Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Game 4: Suns 106, Mavs 86 (2-2)



Not so Fast...

The Game that was played last night almost serves everyone (including me) right. How dare anyone think a series is wrapped up after 3 games, and a mere 2-1 series lead? This is the Western Conference Finals, folks. It is not the first team to 2. And after last night’s big win by Phoenix in which the Mavericks DID go quietly into the night, this series is easily just as loseable as it is winnable.

The one simple question that we have not been able to answer yet is, “Are the Mavericks a good favorite?” They have never been the underdog for so long that when they suddenly become the team that everyone is picking to win the whole thing before this round began, it put them in a very odd spot. They would now have to be the ruthless killer that shows no mercy. Could they? Well, if Game 5 and Game 6 of the San Antonio series are any indication, no. If last night is any indication, not even close. You cannot let your opponent back up off the mat when you are the ruthless killer, and for now, the Mavericks do not know how to deal with being the favorite.

It seemed obvious early when suddenly the loose balls all landed in the arms of the Suns. Many long rebounds went right to the Suns. Did the Suns want the balls more? Yes. Therefore they got them all. If the Mavericks aren’t comfortable being ruthless, then we should all gear up for a Game 7. I still feel good about moving on to the NBA Finals, but since the Mavericks appear very impressed with themselves when they get ahead in a series and let their guard down, we should not be shocked that the Mavs lose a game like last night.

Game Notes:

• Raja Bell is a guy I have genuinely liked. He has worked hard and basically be a self-made man in this league where most players are handed everything. But, c’mon, TNT. Let’s not get too carried away about his contribution to mankind. Do we really have to reference Willis Reed every time any player shakes off a nosebleed and plays? He played well last night, but I thought the lovefest was a bit much. Further, if you know he is trying to sell flops everytime down the floor, how do the refs fall for it so often? It almost seems to encourage that behaviour. That last charge call on Stackhouse before Bell left the game for the night was a joke.

• Will Jason Terry please, please, please resemble the player he was in the last series? He shot 44% in that series, including 39% from 3 point range. Through 4 games in this series, he is at 39% from the field, and 23% from behind the arc. I thought the defense in that last series was so awesome and the Suns don’t defend, but it sure looks like Terry is not half as impressive as he was in that round. His assists are also way down and so is his overall impact on the game. He needs to get involved or this could get away from the Mavs.

• D’Antoni: “If they (Dallas) shoot 41%, they ain’t beating us”. Uh, coach, the Mavs shot 41% in Game 3 and won.

• I think the only Mavericks player who was able to do anything on offense was Josh Howard. Not the most impressive night for him, but he aggressive nature was in stark contrast to his teammates. Except maybe Adrian Griffin. Wow.

• By the way, to this issue that Phoenix plays no defense, let’s discuss that. It sure looked to me like they were playing some pretty decent defense last night. Running double teams at anyone who got the ball on the baseline, forcing passes that were difficult and forcing the Mavericks into shots that were low percentage constitutes defense to me. The Mavs settled for some pretty poor shots, and that conviction to make sure they get to the rim was lost. It was jump shot city for the Mavs last night, which once again points to this idea that the Mavs got a little too impressed with themselves. It doesn’t take long, evidently, to get a big head in this league.

• Leo Barbosa has a weird shot. But, boy, what a player when you can bring him off the bench. He is a good example of a fine bench player that when he starts he gets a bit ineffective if over-exposed with big minutes. If he is going to drain 3’s like that, the Suns are going to keep winning.

• I don’t know who Pat Burke is, but when he entered the game it took him exactly 4 seconds to complain to the refs that he thought he was fouled. What a shock. A player thinks he was fouled.

• Avery’s wife got into a fight? Sometimes you cannot write fiction this good.

• I am still waiting for Keith Van Horn to make any play of substance in any game of the Western Finals. I know he is coming off an injury, but isn’t this his 7th game back? At what point should he start resembling a player who is familiar with the NBA?

• I have avoided the Dirk topic for long enough. It does go without saying that he is entitled to a night that is not “all world” somewhere along the way. But, bro, do you need a sign in front of you that says “do not settle for fadeaways” if they are not falling? What happened to New Dirk? What happened to the German realizing that he can score any way he wants? I really think he needs to force the issue into the paint and score and when he doesn’t he reverts to the guy who was taken out of a tough series like this. There are nights when you will not shoot well, but you can still score the ball if you take it to the rim.

