Tuesday , Apr , 22 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Dallas Mavericks Lose Game Two 103-127 to New Orleans Hornets

Dallas Mavericks Lose Game Two 103-127 to New Orleans Hornets

Want to know the best thing I can say about the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2?  At least they won the rebound battle.

Besides Dirk Nowitzki’s rock solid play, that was about the only thing the Mavs had going for them in a disgusting 127-103 embarrassment at the hands of the New Orleans Hornets.  Chris Paul was once again unstoppable, consistently slicing through traps and double teams then draining floaters or lobbing perfect alley-oops to Tyson Chandler. He finished with 32 points and a franchise playoff-record 17 assists, cementing his status in my mind as the most talented point guard in the league.

Peja Stojakovic had 22 points including five threes, while David West chipped in 27 as the Hornets shot a blazing 60.8 percent from the field.  Dallas, meanwhile, had no answer defensively for much of what the Hornets ran at them, whether it was Paul, West, Stojakovic, Chandler or any of New Orleans’ other role players.  Even bench players like Hilton Armstrong and Jannero Pargo were making the Mavs’ defense look like Don Nelson was still their coach.

It didn’t help that New Orleans was hot from the field throughout most of the game, but it was the ineffectiveness from Dallas’ starters not named Dirk that put this game pretty much out of reach by halftime.  Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse continued their ineptitude against the Hornets and have now shot a combined 29.7 percent from the field over the first two games of the series.  That’s going to have to change if Dallas is going to make this a series.

One thing I did enjoy from Dallas’ perspective was the play of Brandon Bass.  He didn’t miss from the field or from the free throw line and had 19 points and eight rebounds.  Jason Terry also had a decent game, hitting four of five threes.  Outside of these two guys as well as Nowitzki, no other Maverick shot above 50 percent from the field.

I want to say that the Mavericks need to figure out how they are going to stop Chris Paul in Game 3, but I think now the Mavericks are beyond the point of being able to stop him.  They went both small and big against him, even putting the 6’8” Devean George on him at one point, with little success.  The Mavs were supposed to try to tire him out by making him play defense, but that clearly was not the case.  Jason Kidd was able to back him down in the low post and find the cutter for layups on a few possessions, but that was about as hard as Paul had to work on defense all day.

With the series set to resume on Friday for Game 3, Mavericks fans do have one statistical tidbit to hold on to: the last time the Hornets won a game in Dallas was January 1998.  However even if Dallas somehow bounces back from these two crushing losses and manages to win Games 3 and 4 at the AAC, are there any observers (or Mavericks personnel, for that matter) who believe that the Mavs can win a game in New Orleans to give themselves a chance to win this series?

After that bludgeoning, I’m not sure there are anymore.

[image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/timcummins/]