Another good series, but this time on the Western side of the NBA. The Mavs seem to always be there, no matter what, and this Portland team is just snaked bitten or something, but they are always reloading.
This is the girl that you date that you know she's always going to be there, but you know there's something about her that you can't quite put your finger on that you know your relationship is only going so far. I guess I'll put it this way, I don't think a team will ever win the NBA championship with a 7-foot shooting guard (Nowitzki). Dirk has consistently put up numbers for this team and he's had some decent supporting casts, but they can't seem to get over the hump. I like Kidd, I like Terry off the bench for scoring, I even like Tyson Chandler who brings the closest thing to toughness to this team (I think that says something within itself). Good team, just not sold on them.
Talk about a team that with bad luck, every good player for this team has had some kind of knee issue. But this team makes the playoffs and everyone sees this as a team that is dangerous. I think this is the year for them to fulfill that prophecy. They have LaMarcus Alridge (think how good the Bulls could be if they would have drafted him), they have 'Crash' (Gerald Wallace), Marcus Camby, and the unheralded Andre Miller. Miller knows how to run this team and that's probably what makes them dangerous.
Mavericks - Shawn Marion and Jose Juan Barea. Shawn Marion doesn't have plays run for him so all the extra points he gets are what I call hustleman stats. The more her gets the better the Mavs will be. JJ Barea is going to have to ignite this team from the bench. He can provide a change of pace for the Mavs when they need it, but they have to be careful playing too much of Terry and JJ together because they'll get killed on defense.
Trail Blazers - Gerald Wallace and Wesley Matthews. Crash is coming over from the Bobcats and we know he can play but he's been on a tear since arriving in the pacific northwest. He's gotta continue to play well for the Blazers for them to pull this minor upset off. Wesley Matthews has been solid and that got him his money this past season, but I need to see more from him in this series. He provides balance and probably some scoring for the injured Brandon Roy.
Prediction: Can the Mavs avoid a letdown? Can these Blazers pull of the upset? For some reason I just can't ride with the Mavs. Everything should say that they win this going away, but I don't see them getting out of the 1st round this year. Blazers 4-2.