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Did coach Avery Johnson drive the Mavericks too hard during the regular season?

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Did coach Avery Johnson drive the Mavericks too hard during the regular season?

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That’s easy to say now. The team did lack energy and passion for much of its series against the Warriors. That’s the sign of a tired team. But remember, Johnson dug deeper into his rotation than most coaches. You never got the sense he was grinding his team down. The decision to ease off in those final six games of the regular season, after everything was decided, may have been more harmful. It made sense at the time. But it’s hard to go from 60 mph to zero then back to 60 mph in such a short span. Was it wrong of Johnson to not manipulate the standings in the final days to wind up with the LA Clippers as a first-round opponent instead of Golden State? No. The Mavericks would have beaten the Clippers. But their performance against Golden State makes it clear they were nowhere close to winning a title this season. Did Don Nelson out-coach Johnson? Sure. The same way Johnson out-coached San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich in last year’s playoffs. Will Jerry Stackhouse return next season? Stackh

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