Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks 89, Blazers 81: My Top 10 Observer-ations

5. Not to be unpatriotic, but the U.S. Navy band playing such current faves as "Mustang Sally" on Victory Plaza seemed a strange pre-game musical choice. Maybe Le Freak, Emerald City, Petty Theft and even Independent George were already booked? Speaking of Victory Plaza, the only joint that can survive that ghost town is Havana, a "social club" kept alive by Channel 8's Dale Hansen.

4. Roddy Beaubois was shooting with what looked to be no pain after Sunday's practice. Still, I expect him to be an afterthought in this series. DeShawn Stevenson played Portland's Wesley Matthews strong in Game 1. Roddy's days of starting are long gone. Caron Butler was also shooting 3s after practice but still isn't cleared for cutting, much less contact.

3. I'm not a big fan of reality TV, but I think I'd be interested in a "Kiss Cam" TV show. Saturday night two hot blondes were about to engage in a lip-lock on the big screen when one of the men in the group literally grabbed his girl by the shirt and halted the show. And, yes, he was roundly and deservedly booed.

2. Yeah, yeah. Dirk is soft and Euro and yadda and yadda and more yadda. Don't look now but he got to the free-throw line 13 times in the fourth (and made all 13 by the way) and gave Dallas the lead for good with a corner 3-pointer. His 28 points and 10 rebounds are average for him in the playoffs. Which is spectacular.

1. Up 1-0 is good great and all. But if the Mavs are counting on six 3-pointers and 24 points from Kidd to win this series, they won't. My pick -- Mavs in 7 -- looks good. For now.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt