Dirk Nowitzki had an off night... for three quarters. Dirk took control with the Mavericks down six points with 6:00 minutes remaining on his way to an 18 point fourth quarter to seal the win.He finished the game with 28 points on 7/20 shooting. The shooting will undoubtedly improve in the games to come and that has to be a concern for the Blazers.â†µ
Lamarcus Aldridge continued his dominance against the Mavericks, scoring 27 points on 12/20 shooting. He's going to be tough to stop this series. It's interesting to note that Aldridge appeared to struggle a little bit with Brendan Haywood. Haywood provides a bigger and more physical presence than Chandler who relies on his athleticism and length. I certainly don't see a change in the starting lineup in the cards, but I expect Haywood to get more playing time against Aldridge moving forward.â†µ
I said earlier that the key players for both teams will be Wesley Matthews and Jason Kidd.â†µ
Jason Kidd might have played his best game as a Maverick this season and it could not have come at a better time. Kidd was rejuvenated on both sides of the court on his way to 24 points and a playoff career high 6 three pointers. Will Kidd go off for 20+ again this series? Probably not. But if he can give them 12-15 for the rest of this series, it bodes well for the Mavericks.â†µ
Matthews on the other hand had a clunker for the Blazers. Deshawn Stevenson did an outstanding job in the early going drawing two quick fouls against Matthews and that was enough to throw him off his game for the rest of the night. Matthews played 19 minutes and scored two points. More of that, please.â†µ
The battle in the paint was a concern going into this series and it will continue to be one. The Blazers manhandled the Mavericks in the paint outscoring them 48-18. In addition, Portland went 15/23 on shots at the rim (many of the alley-oop variety) compared to the Mavericks' 4/12 shooting. It would be nice if the Mavericks started attacking the paint in this series, I'm not holding my breath on it actually happening though.â†µ
It could have been prettier, but you can't complain with the result. The Mavericks have a 1-0 series lead. And the winner of game one has gone on to win the series 78% of the time.â†µ
Game two is on Tuesday.