It is a style of play long favored by Mavs coach Don Nelson, going back to his days with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors.
“Dallas is a very explosive offensive team,” Westphal said. “They want to spread the floor and find mismatches, and they have a lot of good 3-point shooters. They’re just the type of team, like the (New York) Knicks, that if they get it going offensively they’re hard to shut down.
“You’ve got to be able to play their guys off the dribble,” he said. “If you can do that, you’ve got a good chance against Dallas.”
Beating the 5-4 Mavs usually involves finding a way to slow high-scoring forward Michael Finley. Though Finley is averaging just 16.0 points a game while shooting an unusually low .383 percent (57-for-149) from the field, he is coming off his first All-Star season in which he averaged 22.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists.
“He’s a great player,” said Westphal. “He can score inside, outside, off the dribble. And he never gets tired. He’s a great matchup for anybody.”
Being in Seattle, Barry knows how much the Washington Huskies need an Oregon State win to go to the Rose Bowl, “and I’d be happy to see them oblige,” Barry said. “The Civil War game is obviously going to be huge … and hopefully the Beavs will pull it out.”
“I just like to stay in touch with the younger audience,” Barry said with a grin.
His critique? “It was all right.”
And would he read another? “Probably to my kid when he gets a little older,” he said.
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