Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beasts of the East are on tap

Three games. All three on the road. Three division leaders. That’s what lies ahead for the Mavericks starting Thursday night in Beantown.

“It’s a tough test for us no matter who we’re playing,” coach Avery Johnson said Wednesday before the team departed for Boston. “They’re all terrific teams.”

The Celtics lead the Atlantic, Detroit (Sunday) paces the Central and Orlando (Monday) tops the Southeast. It’s the best of the Eastern Conference for one of the West’s best. Dallas (31-13) has won four straight and sits second in the Southwest Division behind streaking New Orleans.

The Mavs have beaten Detroit and Orlando this year, both at home. Dallas is just 11-10 on the road, including 4-5 at East teams, and 10-7 overall against the other conference. Johnson’s troops have won five of the last seven outside of Dallas.

Explaining the relative struggles away from home, Johnson listed a couple reasons: Many teams are simply better this season, especially at home, and the Mavs often lose their identity outside of American Airlines Center.

“We’ve tended to be more of a jump-shooting team on the road,” he said. “Our offense has as much to do with our defense as our defense itself. We tend to be less aggressive.

“We’ve seemed to play a little bit better here recently on the road because we’re much more aggressive, much more alert, we attack the basket more and we defend the paint better.”

Read the rest of this note, another on JJ Barea going home and get a look at the Celtics at mavs.com.

1 comment:

SeanMc said...

Cherry... how come no mention of the Sixers as Beasts of the East?

Do you even read these comments?

See you in a couple weeks!