Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Show needs to show

Josh Howard hasn’t gotten off the playoff start he imagined. Like the rest of the team, he’s trying not to press with the postseason at critical mass.

“I don’t think you should try to do anything out of the ordinary,” he said. “I learned that my first in the playoffs, where I didn’t even play, trying to do extra stuff. You’ve got to be yourself no matter what the situation is.”

Howard’s shot hasn’t been falling (27 percent) and he’s scoring just 13.5 points through two games. His struggles mirror those of the team.

“I have to play well, not necessarily the scoring,” he said. “We have enough scoring options on the team. I just have to contribute on the other end, rebounding, guarding the best offensive player on the other team, anything, I’m going to do it.”

The Hornets have done an impressive job of limiting Dirk Nowitzki’s supporting cast. The Mavs likely won’t advance without Howard being his usual chaotic force at both ends.

“Josh has to continue to mix up his game,” Avery Johnson said. “He’ll keep getting the ball. We need for him to get double-figure attempts, but again just mixing it up, driving, in-between game.

“But more than that, historically what we’ve tried to do is when a guy’s shot is not going in the basket, focus on playing better defense. Let’s play better defense against Stojakovic and Paul, maybe get a steal, get some easy baskets here and there.”

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