Thursday, May 12, 2005

Game 2 Gut Check

You can say a lot of bad things about this band of brothers we know as the Dallas Mavericks, but after the efforts in Game 2 last night in Phoenix, not to mention the comebacks in the Houston series, you can never suggest they don’t fight.

Maybe not every night, but when push comes to shove, this team will not go quietly into the night. I love that. I love that just when things look very, very bad, this team shows a little bit of William Wallace, and charges back into the fight.

Everyone will talk about Erick Dampier and his fine effort last night, but allow me to place focus where I always do, the old man who people bash, Michael Finley. I am sure his critics will selectively remember his contributions, but I am here to remind you.

Dirk picked up his 4th foul with moments to go in the 3rd Quarter, with the Mavs up 72-71. The Suns quickly scored 7 straight to go up 78-72. At that point, the game was getting away, until Finley hit a 3, then another 3, and another 3, and another 3. By this time, midway through the 4th Quarter, Jason Terry and Dirk were ready to join him and make enough plays to get the win. But that stretch can not be ignored. When they needed someone to step up in the worst way, Finley went off for 31.

Meanwhile, Dirk played well enough, and hit the real big shot, but the TNT guys were all over him for his defensive lapses throughout the game after calling out Dampier. I also was not terribly amused with his reluctance to shoot the ball in the 4th Quarter, but with one possession left, and a basket was required, the star did what the stars do, and he buried the game-winner.


Revo on the scene in Phoenix

Avery happy with Dampier, but not real happy

"Am I happy that he had 15 points and 12 rebounds? Yeah. Six-of-7 from the field? Obviously, I'll take it. But I'll be happier if he can string together a couple of these games.

"He has a lot of work to do to please his coach."

Bickley knee-jerks in Phoenix

So, after imposing their will on the fragile, fraying Grizzlies, the Suns find themselves tested for the first time this postseason. It would've been bad enough to lose a game like they did on Wednesday, when the hosts were trapped, caged and jarred out of their high-flying offense.

They lost their treasured ball movement, getting suckered into a bunch of individual battles. They incurred a stunning violation for not getting the ball across halfcourt in time, which is like a NASCAR driver being cited for driving too slowly.

"We weren't sharp, and then the biggest thing was that I thought we got out of character," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.

But they lost their poise, too. They lost chances to steal the game near the finish line. Needing a basket to tie on their final possession, the best team in basketball settled for a desperate three-point attempt from Richardson.

Joe Johnson lost for at least Game 3

Galloway asks Hicks to help his ailing bullpen …But, that would require Hicks to write a check, so save the effort, Randy…

John Rocker annoys more people

Blackistone on the NBA schedule

And it was announced Wednesday that Game 4 in Dallas on Sunday night has been scheduled to tip off at 8:30 p.m., too, at the earliest.

Now in the playoffs' second round, the NBA doesn't allow one game to commence before the earlier one has concluded. Only if a game requires overtime will the league wave its broadcast rule.

Meanwhile, the Spurs' Game 4 with the Sonics on Sunday has been scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Dallas time. Forget that it's a series that, as mentioned earlier, is all but over. It will be played in Seattle, too.

What a ridiculous television schedule this is for the league and, especially, the Suns-Mavericks series. This is no way to showcase high-scoring basketball that is considered good for the league.

"I don't like it," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said earlier this week, "but it's out of my control."

You can be like Onterrio Smith, order the original Whizzinator

Napoleon Dynamite and Usher ..

26 miles is a long way

Phoenix Suns Owner, Robert Sarver, above:

Email #1

Hey Bob, I just heard you and Dan talking about the new owner of the suns. I was watching the end of the game Monday and either right before or right after the end of the fourth you can see this guy dancing like an idiot then realizes he is on camera and starts looking down at the ground playing with his foam finger with failed smile. If you TIVO'd the game I highly recommend checking it out.

Email #2

Are you gonna talk about Trinidad-Wright on the show or on your blog any? I'm wondering what you think because I think Wright is a darn good fighter and will win in a easy decision, yet he's a 3 to 1 dog.

Thanks for Broadcasting on BaD radio and BFFE,

Not sure how much I will do on the show about this fight, but I will tell you this much right now: I have a hard time seeing Tito Trinidad losing to Winky Wright. I might be wrong, but Trinidad appears too big and too strong. If Wright wins, I will remember that Fruitdog told me first…


Anonymous said...

I don't know if you caught any of Arsenal's demolition of the Toffees last night but it really shows the imbalance within the Prem. And the lads for Arsenal look like they are ready for the challenge especially lads like Fabregas and V. Persie. Also if you noted who is all bowing out of England's national team friendly vs. the U.S. Still a strong side with Cole, Campbell, W. Brown and Neville at the back. Probably J. Cole, Jenas, Hargreaves and Wright-Phillips mid, and Defoe and Johnson up front. The US is WAY overmatched. I don't care if Clint Dempsey had scored 2 goals/game! Oh, and go Star Wars. check out for the early evaluation of the movie of the year.

Anonymous said...

Dirk had every right to do what he did. Damp is a pussycat who needs to suck it up. 0 pts verses 40 is ridiculous. He needed to be called out. Dirk can do it, so what, he has a bad series, he has more skins on the walls than Damp will have the rest of his career. Anyone who finished 3rd in the MVP balloting can say whatever they want, IMO. ESPECIALLY when it's true.

