Setting the Table: New Orleans Hornets (Game 82)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 17, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The end is here. For 12 years, most people didn’t have an idea when the year would be ending for the Mavericks. Now, we know that game 82 will mark the end. The Dallas Mavericks (40-41) finish their season against the New Orleans Hornets (27-54). Normally, the final day of the season usually brings a sense of excitement as everyone waits for everything to play out and see who the Mavericks would face in the first round. After the exit interviews tomorrow, we know that things will be dormant until the anticipation of the NBA draft on June 27.

The toughest day of the year for a team is the final game of the season when they have nothing else to play for. We shall if the team led by prideful veterans will impose their spirit on the rest of the team, ensuring that the season ends on a high note.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Hornets.

Series Notes:

Seven of the last 10 meetings between Dallas and New Orleans have been decided by five points or less (Dallas has gone 6-4 in its last 10 meetings with New Orleans). The Mavericks lead the 2012-13 season series, 2-1 (the road team has won all three meetings). The first two meetings between the two clubs this year were decided by a
combined seven points, but the Mavericks defeated the Hornets by 18 (107-89) in the most recent showdown at New Orleans on Apr. 14.

The Hornets snapped a six-game road losing streak against the Mavericks with a 99-96 overtime-win at Dallas on Jan. 5. Despite the loss, the Mavericks have still won 19 of the last 21 regular-season matchups with the Hornets in Dallas (including 16-of-18 since the franchise moved to New Orleans in 2003).

It’s a Small World:

Darren Collison was drafted by New Orleans in the first round (21st overall pick) of the 2009 NBA Draft. Collison was a member of the 2009-10 NBA All-Rookie First Team and averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 76 games (37 starts) for the Hornets during his rookie campaign.Mavericks center Chris Kaman spent the 2011-12 season in New Orleans before signing with Dallas as a free agent this past offseason. Kaman was traded from the L.A. Clippers to New Orleans along with Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu in the Chris Paul deal that took place prior to the start of the 2011-12 season. Kaman played three seasons with Gordon and one year with Aminu in Los Angeles before being dealt to the Hornets.

Elton Brand and Hornets big man Jason Smith were teammates in Philadelphia from 2008-10. Vince Carter and Hornets forward Ryan Anderson were teammates on the New Jersey Nets during the 2008-09 season and were traded to the Magic together in exchange for Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee and Tony Battie. Carter and Anderson then played a season-and-a-half together in Orlando before Carter was dealt to the Suns in 2010-11. Carter played the second half of the 2010-11 season with Hornets center Robin Lopez in Phoenix. O.J. Mayo was a teammate of Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez and Hornets swingman Xavier Henry on the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2010-11 season.

Things to Play For:

1. Avoiding a losing season. With a win, Dallas would be 13th team in NBA history to be 10 games below .500 in a season and finish at .500 or better. The most recent team to achieve that feat was 2010-11 Philadelphia 76ers. The last Western Conference team was 1980-81 Portland Trail Blazers. This is a prideful bunch. They’ll want to make sure they can go into the offseason with one more win.

2. Avoiding stale Mayo. All eyes will be on O.J. Mayo after his disappointing game against Memphis and his coach’s volatile comments about his performance. Mayo totaled 1,869 and 1,771 minutes over his last two years as the sixth man for the Memphis Grizzlies. Going into the finale, Mayo is at 2,883 minutes. Is he worn out? We’ll never really know. One thing is for sure, Mayo needs to step up in the final game of the year to help his chances if he actually does want to come back to the Mavericks next season.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.