesn't believe the series is over either. From Eddie Sefko in the Dallas Morning News…

  • "We've been down 2-0 before," he said, "and we've even lost two home games before and came back to win the series. So hopefully that playoff experience will keep everybody level-headed. You've got to keep your chin up. That Game 3 is a Game 7 for us. We've got to find a way to win that Game 3, and I think once we got one win on the board, it's a different series."

    Only 12 times in NBA history has a team come back from a 2-0 hole to win a best-of-7 series. On the bright side, the Mavericks did it against Houston in 2005 after dropping two games at American Airlines Center in the first-round series

At the foot of the Teddy Kider's lead story in today's T-P, there's this quote from Dirk Nowitzki…

  • "I still think we have what it takes to win this series. So I'm not going to throw everything out the window now."

Some excerpts from David Moore's latest article in the DMN

  • Let me get this straight. Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks wanted this first-round matchup?
  • The Hornets have scored 60, 67 and 64 points in their last three halves of basketball.
  • Perimeter speed is an essential element for success in today's NBA. I know this because Mavericks coach Avery Johnson has said so repeatedly since he's become a head coach.

    The Mavericks lost their fastest perimeter player when they sent Devin Harris to New Jersey.

Player quotes courtesy of the Advocate's Les East…

  • "We didn't want to wait to get things going in the game," West said. "Our mind-set was to come out with an aggressive mentality. Dallas is a tough team to beat because of their ability to make shots, and we didn't want to give them any life."
  • "We just got out-played, out-fought, and out-worked," Terry said. "They out-worked us on both ends of the floor."

There's also a bunch of Hornets-Mavs notes in the Advocate today. Among them…

  • Paul said he couldn't take his customary day-of-game afternoon nap before Game 1 on Saturday because he was so nervous, so he watched other playoff games. He had no such problem Tuesday. "I got an hour and a half in Tuesday," Paul said. "There weren't any games on."

At the Hive talks about the untrappable Chris Paul

  • The thing everybody was talking about pre-game – Avery Johnson's plan to trap CP a lot more in Game 2. A lot of that trapping happened in the first quarter, but Paul escaped virtually every single one via a quick spin move or fancy dribbling. I was somewhat surprised that Avery didn't go the trap in later quarters, but with Paul passing out of it deftly, what else was he supposed to do? In the end, CP made sure that the trap hurt the Mavericks more than it hurt the Hornets.

Jean-Jacques Taylor says things are looking grim for the Mavericks, and Avery Johnson in particular…

  • Now, Avery's team can't win as underdogs. Don't forget, this team was supposed to thrive as a seventh seed because it wouldn't have any pressure to perform. Guess not…

    If Avery can't figure out how to get his team to respond and win this series, then none of us should be surprised if Cuban fires him.

This one's from FireAvery.com, via Ball Don't Lie

  • It seems pretty obvious to me that Avery has completely lost this team. Nothing he says seems to have any effect on them. For the past three days Avery has said that they have to play better defense and then they come out with this type of performance. On TNT they showed a bit of Avery's speech in the locker room. He ended by saying "Let's score about 10 points in the paint to start this quarter." The first basket of the quarter by the Mavs? A 16 foot jumper by Dirk.

Adrian Wojnarowski over at Yahoo! Sports says it's time for Kidd and the Mavs to panic

  • The Mavericks are on a spiral so sudden, so jarring, that Game 3 of this Western Conference series on Friday promises to test the constitution of Cuban's creation. This is the moment of truth for Dallas. Kidd has been a lost soul in Dallas and looks like a lost cause with Paul blurring past him.

Byron Scott thinks Dirk needs to watch the elbows. Regarding the play that led to Tyson Chandler shoving Dirk and getting a technical in Game 1…

  • "I got a chance to rewind that a few times," Scott said. "There was nothing inadvertent about it. He felt that he was getting kind of pushed around and [he took] a pretty good swing with the elbow on that one."

    "I think Tyson [Chandler] pushed him a little bit. He definitely pushed him, but he didn't push him where he shoved him almost into the photo guys down there."

A must see: Alejandro de los Rios links up an ESPN video he conducted with Tyson Chandler, Jannero Pargo and Tyson's wife Kimberly. Courtesy of Pargo, a new nickname for Tyson is born…

  • Ceiling Fan Repairman

There's also a follow up post, where Tyson comes back with a nickname for Pargo

From the daily Smack column over at Dime

  • Sometime during the end stages of the Mavs joining the Dub Club (a.k.a getting 20-pieced) in New Orleans, this e-mail came through from one of the Dime crew: "Chris Paul, you're under arrest for the murder of Jason Kidd."

Ian O'Connor writes about Byron Scott's revenge against Jason Kidd, and thinks the Hornets' head coach is due for an award…

  • For this, Scott should be named NBA Coach of the Year, no questions asked. It's a just reward for a man who was fired while in first place in New Jersey — as the most successful coach the Nets ever had.

    Scott has shepherded the Hornets through Hurricane Katrina, through the back and forth between Oklahoma City and New Orleans. He has established a program that gets better with time, winning 18 games in his first year, then 38, then 39, then 56. He has proven himself capable of seizing a division title while living in the same division with the mighty Spurs

(Also be sure to check out the Coach of the Year poll at the above link. Almost 2,500 people had voted when I last checked, and 69% of them think Byron deserves the award.)

Darren Rovell of CNBC looks at the business aspect of the Hornets great season

  • While the success of the New Orleans Saints and their run to the NFC championship game was closer to Katrina, what the Hornets and Chris Paul have done in the last couple months have been a bigger business save for the city. The Saints, because of the revenue sharing the NFL provides, could have survived in New Orleans without that winning season. Without a season like this one, you can't say the same for the Hornets.

Rovell's closer to the above article…

  • The shame of it all is that while this is a great business story for New Orleans, at some point the league has to root against this story. No matter how good Chris Paul is, ratings in the finals are all fan base, market size and tradition.

Mike Fisher has more questions than answers over at Dallas Basketball

  • It can be argued that there is plenty of blame to go around. Does Dallas have the wrong coach, the wrong scheme, the wrong players? Is chemistry overrated, is experience overrated, is Jason Kidd (barely a whisper in the boxscore) overrated, is this team's talent overrated by its architects, is it just somebody else's time?

Among John Reid's notes in the Times-Picayune

  • Hornets forward Rasual Butler, who mostly has been on the inactive list for the past two months, was activated for Tuesday's game.

    Butler has not played since March 3 against the New York Knicks. Centers Melvin Ely and Chris Andersen were both on the inactive list.

  • Hornets officials said Saints owner Tom Benson watched Game 2 from a suite at the Arena.
  • Former Hornets general manager Bob Bass was seated next to his son, Kip, who is in charge of the Hornets' college/pro scouting.

John DeShazier quotes Avery Johnson in the T-P

  • "You'll see a different team for Game 3. Home has been good to us. We've got to go home and get some home cooking.

At NOLA.com David Schexnaydre Jr. says watching Chris Paul makes him act like a little kid, and calls CP "your favorite player's favorite player." Schexnaydre also has some thoughts on the MVP award…

  • You know what, if you didn't vote CP3 as your MVP then you're an idiot. There's no other way to put it.

Randy Galloway rips the Mavs a new one over at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, calling them "gutless losers." Ouch. He also drops this gem about CP…

  • Chris Paul — all 5-foot-11 of him — should be ashamed for this mean bully act. C'mon, man. Quit picking on people twice your size.

And finally, you gotta check this picture over at the Hornets Asylum boards. Are the Dallas Mavericks down for the count? We'll see on Friday.

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