AttnyDan said...

This is going to be a REALLY fun series to watch, no matter who wins. From what the Phoenix press is saying, it looks like the Dallas media doesn't have exclusive rights to knee-jerk over one loss.

Since I would never stoop to knee-jerking, let me say, Mavs in 5 Baby!!!

Anonymous said...

Finley is capable of having superstar type nights. Last night, he shot 66% (12-18) from the field, including 5 of 6 from behind the arc. He also had 5 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals. What does this all prove besides the fact that I can read a boxscore? The dude is no doubt the 2nd best player on this team. He will have his off nights, but the dude is still good. And with the way Dirk has been shooting during these playoffs he has plenty of potential of getting some more player of the game honors. Beside the above mentioned, he also got stuck covering the physically superior Amare a few times and Fin played him tough. Even Barkley acknowledged this on the postgame. Finley has really turned it on for the playoffs both offensively and defensively.

P1 Stu in crazy Fort Worth

Greatmondo said...

Thanks Bob for putting the focus on Finley and not this overplayed Dirk/Dampier story. Its funny how quite everyone was about Finley's game last night. He singlehandedly stopped the Suns from busting the game wide open.

That shot over Marion on the left wing with the shot clockwinding down was absolute money. Great stuff man.

Also Dirk regressed back to his giving-the-ball-up-in-the-4th-because-I'm-too-scared-to-shoot mode again. That play where he had a wide open shot and kicked it to Quis twenty-feet away from the basket with freakin Marion on him was atrocious.

Hopefully him hitting the gamewinner shot will be a turnaround in his career.


Jared in Irving said...

I realize most of the free world outside of Arizona realizes this, but I can't let it go without pointing it out for the 100th time: That was in NO way a flagrant on Stack. That was a terrible, terrible call. He CLEARLY went for the ball, he CLEARLY GOT the ball. He did make contact with him in the body. However, I submit to you that the play was a LOT closer to a playoff no-call than a flagrant. That was ridiculous. For the refs to wait until the saw blood and then call the flagrant was asinine. The league needs to review the tape, withdraw the flagrant, and find Bavetta a nice managed care facility.

Mark in Las Colinas said...

I'm not the least bit happy that Dampier "finally showed up." I like that he didn't go cry in his froot loops but why does he always need to be called out, either by Avery, Nellie or Dirk, for him to play well?

Mark in Las Colinas said...

Jared in Irving, you're absolutely correct. I didn't like Bavetta waiting around to see if Johnson was bleeding before handing out the flagrant 1. That was the equivalent of Kerry Fraser waiting for blood on the ice before giving out a double-minor. Who said hockey is dead? I'm glad that the Suns only came out of it with 1 point.

Anonymous said...

That could have been a huge momentum swing if they could have capatilized with 4 or 5 points right there. It turned out working for the best with Johnson out a couple of games.

Anonymous said...

I think an hour before each game the Mavs have to get somebody to walk up to Dampier and tell him how bad he sucks. Clearly this guy doesn't give a damn about basketball, he just goes out and plays when he wants to prove a point. Game 2 will be the last we see of Dampier this series.

Greatmondo said...

Since were talking about the refs, what about that totally garbage call on Stack with less than a minute remaining? How do you call an offensive call when Amare was damn near under the basket and at a time like that? Taking points off the board and giving the ball to the Suns.

Absolutely horrible.

Also, I hear Norm now on his knees for Nash saying that he should have had a 20+ assist game and how Terry threw the ball away in the 4th row. Umm, didn't Terry get hit by Marion on the way up for the layup? Nice no call by the refs but its okay to call a flagrant on a great play by Stack and a offensive foul with less than a minute remaining.

Another thing, with the exception of that tremendous rejection of MArion's dunk, Stackhouse was dreadful last night.


Anonymous said...

I agree that Stackhouse's flagrant was a bad call. And if Johnson doesn't flip himself onto an eyeball first landing, it could have gone as far as a block credit for Stackhouse. He did make some contact but Johnson lands feet first if hadn't tried to save the fall by trying to catch the rim. It was just an unfortunate event. However, I do disagree with the comment "working out for the best with Johnson out a couple games". I don't think sports teams or fans should relish in this type of circumstance at the expense of knocking a good player out of the lineup due tg injury.

Chris in south central Flower Mound said...

this is fricking killing me! I NEED HOCKEY! Watching basketball more has again confirmed that you only need to watch the last minute of any basketball game, and you see the best part. ugh.

Rick Bentley said...

I am quite pleased with Damp's game last night, but let me say that I am actually more pissed off at him after game 2 than after game one. Where the hell does he think he is? This isn't some spare organization that is happy to be in the playoffs. He is with a team that has major championship aspirations. Why does he need Dirk to roast him in the press to light a fire under his ass? How is he not motivated on a nightly basis to perform at a high level IN THE PLAYOFFS? Does Damp not realize that Frankenstein Cuban opened up his bag of money for him to take a swim in and NOT for a proven winner and this year's MVP Steve Nash? If he is satisfied giving 50% effort and throwing up a typical 10 and 8 in the stat sheet, then he needs to head on back to Golden State where he can be a big, slow, donkey-hooved big fish in a small pond.

Anonymous said...

Inflatable Mavs Man was very pleased.

Kikko said...

Inflatable Mavs Man was very pleased.