Dallas Maverick’s coach Avery Johnson has tried to find the right starting lineup for his team, and he may have finally done just that. The Mavericks have been lighting up their opponents since the move of center DeSagana Diop to start over Eric Dampier. Dampier has found what may be his role all the way into the playoffs. It was another easy night for the Dallas Mavericks as they destroy the depleted Houston Rockets. For the first time this season the Mavs have shown that they can win a game without it ever being in question. Prior to the move of Diop to the starting lineup the Mavs had only won six games this year by ten points or more. Since the switch they have won three straight by an average of 26.3 points. Earlier in the year it looked as if any team could hang around with the Mavs until at least the last four minutes. If the Mavs can keep playing at this rate, they may be able to handle any team that steps on the court.
The sitting of Dampier has not seemed to bum him out too bad, in fact he is playing with serious energy. Damp is making opposing guards think twice about coming into the paint as he appears to be defending his area much better. Will this hidden energy last throughout the long road trip the Mavs are entering? It is hard to say, he has always seemed to get lit up for a short time before fading out again.
Diop’s numbers have not improved since the start, but where they are is where they need to be. Get blocks and get rebounds! Those are the words that are preached to both Diop and Dampier by Coach Johnson and the staff. As long as the Mavs two headed monster can continue to combine for around 16 rebounds and 3 or 4 blocks then they may have a chance to get back to the western conference championship. Duncan, who is still fighting with his foot injury, may be vulnerable to the Mavs attack. As much as Mavs fans want to praise Johnson’s coaching decisions, only time will tell if it was the move that lead to a championship season.