On its face, Tyson Chandler's animated entreaty for the Dallas Mavericks to metaphorically fight "shoulder-to-shoulder, shield-to-shield" in a phalanx formation in their upcoming first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers seems like sound strategy.
Employing a strong, tightly knit zone look was key to Dallas moving from a roughly average defensive unit last year to a top-10 outfit this year. It makes sense that the Mavs' defensive leader would want to refocus the team's efforts there while jazzing up the fanbase in another clever clip devised by the Dallas video squad.
Just one problem, via the always accurate and reliable Wikipedia:
The Hoplite Phalanx was weakest when facing an enemy fielding lighter and more flexible troops without its own such supporting troops.
Between LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Rudy Fernandez, Wesley Matthews and Gerald Wallace, to go with flanking pieces Andre Miller, Marcus Camby and a lessened Brandon Roy, Portland can throw some pretty interesting collections of light and flexible troops out there. On the other side, Dallas jitterbug/potential firestarter Rodrigue Beaubois is questionable for Game 1 with a sprained foot, while long-shelved swingman Caron Butler, working his way back from a ruptured patellar tendon, is considered "extremely unlikely" to be ready to appear during the first round.
Plus, Dallas has given up more than 112 points per 100 possessions to the Blazers on three separate occasions this year (well-above-average nights, even for a top-10 offense like Portland's), including the last two times they've played. Both were Portland wins.
Come to think of it, maybe this wasn't the best war metaphor heading into the series. The animation's still cool, though.
International readers ("Int'l read'rs"): If the clip above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to peruse the battle cry elsewhere, thanks to the Dallas Mavericks' YouTube channel.
- Dallas Mavericks
- Portland Trail Blazers