Avery Johnson didn't name names Monday, but he made it clear that something should have happened after Hornets forward David West tapped Dirk Nowitzki on the cheek a couple times as the two stared each other down with 1:53 left in Game 1. Both players were assessed technical fouls.
"More than anything we need players to not back down from anybody, that's what the playoffs are all about," Johnson said. "More than Dirk doing something about it, I would have liked for somebody else on the team, preferably in the center position, to do something about it. Was that clear enough?"
Since Johnson probably wasn't refering to Jamaal Magloire, it seems reasonable to assume Erick Dampier is the player Johnson called out. But, one problem with that. Dampier was on the bench at the time. Had he done something about it he'd have been suspended for Game 2 for leaving the bench area.
That leaves third-year power forward Brandon Bass, West's teammate the last two seasons with the Hornets.
-- Jeff Caplan