Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Is Game 2 a must-win?

A repeat of the first half of Game 1, actually repeating it twice, would work out just fine for Avery Johnson. The Mavs can steal homecourt from Chris Paul and the Hornets tonight in Game 2 at New Orleans Arena.

“Early on I’d like to see us get some stops and run and hope get the ball to the basket, score some points in the paint,” Johnson said. “I’d like to see us do a much better job than what we did on Paul, individual defense, team defense. I’d like to see us do a better job on the boards. I thought we had a lot of enthusiasm to start the game. We just couldn’t sustain it.”

Johnson stopped short of calling it a must-win situation.

“It’s a seven-game series,” he said. “We’re going to do our best and hopefully our best will be good enough to finish with one more point. But if not, we’ll keep fighting and get ready for the next one.”

His players, though, took the more immediate approach. Going back to Dallas down 0-2 isn’t in their plans.

“Every game is a must-win,” Jason Terry said. “If you don’t, you’re going to make sure you get it the next time out. We’ve done of a great job of game-planning for this one and we will be ready to play. It’ll be on the players to go out and execute.”

Josh Howard added: “If we win a game here and go home and play two and get those two, it’ll be big, so, yeah, I’d call it a must-win.”

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