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Dallas gets to sit back and relax… but don’t expect rust

May 26, 2011, 2:42 AM EST

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Five Getty Images

Dallas now has some time to put its feet up and relax after polishing off the Thunder 100-96 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. They’ve got a wait ahead of them. At least until next Tuesday (if Miami wins on Thursday night), maybe until June 2 (if Chicago wins). Either way, nearly a week off or more.

Not that the time off will bother them. Remember they had eight days off after sweeping away the Lakers and everyone thought they would be rusty, then Dirk Nowitzki came out in Game 1 against the Thunder and hit his first eight shots.

If anything, for a veteran team like the Mavericks, the extra days off and the slow schedule of games in the finals makes things easier. More time to rest the bumps and bruises on bodies that don’t heal as quickly as they once did. Their execution — the key to their playoff success — will not suffer.

And it is more time to scout. To get ready for what is next.

That most likely will be Miami. Dallas swept the season series from Miami 2-0, but as both games were played before Christmas it’s hard to say these are the same teams.

The one thing to note from those games is that Dallas’ defense really bothered Miami, which shot just 40.9 percent against them in those two games and 52 percent on shots inside three feet. The Tyson Chandler effect, which could matter in a meeting now.

Miami is certainly playing better than they were in December, but how Miami would match up with Dirk Nowitzki could be interesting. Chris Bosh would get a shot, but that could work about as well as Lamar Odom did for the Lakers. Udonis Haslem may bet more time, and you can bet the athletic Heat will work hard to deny Dirk his spots on the floor. But everybody has tried that in the playoffs and it hasn’t mattered.

Chicago, on the other hand, swept the Mavericks and the Bulls defense did a number on Dallas. The Mavericks averaged just 92.1 points per 100 possessions against Chicago, more than 15 points below their season average. The Mavericks shot just 37.8 percent again the Bulls. Again, the teams have evolved since then but it would be something to keep an eye on.

Miami, up 3-1 on Chicago, is certainly the more likely option. But either way Dallas doesn’t care, they are just pumped to be back. The only question is how long Dallas has to wait.

However long it is, don’t expect it to bother Dallas. Expect them to come out hot and firing.

  1. christlife1931 - May 26, 2011 at 4:37 AM

    Miami all the way!!!

  2. florida727 - May 26, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    Unfortunately it will probably be LeBum and the Heat. Can’t see them losing three in a row at this stage of the season. The Bulls are missing a piece or two. But remember, they had to go through this with Detroit before winning 6 out of 8 titles back in the ’90’s too.

    • southbeachtalent - May 26, 2011 at 2:29 PM

      with MJ.

      LeBum…… I am perplexed by your amazing wit and creativity.

  3. balleriq - May 26, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    I agree, the Bulls need another playmaker to go to aside from DRose and someone else who can spread the floor from distance for sure. That was supposed to be Korver, but man, he hasn’t shown up in this series yet and he just gets abused on defense.

  4. edweird0 - May 26, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    MIAmi in 7! Sorry Dirk, you deserve a ring more than anyone but this just ain’t your year…. Hopefully you’ll get a championship before you decide to retire. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a better opponent.

  5. pellypell - May 26, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Who is this “we” you speak of? Today I learned members of the Heat browse and comment on PBT.

  6. artbyrob - May 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    “MIAmi in 7! Sorry Dirk, you deserve a ring more than anyone but this just ain’t your year…. Hopefully you’ll get a championship before you decide to retire. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a better opponent.”

    Dirk will get his Ring when he leaves Dallas and joins the HEAT, Remember you can’t spell HEAT with out HATE!!! Go Miami

  7. passerby23 - May 26, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Haven’t any of these writers learned that regular season meetings mean nothing? Boston owned the season series against Miami. The Lakers owned the season series against Dallas. Chicago owned the season series against Miami. OKC owned the season series against Dallas. How have those playoff series worked out?

    Teams evolve. Personnel is different. Strategies are different. There is more rest between games in the playoffs. Intensity picks up. Matchups are more exploited. There are adjustments that can be made between games. A LOT of variables change. Forget the regular season!

    • lordrage2 - May 26, 2011 at 6:01 PM

      Actually Dallas won the regular season series with OKC 2-1.

  8. southbeachtalent - May 26, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    “Not that the time off will bother them. Remember they had eight days off after sweeping away the Lakers and everyone thought they would be rusty, then Dirk Nowitzki came out in Game 1 against the Thunder and hit his first eight shots.”

    Kurt,

    So you are saying that since the Mavs weren’t rusty last series that will hold true from here on out? Come on man aren’t you some kind of “professional”? Your sample size is rediculously small. It’s obvious by the tone on most of your articles that you’re not exactly pulling for the Heat which is OK. But atleast make some valid points against them. You are starting to sound like the irrational Bucher. Give me some good articles with real depth and analysis. I know your milking this LeBron-Heat thing to the very end (as any article that contains either of those names on the title gets you thousands of clicks) but this is almost insulting. By your in-depth expert analysis we can expect Dirk to hit his first 8-9 shots? Give me a freakin break.

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