Thursday, April 24, 2008

Game 3 is almost like Game 7

It’s not exactly a Game 7 tomorrow night, but it feels pretty darn close. The series picks up in Dallas with the first of two games at American Airlines Center with New Orleans up 2-0.

“You never want to go down 0-3 in a series,” Dirk Nowitzki said today after practice. “You don’t want to lose at home in the playoffs, so it’s a huge game. The only difference is in a Game 7, if you lose, you’re done. In Game 3, you’re not, but it’s going to be extremely difficult to come back from an 0-3 deficit, so you don’t want to even get yourself in that position.

“Hopefully, everybody is fired up tomorrow and we get the crowd involved early and a good start and we’ll be in a good shape.”

Now is not the time to feel any extra pressure, according to Avery Johnson.

“Historically, when we’ve been tight, we’re not good,” he said. “When we’re relaxed and focused, and I know the difference with our ballclub, we can be pretty good.

“You’re not going to win it in the first minute. Even though this is a results-driven business and game, when we focus more on details, whatever those minute details are that can turn into really huge rewards for us, we’re a pretty good team.”

Nowitzki also said there’s no time to let the disappointment of the first two games linger.

“This is the NBA,” he said. “You’ve got to learn how to put losses behind, even though they’re disappointing and frustrating and the effort wasn’t great, but we’ve got to look forward to Game 3 and let it all hang out.

“Have some fun out there, let the crowd carry us and hopefully get on that board and make it a series. That’s all we’re looking forward to is that one game, that Game 3, and hopefully get a win there and then look forward.”

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