It doesn’t matter how you get to FOUR
Just get there before the other team
And you win the series. - A Wise Man
We are witnessing basketball at its highest form. Whoever calls 74-72 games “playoff basketball” can keep it. I prefer this. Both teams trying to kill eachother. Both teams with the inability to even slow down their opponents' offense. And both teams exausted when the game ends.
It is almost too good to be true: The Mavericks have taken the Spurs best efforts and have still figured out how to win both times in Games 3 and 4. Now, it is time to end them. That can happen Wednesday night in San Antonio, and I strongly suggest you finish them now. Give the defending world champions a chance to taste victory on Wednesday, and you will find that this series is far from over.
It is not the first team to three.
Bob’s Blog Exclusive Game 4 Notes:
• The beauty of this run is that it is all about the team. We constantly hear how it is a star’s league, and your star has to beat their star. The Mavericks in this series are demonstrating how depth determines this series. Game 2, it is Harris and Howard. Game 3 it is Harris and Terry. Game 4 it is Terry and Stackhouse. Two different players join the battle each game and help Dirk with the heavy lifting that he is probably not capable of doing himself. But, credit to the personnel people in this organization. The bottom line is that the Spurs top 3 may be better than the Mavs top 3. But what about 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9? No question. The Mavericks are killing them.
• Speaking of that, what a different night for the former Mavericks. While Michael Finley stood tall and made several huge shots, Nick Van Exel demonstrated he cannot even be on the court without being exposed and looking painfully old. He entered the game in the late 3rd Quarter, and quickly allowed Devin blow by him for the basket and the foul and then the next trip, Marquis did the same thing. 2 possessions, 2 three point plays because Nick cannot guard anyone anymore.
• I realize that we will wonder why Dirk did not get more clutch hoops at the end (as he watched Jason Terry do it) but we cannot forget the incredible shots he was hitting early to keep the Mavericks around. This has been a pretty solid series for the big German against huge adversity.
• I love the idea that the Mavericks lineup is really a bunch of DB’s. Terry, Daniels, Howard, Harris, and Stackhouse could likely make a pretty solid nickel. Very solid comparison.
• Here is an email I received moments after the game:
Congratulate Mark Cuban for all his incessant whining about the referees. He finally got all the calls he wanted, especially down the stretch. The referees obviously blew two calls down the stretch:
1. The blocking foul on Duncan with the Spurs up by 5 103-98. Duncan was clearly outside the inner circle and clearly had position before Nowitzki got to the area. As a result, the Spurs got a technical, Nowitzki made 2 free throws, and Spurs up by two instead of 5 with the ball.
2. The invisible foul by Bowen on Nowitki when Nowitzki was backing Bowen down at the end of the 4th quarter. Where was the foul? A tap on the wrist? Are the players supposed to decide the game?
You can say that the Spurs got some calls like Parker's shot that didn't hit the rim and they gave the ball back to the Spurs. But all the critical calls went to the Mavs. Congrats Cuban, you have molded the officials so that they can win some games for the Mavs.
Poor guys. I feel for the Spurs fans. They just can’t buy a call. Or complete an inbounds pass.
• Ginobili was amazing. That sequence where he hit back-to-back 3’s was sick. I was very impressed with his games in Dallas. Of course, fouling out did not help matters for the Champs.
• Jason Terry loves the big shot. He did it last year in the playoffs and he did it last night. Jason Terry does not miss when it counts, it seems. The ability to hit a big shot is not something that every star player can hit. In fact, many big shot makers are not superstars. But Jason Terry is someone who calms the fans when he has the rock in clutch time.
• Here is another email from Hektor: Two words to describe the Mavericks: NO MERCY Amen, Hektor.
• Charles Barkley is a big, fat idiot.
• Let’s not forget the play of Jerry Stackhouse. His basketball IQ may be inconsistent, but he can beat anyone off the dribble. He is borderline unstoppable when he wants to score. Money.
• Do you think Tony Parker was tired of hearing about Devin Harris? Geez. What a clinic from Parker in that 1st Quarter. See, that is the odd thing about this whole series. The best players on each team have been really good. It isn’t like the Spurs have played like crap. They could have won both games in Dallas. But, history doesn’t show who “could have” won. Scoreboard.
• Booing Michael Finley is idiotic. There. I said it. I am not saying love him, but to treat him as public enemy #1 around here is stupid.
• Let me get this straight: It is the refs fault? Whatever.
• If the Mavericks are able to win anything that shines a lot this summer, it will be a miracle that you can win with someone like Diop playing big minutes at center. Let me explain: I love the guy. I really do. And his blocked shots are wonderful. But, I cannot express how clueless he appears at times. He has no judgment with foul trouble as he hacks even if he has 5 fouls and Dampier is already fouled out. Also, what is more humorous than Diop ending up with the ball in a scoring position? It borders on painful.
• I really enjoy seeing the Spurs fans unhappy. I think that has been stated time and time again here. But, most of the players are not guys I like to see fail. Except Bruce Bowen. I think I enjoy watching him fail.
• Something tells me that whoever wins this series will be pretty tired. And keep in mind, the winner will still require 8 more wins to win the NBA Title.
• Beat SA, Beat SA, Beat SA, Beat SA