Monday, May 29, 2006

Game 3: Mavs 95, Suns 88 (2-1 Mavs)

After Game 2, I was describing the current status of this series to a fisherman trying to pick up a fish in his boat: The fish almost stood no chance of getting back in the water, but he wasn’t going to be easy to get a handle on until he was utterly exhausted.

It is quite possible the fish ran out of gas last night.

The Mavericks played one of their most impressive games of the postseason with a demoralizing pounding of the Suns in Phoenix. And now, they are on the brink of turning the screws Tuesday night.

This team is a championship capable team that now sits 6 games from that title that most Mavericks fans never believed possible.

Game Notes from me:

• That 2nd half was amazing, and I submit to you that the most impressive effort was put in by Gana Diop. What a difference he makes to this team. He competes at the rim. He changes shots. He pulls rebounds. And, you know what? He can even finish off plays on offense when they find him near the goal. Diop played 25 huge minutes last night and while people may point to Josh Howard’s return or Raja Bell’s injury as reasons this series turned so quickly, I happen to believe Diop’s ability to take the paint away from Steve Nash is as big a factor as any.

• This from Elias Sports Bureau: The Mavericks played the final 17:01 of their Game 3 win in Phoenix without a turnover -- the second-longest stretch without a turnover to close a game during the 2006 NBA playoffs. Back on April 26, Phoenix played turnover-free ball over the last 18:52 in a loss to the Lakers.

• I hate to agree with Barry Horn on anything, but geez, TNT, don’t be afraid to show us the game. I cannot think of anything I care less about than what Cheryl Miller, Craig Sager, or Tony Parker have to say about the game. If you can work that nonsense into a timeout, I don’t care. But, when you shrink the game to about 25% of your screen, so that you can interview a French guy about another French guy then watch the blood pressure of your viewers rise.

• Did Tim Thomas barging into the Mavericks impromptu huddle after the flagrant foul turn the entire game? From those free throws until the game ended, the final score was Mavericks 53, Suns 36. That dude is a spare. Sorry, but I don’t care what he does, no one has stolen more money in their career than he has. Do you realize since 2001 he has made more than $70 million? Makes Finley look properly compensated.

• Things are just different when you watch this team. At no point of last night’s game did it look bad for the Mavericks in my opinion. Sure, when the Suns get hot, they will go on a run. But, they could not play better and Dallas could not play worst in that first half. Yet, the Suns clung to a 5 point lead at home.

• Dirk since Game 3 of the San Antonio series has put up some pretty fair points/rebounds: 27/15, 28/9, 31/10, 26/21, 37/15, 25/19, 30/14, and 28/17 last night. I think he may be a star in this league.

• It is highly possible that Dirk’s desperation 3 did not hit the rim. I am not sure video evidence was conclusive either way. But, don’t be afraid to get a rebound, Phoenix. Jerry Stackhouse is taking on your entire team on the glass in the final few minutes and beating you. Jerry Stackhouse; hardly Barkley in his prime on the glass.

• This is only 2 wins. The game Tuesday is pivotal. But let’s not count chickens yet. I agree it surely looks great, and to hear Phoenix talk fatigue is wonderful given that there shall be no extra off days. But, do not let them breath on Tuesday.

• Marquis Daniels and Erick Dampier have wonderful seats for this series. So much for my theory that the style of this series suits Daniels. I think a trade this summer most likely suits Daniels.

• We would like to thank Jason Terry for joining the party in the 2nd half. If he is going to start playing like he did against the Spurs, then this thing looks even better.

• Remember when Shawn Marion looked like he rolled his ankle in Game 1? That was the last time he looked like anything more than a defensive rebounder. I have always feared the Matrix, so I am relieved that he has been a non-factor in these last two games. He just doesn’t look right.

• How did I get this far down the list without a Josh Howard paragraph? What a player. And what a steal to lock the game up with help from Dirk as they took the ball from Tim Thomas. And poor Nash, thought about trying to catch Josh Howard and then realized he has nothing left in the tank.

