Hornets-Mavericks: Sunday news wrap

Published: April 27, 2008

Hornets-Mavericks Game 4 tips in Dallas at 8:30p.m. Central this evening. Ahead of that, here's the latest words from around the web.

Chris Paul quotes from an AP report…

  • "All day long I'm going to keep feeding (West)," Paul said. "I'm going to keep being aggressive myself. We're going to keep playing our game. There's no reason for us to go to the drawing board and scratch everything we've done. We're not going to change too much of what we do."
  • "I never think about where we're playing," Paul said. "I haven't thought about how many games we've lost here. It's always just a game to me. I could care less how many times we've lost here."

Jim Eichenhofer has thoughts on the Mavs physical play on Friday

  • Was it purely coincidental that after Avery Johnson issued a challenge to his big men to play more aggressively, Mavericks 7-footer Erick Dampier shoved Paul during a fourth-quarter drive to the basket? From Dirk Nowitzki's comments about preferring to play the Hornets, to Jerry Stackhouse's bizarre rant on Dallas radio, the Mavericks don't seem to be real concerned about provoking the Hornets.

Via the Times-Picayune, Byron Scott has some interesting words about Jannero Pargo's performance in Game 3

  • "Jannero was fantastic, but I told him he cost us about eight points on the other end by losing (Jason) Terry," Hornets Coach Byron Scott said. "He is trying to do the right thing, but he got caught up a couple times on ball-watching."

Also from that article in the T-P, Tyson Chander sounds off about foul trouble…

  • "I just have to understand that on a lot of plays they are going to flop, and I have to be a little smarter with it," Chandler said. "But I kept getting ticky-tacky fouls, and the one that hurt was my second foul. I was going for the rebound with (Erick) Dampier, and we both had the ball, but Dampier went up and flopped, and that's how I got the foul."

Coach Scott also commented on the officiating. From John Reid in the Times-Picayune…

  • "I don't want to say the referees are giving them the benefit of the doubt because they're at home, but I just said it I guess, huh?,'' Scott said. "They go to the free throw line 38 times to our 13, and I thought there was a bunch of situations where we got fouled just as well."

In the Dallas Morning News, Eddie Sefko brings us the other side of the story

  • The Mavericks believe there is a legitimate reason why they're getting to the line in this series.

    "We are going to the line because they are trying to be physical with us and trying to intimidate us, and it's not working," Cuban said. "Chris Paul was all over the court [in Game 3] yelling at everyone how soft they were, trying to stare down the bench. If you are going to play that game, throw elbows all around the court and smack people every chance you get, you can't gripe about fouls being called.

    "There is no way they can intimidate us, and we are happy to go to the free throw line for as long as they want to try."

    At long last, the series has begun. The teams are starting to show some genuine dislike for each other, which is always when things get interesting.

From Teddy Kider's article in the Times-Picayune…

  • The Hornets have not won in Dallas in more than 10 years, leaving intact a rare remaining negative streak after a record-breaking season for the franchise. But after shooting 33-of-87 and losing by 10 points Friday, the Hornets feel, as center Tyson Chandler said, that "they gave us their best shot."

    "I was telling the guys in the locker room after the game: 'This is fun. I love this,' " Paul said at the news conference after Friday's loss. "The fun thing about this playoff thing is the fact that we lost tonight and it's not that we play another team tomorrow or Sunday. We get to see them again on Sunday for Game 4, and that's why this isn't the end of the road. We start over 0-0 Sunday."

Lots of interesting stuff in this notes package from Sefko in the DMN…

  • Neither Paul nor coach Byron Scott were overly upset about the flagrant foul on Erick Dampier late in the fourth quarter of Game 3. However, the Mavericks were upset about a Paul elbow that floored Terry. Owner Mark Cuban said the Mavericks turned in the play to the league office for review.
  • The Hornets believe they saw the best the Mavericks have to offer Friday night.

