Each team's starting centers -- the Mavericks' Brendan Haywood and the Thunder's Kendrick Perkins -- could be more spectators than participants in this series that promises to be played at a high tempo. Lineup strategies will unfold, but it certainly would seem to bode well for Mavs backup center Brandan Wright, who is the only Dallas player assured of making his postseason debut (Yi Jianlian would also be making his debut).
Wright said he's anxious to Game 1 going, but that he is not nervous.
"I woke up a little early this morning though," Wright acknowledged.
Wright played in just one of the four games against the Thunder this season. Since he didn't become a regular rotation player until Feb. 1 against OKC, he rode the bench in the Dec. 29 and Jan. 2 meetings. He missed the March game with a concussion. He played 25 minutes and scored 12 points with three blocks off the bench with Haywood out with a back injury and Ian Mahinmi in the starting lineup.
"We have to be big," the bouncy 6-foot-10 Wright said about all three centers. "We have to play our roles and do the things we need to do to win the game. I think all of us have great opportunities to make plays and have a big impact on this series."