Saturday, May 21, 2005
11 seconds. Up 3, with 11 seconds to go. How many mistakes did they make with 11 seconds left in regulation time?
1) They did not foul Nash on the inbounds and insure he would not get a 3 off. This one is debatable, because I think I would have just opted for tight defense on the 3. Get a stop and the game is over, so despite this being a mistake, I cannot say I had huge issues with it.
2) They did not defend the 3 at all. How Jason Terry allows Nash to get free is inexcusable. You could not let that happen. Anyone but Nash. Anyone.
3) They inbounds the ball before the timeout. That means you cannot have the ball at half court after the timeout, which led to mistake 4.
4) Somehow, after Avery is waving Stackhouse to get it over the time-line and then call timeout, Stackhouse either ignores or misunderstands, because there is no timeout. Which leads to mistake 5.
5) Stackhouse, with admittedly very little time to decide, opts to take the shot himself, despite the fact that he was 2-10 from the field at the time, and had not hit a jump shot. The ball needed to go to either Terry or Dirk, but Stack felt it, and the game went to overtime.
5 mistakes, 11 seconds. Season Over.
I don’t know what to say about Nash and Nowitzki. Nash was amazing on so many levels; it is flat out impossible to describe his accomplishments in the last 3 games in particular. He might have been further fueled by his exit from Dallas, but to be offended is not unique in this sports world. But to level your revenge in such unmistakable fashion is seldom seen. He made Mark Cuban, his former mates, and this entire city pay for every doubt that was ever levied.
Then, Dirk. I shake my head in disbelief about the big German. He is easily my favorite metroplex athlete to watch, and I defend him at every turn. I have so many mixed emotions about him right now, I feel like I need a cooling down period before I make any snap-judgements. But, the yelling and pouting on the court has got to stop. Especially, if you are going to play at a level below perfect. You must be flawless if you are to show up a teammate in the battle. He has not been. It is not lack of effort. Rather, it may be trying to be something he is not. But I am sad to report that there can no longer be discussions of his spot in the Top 5 players in the sport. Sorry. He might not have been in the top 5 players involved in Mavericks playoff games. McGrady, Nash, and Amare are automatics. Then, Yao, Howard, Marion, and Dirk fight for the other two spots.
And, what exactly was that turnaround 3 pointer with :11 left in overtime? You had time to find a good shot. He panicked, and fired a ridiculous prayer, and the last chance slipped away.
So, now what? We will have plenty of time to sort through it, and I will begin to do so shortly, but this team has to ask questions about what future, if any, some of these players have with the team. What do you do with Michael Finley? Can Marquis Daniels and Devin Harris play? How do you shake this soft mentality? What is your PG situation? So much to sort through.
But in the end, this team could not overcome the coaching upheaval, nor the inconsistency of virtually every member of the team. A quality team for sure, but one that ended its season about where it deserved to end it. Not good enough. Back to the drawing board, Mr Cuban.
Posted by Sturminator at 10:42 AM