• It is Memorial Day, and not only do the Mavericks still have games left, but they actually look great in their series. Things have changed around here.

• 6 More.


Cubicle69 said...

Seriously, quit bitchin and get the damn rebound. Just try a little and you might get the call. I thought the whistle had blown the way everyone was standing around.


Nick said...

I seriously thought it looked like it caught rim. barely, but the side view sure looked like it, because there was a slight change of direction.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it caught rim at all, and the TNT sideline reporter(it was Sager not Miller, I listened for the one that sounded less manly of the two to make sure) said Steve Javy was telling the Suns coach that they made the wrong call. Still, get the rebound and it doesn't matter. Last night looked to me like the nail in the coffin for the Suns. They looked tired, frustrated, and their crowd was stunned at the end. Dirk is becoming The German Hammer. Somebody, anybody photoshop Dirk into a pic of a Jim Adler commercial.

Mavs in 6.


Mayvriks said...

The Suns postgame sounded a lot like the old Mav's. "Maybe we are tired", "we just didn't play our game" blah blah blah. The same stuff that used to drive me nuts with Dallas. I loved him when he was here, but seeing Nash act like this sure brings back memories. Substitute "Mavericks" for "Kings" and it is 2004 all over again for him. Man, I hope they put the dagger in Tuesday.


Chris said...

it hit the rim,

the ball turned a different direction when it did.

Brad C said...

Anybody else notice that Josh Howard switched mouthpieces after halftime? First half he had a clear one in, second half he went back to that freaky one from the other day. Key to the game????

One more thing. Did Craig Sager say "DICK Nowitzki" when he was interviewing Tim Thomas at halftime? I didn't have TiVo where I was watching.

eric in keller said...

Yeah....he definately said "Dick" instead of "Dirk".

Anonymous said...

You have to forgive him, he just saw Cheryl Miller in the shower and still hadn't collected his thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Hey Bob -- you're post-games have been great. Thanks dude. You should consider a career in sports journalism.

Sam said...

it's just sports karma. why should the suns (who are very much like the old early oughts mavs) win by playing the kind of ball that the mavs could never win with? it's also nice to see the other team crying about the officials (a sign that you're looking for a 6th man in stripes to rescue you because your players aren't good enough). i love the new post-avery mavs. they're just bad. great blog, great comments. you and dan are like radio cowbell...

mr. t said...

1. The ball hit the rim. If you looked at it more than twice, it is clear.
2. Since the game was decided by less than 4 points we must look at one incorrect call to say the Suns were cheated. Oh, wait. What was the final score?

Andy Douthitt said...

Mavs in The Finals.


Being a Mavs fan forever, I still won't believe it until the final horn eliminating the Suns.

Game 4 will be an absolute war. Pheonix will throw everything they have at us, and we need to stay focused and wait for our run to win. Nash is slowly becoming a non factor and that is weird in itself.
It is our time.

Mavs in the Finals. Unbelievable.

dcnix said...

"After Game 2, I was describing the current status of this series to a fisherman..."

Sturm, were you really describing the series to a fisherman?...or were you COMPARING the series to a fisherman...

Just curious. Who was the fisherman?

Anonymous said...

Cheryl Miller asked the lamest question I've ever heard after the game. She said to JET:

"So, you've got the home court back with the win tonight--now are you going to get greedy and try to win on Wednesday?"

How I wish he would have answered:

Um, I'm not sure Cheryl--we'll have to watch some film and get the game plan tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure Avery is going to have us try and win the next game. Of course, that's the kind of strategy that made him coach of the year.

Anonymous said...

anybody hear dirk say that the key was to get in their and grab some balls?

Rick Bentley said...

The last time a basketball game featured more black dudes without mustaches, Carpenter Middle School played Vines for the City of Plano 7th Grade Championship.

Mumm said...

Vines had 7th graders? I thought it just had freshmen and sophomores with the mental ability of seventh graders.