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News » Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2008-04-30

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2008-04-30

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2008-04-30
The Mavericks begin another long summer after a second consecutive first-round playoff exit. New Orleans advanced to the Western Conference semifinals by eliminating Dallas 4-1 Tuesday.

With his hair still dripping from the shower, Dirk Nowitzki acknowledged changes are in the works for a franchise with eight potential free agents and coming off an abbreviated playoff run. But it wasn't a topic he wanted to address.

"It's a little too early for that question: What's going to happen this summer?" he said. "Right now we're all just disappointed. We were better than we showed in this series."

The next day wasn't too early for the Mavericks to look at their coaching situation and decide that Avery Johnson was no longer the answer.

On Wednesday, Johnson was relieved of his duties as coach after going 194-70 in the regular season, but just 23-24 in the playoffs.

"This is something that needed to happen," Johnson said to radio station KESN in Texas. "There's no animosity or bitterness. We all still really care about each other, but it was time to go in a different direction? We didn't win the championship, but if you look at the whole body of work that we put together over the last three-and-a-half years? we'll put it up against anybody."

HORNETS 99, MAVERICKS 94: After being virtually uncompetitive during the three previous losses, including the first two games in New Orleans, the Mavs slugged it out with the Southwest Division champs for the full 48 minutes Tuesday. Dirk Nowitzki should know. He was out there for all 48. The last seven minutes witnessed a furious rally from 17 down that made it a one-possession game with 33.2 seconds left.

The Mavs got the stop they needed with the score 97-94, but Tyson Chandler poked Chris Paul's miss back into the Hornets' hands. The Mavs were forced to foul, Peja Stojakovic nailed two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining. The five-point deficit turned into a five-month break.

The man whom Avery Johnson congratulated as a "young Nate Archibald" and could follow Nowitzki as MVP proved too tough once again. Paul darted for 24 points, while also setting the table for everyone else with 15 assists. Nowitzki finished his 10th season with 22 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in the finale.

Though several Mavs left it all on the floor, the production wasn't always there. Many of the same issues came to light in Game 5. Josh Howard finished out his most disappointing playoff run since becoming a starter by sitting most of the fourth quarter. Jason Terry and Jason Kidd battled, but each expected to do more.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 30, 2008


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