The Mavs head to Oakland tonight to face the Warriors in The City's first playoff game since 1994. The hometown fans will be crazy for sure; let's hope for their sake that the hometown team doesn't follow suit.
The Warriors couldn't control their emotions in Game 2, and lost Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson to ejections after the game was well in the hands of the Mavericks. Don Nelson's preemptive strike of independently fining his players seemed to appease the league office, as Stephen Jackson avoided a suspension for his actions and was merely fined again by the NBA.
So with both teams at full strength tonight, what can we look for? Aggressiveness from Dallas, that's for sure. They felt that the Game 1 loss was a result of the Warriors being the intimidators, and the Mavs being too passive. In Game 2, Dallas turned it around, thanks in large part to Jason Terry's play. The JET had this to say about the turning point:
"If you saw the game, you know how that manifested itself during a stretch in the third quarter. I got fouled by Stephen Jackson, kept going, and got hit again by Baron Davis. That happens all the time. No big deal. Guys get fouled, continue their motion, and get an intentional second foul. Then, words were exchanged and such. Well, I just wanted to show them that we're not going to be intimidated. That moment was a turning point in the game and it swung the momentum in our favor."
I think Dallas realizes the urgency of regaining the home court advantage, and fully expect to see an effort out of them very similar to that of Game 2. The question is, can the Warriors elevate their game to match the full force of the Mavericks and not let their emotions get the best of them if they fall behind? I say emotionally they'll be fine, but Dallas brings everything they've got tonight and takes Game 3 on the road.