    "I think we did," Paul said. "But they're going to come out with that same energy tomorrow. They have a lot to play for, and so do we. We know that was unlike us. We're just happy we have a chance to redeem ourselves."

    The Mavericks, not surprisingly, had a response to the Hornets' suspicion.

    "We still think we can get better," Johnson said. "After the first two games, we hadn't started playing playoff basketball. We had flashes of it last night."

David Moore focuses on the Mavs inconsistency, and doesn't sound hopeful that they'll hit a groove soon…

  • Consistency has not been the hallmark of this team. Every time the Mavericks appear to gain some traction, every time you get the sense they're about to take off, they don't.
  • The Mavericks have won more than three consecutive games only once since late January. If you're a little sketchy with dates, that's before the team traded for Jason Kidd.

A nice piece on Jason Terry and his development from Jeff Caplan in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Quotes in there from Hornets assistant coach Charlie Parker…

  • "Jason Terry is an emotional player; he plays on emotion," Parker said. "But sometimes his emotions as a younger player overcame his thought process. Instead of thinking about what you're doing, he let his emotions [get the best of him]; that's why he would do something crazy, maybe take a crazy shot, maybe punch somebody in the groin.

    "His emotions overtook his better judgment. I think he's been able to control his emotions to where he doesn't do those thoughtless deeds."

Also in today's Star-Telegram, we've got quotes regarding Erick Dampier's late flagrant on Chris Paul in Game 3

  • Dampier: If you're a point guard, you're going to get contact. If you don't like the contact, don't drive down the lane.
  • Scott: To be honest with you, I thought [Dampier] tried to push C.P. because he couldn't catch up to him. Damp is not that type of guy where he's trying to hurt him or anything…. It's the playoffs. I don't think there is [any] such word as being too physical.

Scott also believes Chris Paul will bounce back strong in Game 4

  • "The one thing about him is he normally doesn't have two or three bad games in a row," Hornets coach Byron Scott said.

    "He takes it very personal when he doesn't play as well as he's capable of playing. He takes it personal when he misses shots that he knows he makes on a consistent basis."

Tim McMahon wonders if CP will ever win a game in Dallas…

  • Paul is 0-6 at the AAC. He's averaged 17.3 points on 42.6 percent shooting and 6.2 assists in those games. That's about one point, three percentage points and three-plus assists down from his career totals. Plus, Paul only had 12 points and nine assists in a Wake Forest win over SMU on The Hilltop.

    Something in the Dallas air is clearly CP3's kryptonite. Either that, or he's due a breakout performance in Dallas.

Jerry Stackhouse continues to work his way back from a groin strain. Avery Johnson is hoping to get more production from him…

  • "We worked him pretty good (in practice Saturday) and we hope to get some carryover in the game tomorrow,'' Johnson said. "It's hard to look good when you don't get many minutes. He's a rhythm player and we need him. We can use his production."

Hornets Hype gives us a sneak peak at the upcoming summer blockbuster called Harold, Kumar and Josh Howard go to Popeye's. The trailer features these words from J5…

  • Yeah, I've been craving spicy chicken, too. If by spicy chicken you mean Ganja. Come on, dudes, it's not like I have to have it. But it's the offseason. At least that line works on Stern and Cuban.

Those crazy Hornets Hype kids have also decided to boycott any future watch parties, since the Hornets are 0-5 in those games.

Over at DallasBasketball.com, Mike Fisher dishes out a billion truths ahead of Game 4…

  • Stack has one groin in the grave; Eddie has one foot into retirement. They are supplemental players at best for Game 4 – and if Dirk, Kidd, Josh, Jet, Damp and Bass remain available, with George playing behind them – there is no room and no need for substantial minutes for ninth and 10th guys.

    In other words, this is no time to demonstrate "depth."

And finally, I'll leave you with this link to a lovely image of Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban over at Hornets Report. It renders me speechless.

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