Mavs-Spurs: Irrationally Optimistic Game 5 Preview

Thank you Jason Terry for acknowledging what a lot of us have been yelling out our TV screens the last two games:

To play better, the Dallas Mavericks must play faster. Here's hoping head coach Rick Carlisle and point guard Jason Kidd get the message.

Before it's too late.

Down 3-1 in the series, for the Mavs tonight is do-or-die. Here's what they need to do:

The San Antonio Spurs forged four NBA championships using the same formula: Luring teams into walk-it-up, half-court games. The more structure, the better the Spurs. After all these playoff meetings with Dallas, they know the plays. Their double-teams and corresponding defensive rotations are almost impenetrable. Let the Spurs anchor down in their half-court defense and the Mavs will again struggle to break 90. And the Mavs will again lose.

Even at the cost of some ill-advised shots or fast-break turnovers, the Mavericks must push the pace.

Kidd, one of the league's all-time great improvisors, must color outside the lines. The more ad-libs, the bigger the advantage.

Crazed, not controlled. Got it?

If you see Kidd walking the ball across mid-court, holding up fingers to call out a set play, Dallas is doomed. The Mavs can't beat the Spurs at their game.

Instead of towels tonight at American Airlines Center, fans need to be armed with cattle prods.

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