Hornets Fans Want the Dallas Mavericks in Round One

Published: March 22, 2011

A recent poll from Hornets247 shows that Hornets fans overwhelmingly want to face the Dallas Mavericks in round one. Given the choice between the Mavericks, Lakers, or Thunder, Over 81 percent of all participants in the poll chose the Mavs, with 11 percent saying the Lakers, and only 7 percent choosing Oklahoma City.

Why the Fans Feel That Way

The Mavericks are the only team that the Hornets have beaten in a playoff series since 2002. The Bees have enjoyed a mental advantage in recent years as well, winning the head to head advantage 13-7 since the 2007-2008 season. In fact, the Mavs haven’t been able to get a win in New Orleans since March 27th, 2007.

With the way Chris Paul typically dominates Dallas, New Orleans fans might just want to see the Mavs in order to view CP3’s best. He’s averaging 21-10 this year, while shooting over 58 percent. Last season he averaged 23-9-3 steals on 50% shooting, and the season before that he averaged 33 points, 12.5 assists, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals vs only 1.8 turnovers. In the playoff series preceding that year, he threw out a little 25-12-1.2 turnovers. So yeah, you could say that he has shown up against Dallas in recent years.

Dirk and D-West are just two players who genuinely don’t like each other, and that’s always fun for the fans. Their battles down low are enough to make any Hornets fan long for a repeat of this- (35 second mark. I just can’t find it alone)

Why Facing Dallas Would Be Tough

This ain’t your slightly older brother’s Mavericks. Dallas is a damn fine team, comprised of a number of former Hornets, most notably Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic. They’re deep, talented, and skilled on both ends of the floor. They sport 10 different players who sport a PER of over 14, and have the ability to beat you in a number of different ways.

The most troubling is that they hit the three ball at a 37 percent clip, good for 9th in the league. The Hornets have struggled defending the three ball for the better part of 2011, and Dallas is a team that will knock them down all day if left open. With Dirk, JET, Caron Butler (edit- Butler is out for the rest of the season), DeShawn Stevenson and now Peja and his still lightning quick release, they have enough threats from behind the arc that the Hornets could run into trouble if they lapse on defense for even a few plays.

Tyson Chandler continues to be a major concern as well. He plays great D against both West and Okafor, and with Haywood and Mahinmi off the bench, Dallas has one of the deepest front courts in the league. If they can effectively shut down David West as they have done all year, they will have the advantage.

West is averaging only 15 points on 14 shots and 7 rebounds per game against Dallas this year, while playing more than 37 minutes per game. Typically the Hornets struggle offensively when West can’t get it going, and if they have to rely on Okafor to bring some sort of offensive game to the table, that will spell trouble over the course of a long series. I expect West to bring everything he has for the playoffs, so hopefully Okafor would be left to focus primarily on defense, rebounding, and setting good picks.

Why Facing Dallas Would Cause My Head to Explode

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Remember how much of a fuss Cuban put up when the Hornets shelled out a little cash to bring in Carl Landry? Well, if he has to face the Hornets in the playoffs, and New Orleans gets so much as one questionable call, we will never hear the end of it. His people will analyze the plays on video (aka all over the internet), and will lead some people (read- lunatics) to believe the idea that the NBA actually is influencing the officials to perform in an impartial manner.

There has already been talk among NBA conspiracy theorists that the league will help the Hornets in order to bring up their value. After all, an appearance in the second round would go a long way toward proving to CP3 that the team is close to being contenders, which could further entice both him and David West to stay, effectively keeping the franchise viable in New Orleans. That is, after all, what the league has stated it’s number one desire is in regard to it’s purchasing of the team

Of course this is all nonsense. There is no conspiracy among NBA refs, nor does the league influence how games are called, but that won’t stop the crazies from coming out of the woodwork. It won’t stop Cuban from making statements and then getting fined, and it certainly won’t stop the inevitable explosion from the internet that will occur when the Hornets get their fair share of calls in what is an extremely difficult game to officiate. Lastly, it won’t stop people from pretending that the NBA really did fix the series, and that all the proof they need is the outcome.

I dread facing Dallas mostly because I don’t want to deal with the shenanigans that Cuban and his cronies will propagate all over the internet if the outcome isn’t to their liking. That is something that nobody around here wants to deal with.

Aw, who am I kidding? A series win resulting in a Cuban hissy fit would probably be the best thing to happen to Hornets fans since 2008.

Bring on Dallas.


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