By Sam Rubenstein

So, tonight it’s Dallas at Phoenix. A rematch of the Western Conference Finals. My memories of last year’s playoffs involving these two teams seem to be other series they played separately. Kobe’s amazing layup after Smush stole the ball and then the game winner. Tim Thomas hitting that three against the Lakers. Diaw hitting a game winner. The Raja Bell shot against the Clippers. Dirk getting the AND-1 to stop a Mavericks collapse and keep them from blowing the series to the Spurs. A great basketball series between the Mavs and Spurs. Dirk hitting a big three against Memphis with some kid from Memphis at my apartment cursing and screaming.

For some reason I don’t have much memory of the Suns-Mavs series from last year. I know Dirk had a 50 point game that led to everyone specualting how the Heat wouldn’t be able to control him in the Finals. I remember two years ago, Steve Nash validated his MVP trophy by playing perfect basketball against his ex-team Dallas in a playoff series.

But that’s in the past. And now to the present. The Suns are 1-4. The Mavs are 0-4. The winner of this game isn’t in great shape, but the loser might be approaching a problem. It’s a long season, but this is not the way to get started. Josh Howard is out for two weeks. Boris Diaw is not playing well, and he’s huge. Both teams played last night, each against a Western Conference team that’s doing better than they are.
Is there something seriously wrong with these teams?