Warriors (W-L): 0-0
Mavericks (W-L): 0-0
Time: 6:30pm PST
TV: FSN Bay Area, TNT
Radio: KNBR 680
This is it. This is what we've been waiting for. You know the Warriors' history, you know the record vs the Mavs. We're not just happy to be here, we're here to take care of business. It's time.
Dallas will most definitely come out strong. They have the home crowd behind them and want to send a statement to the Warriors. The Mavs will try to get the Warriors to think that Dubs don't belong in the playoffs by trying to put them away early. Dirk and Josh Howard will be the ones who lead that charge. They're the top 2 players on the team and will set the tone for the entire squad. So expect a flurry of action right from the tip off.
The Mavs have been here before plenty of times, so their first game jitters will be reduced. Nobody in the Warriors' locker room is afraid of the Mavs, but I don't expect the Warriors to come out hot and they'll surely have some jitters. But they need to withstand a hot Dallas start by playing strong D. They need to be the ones who set the tone by locking guys up on defense and just playing their style of game.
The crowd will be loud, louder than the Warriors have probably heard before. The longer the Dubs show that they belong the more scared the crowd will get. They need to take the crowd out of the game by not allowing many dunks, 3's, and big plays.
Some of the key matchups:
Stephen Jackson vs Dirk Nowitzki: Everyone talks about how Jax will be the one who gives Dirk trouble when Dirk has the ball, but if Dirk has to guard Jax, he'll need to expend a lot of energy there as well. Jax is too quick for Dirk to guard straight up, so Jax could have a big game is his shot is on.
Warriors guards vs Devean George and Greg Buckner: The national media and Maverick fans keep talking about how great these two Dallas players are on defense. They were specifically brought in for defense this year. I'll be curious to see how well they do play D. If they are successful in slowing down the Warrior guards it will be a long long night. But I don't expect them to be able to match the speed and strength of the Warriors guards. Baron is just too good to be shut down by one of these guys. Even if his shot isn't falling, Baron can still create for others like he has been the past 20 games.
Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus vs themselves: These two have been great of late, but can get a little overzealous at times. They need to play within their abilities and not try to do too much. If that three isn't falling for either of them, then they need to take the ball to the rack. Most importantly, they need to take care of business on the defensive end. If they play great D, it'll open up fast break opportunities for easy buckets. In order to win the bench will have to bring it and when these two play great, the Warriors win.
Don Nelson vs Avery Johnson: Teacher vs pupil. Avery has advanced farther in the playoffs than Nellie has ever done but Nellie knows the players on this Dallas team. Most importantly, he knows Dirk and if he can slow down or frustrate Dirk, he'll slow down the Mavs. Avery on the other hand has options, he can try to match the Warriors' small ball or he can slow the game down and bring in his two headed center of Damp and Diop. The chess match begins tonight.
Tonight is the moment we've all been waiting for. The Warriors aren't scared of anybody and will fight the entire 48 minutes. The Mavs aren't a 67 win team by luck. This game will be tough, but the Dubs are up to the task. It's time.
Special thanks to Five Ten Entertainment for another amazing video. This should pump you up for today's game.
Vegas odds: Mavericks by 9.5 (as of 9:26 am pst)
- Warriors steal game 1 with a 3 point win
- JRich loves Dallas. Even though he hasn't played a single playoff game, he'll be big tonight. He's your Warrior Wonder for game 1.
- Baron and Jax have big games to lead the team and show the guys with no playoff experience how to get it done.
Make sure to give us your predictions in the comments before tip off and post any comments you have during the game right here.
Update: Be sure to check out the Mavs Moneyball open thread to view the game form their perspective.
Update 2: Live Yahoo Boxscore
Dubs Win 97-85!!!
Stay tuned for the Recap!