Mavericks steamroll Hornets in second half in possible playoff preview

Published: April 13, 2011

Both teams played hard.

I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but there are 15 games scheduled tonight and this might be the only one in which both teams went after the victory with 100% intensity (at least for one half). Unfortunately for the Hornets, they were unable to come out on top due to lack of firepower, but there were signs in this game that they will be able to hold their own in the first round of the playoffs. Considering that many are assuming that the Hornets are destined to lay down like they did in the ’09 playoffs, any signs of life are positives at this point.

The first half was the same old story on the defensive end. The Mavericks got to the line, had relatively open looks from the perimeter, and made a few lucky shots if I have to be completely honest. The difference in this game was that the Hornets offense was also clicking on all cylinders, and that enabled the Hornets to take a 61-58 lead into the half. As we have seen numerous times this season, the Hornets could not sustain their offense in the second half, as they only scored 28 points in the final 24 minutes. (Ugh!)

After a disappointing second half, the Hornets are now forced to wait to see who their first round opponent will be. A Lakers win and a Memphis loss means that LA will be the opponent. A Lakers loss and a Grizzlies loss means that the Hornets will return to Dallas on Sunday, while a Memphis win will result in the Hornets going to San Antonio. We will know soon enough.

Notes and Observations:

– Jarrett Jack loves playing Dallas. He wasn’t as dominate in the second half (obviously), but he finished with 22 points and 7 assists after going for 21 and 7 last time out.

– Q-Pon looked fantastic in the first half. It is a shame there will not be a summer league. He might have been able to dominate this year and really build some confidence in his game. Either way, I think he is a regular in the rotation next year. Work on that deep ball on focus on closing out on shooters without getting out of position and you can be a poor man’s Bruce Bowen.

– When teams front Carl Landry in the post, it is impossible to get him the ball. Because of this, Landry is forced to drift out onto the perimeter against bigger teams. Great backup, but he just can’t be a starter on a championship caliber squad. I am curious to see the kinds of contract offers he gets when free agency finally opens in 2012.

– The Hornets are doing a better job of creating offensive sets that get Willie and Marco open off of curls. The question is whether they can do the same for Ariza or if Ariza would be able to capitalize on open looks.

_ Great captions tonight. It was honestly tough to pick just three. Many people had similar themes, however, so I just broke that tie by giving it to whomever posted first. Great job, though, guys.

Pinoyballah: “Mark Cuban shows us the odds of the Mavs winning a championship”

hornetshornetshornets: “Welcome to the Mavs Fan Appreciation Night!”

Mr. Hornet: “Mom just take the picture already.”


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