• Boris Diaw is no Amare, but when he finishes around the rim it is pretty darn impressive. This kid is 23 years old, and points to a pretty nice future in Phoenix if the can keep Nash from old age.

• Well, shake it off. 2 of 3 wins the series, and 2 of 3 are in Dallas. Game 5 is tomorrow, and this series is still in a good spot. But let’s not make the mistake again of thinking this series is in the bag before they get to 4 wins. That letdown last night was a reality check of the highest order.

64 comments:

AttnyDan said...

Did you have to use the picture of Corso from a website called..."Bucknuts.com"?

Not once during the entire game did I get the feeling the Mavs would win and rarely did they look even remotely interested. Even Avery looked a little....uh....scatterbrained?

Hey at least we all got a little more sleep since it did no good to listen to Ben and Skin's show. All they had to say was.....the Mavs stunk and they shouldn't believe their own press clippings!!!

mr. t said...

So true on Raja Bell. This love affair proves that "TNT knows drama".
Questions for the great Sports Sturm-
1. Why is KVH starting? The Mavs get off to a bad start every half.
2. What happened to the Mavs "great perimeter defenders"?
3. Why can't Dallas isolate the mismatches more? It seems that Dirk, or even Diop, are being covered by Nash or Jones many times.
4. What has happened to the "playoff Stackhouse"?
5. I need more on this Avery wife fight.

Jay,
Somebody told me that not only has the Rangers season has started, but they are leading their division by 5 games.
How many HR's has Juando hit this year?

Andy Douthitt said...

With everyone saying that this series was all but over... Wait a minute.

Mavs in 5 (I said it to) is a great thing, but let's come back to earth for a second.

Pheonix's season was on the line last night, so that will be their best effort of the series.

I still feel good though with the Mavs winning Friday and then throwing the kitchen sink at them in Pheonix and wrapping this up in 6. We are a better team. IT's cool.

Brandon at GSR said...

In some ways, it's better that they lost in the fashion that they did as opposed to losing a close, tough game. In such a game, you cannot get the reality check that comes from a we'll-name-the-score hide tanning that Phoenix delivered last night.

And like Bob, I'm tired of all these flops drawing fouls. I'd favor an NHL-like rule where the refs have the option to call a double foul in a situation where they feel an offensive foul did occur, but the opposing player embellished the contact.

Fake Sturm said...

Agreed Andy. Its like Nash said in the playoffs last year, after a loss you feel like you will never win again and after a win you are the greatest team ever and will never lose again.

I think Griffin might have been playing himself back into the starting lineup last night and hopefully boot KVH back to the bench.

Devin still gets no respect from the refs.

How many times a game does Dirk have to get taken to the hole by Nash before we run a double at him. Its quite frustrating watching that matchup.

No mention of the near no-no by former Ranger great Chris Young?

Mavs in 6

Anonymous said...

You'd like to think that a Championship team would never slack up. Against a team like Phoenix, though, who when their shot is falling is VERY difficult to beat - well, I'm not worried.

The Mavs looked resigned last night, and I KNOW that AJ won't let it happen again.

I said it before the series and after game 1 and after game 3, and I'm not changing it now: MAVS IN 6.

Phoenix is done.

Mumm said...

You should probably forget ever seeing anything productive from Keith Van Horn. He's beyond useless now. I can't imagine how the Mavs' brass can continue to allow him to step foot on the court, let alone start. If I have to watch him standing around the three point arc catching AIDS for the rest of the playoffs, I am going to snap.

Luis M said...

Keith Van Horny has been sparing us to death, but he had a run this season where he was coming off the bench and making a big impact, then he broke his hand. Hopefully, those buckets he made in garbage time will get him going. Believe it or not I liked what KVH brought off the bench before his injury, but he has not played any where near that level since returning. I think its his confidence and I hope that he got some of that back last night. I still would rather have Diop starting but its obvious Avery will have KVH in the rotation so we need him to produce.

I predict this loss will wake the Mavs up and they come out focused and blow the Suns out tomorrow night.

Jay Clendenin said...

the ranger haters have gone into hibernation i guess. no props to be given to the powerhouse that is the Never Say Die Texas Rangers?

cordero needs to grow a third chinese arm if he hopes to keep his job.

millwood is killing my fantasy team's ERA.

chris young??? spare.

Anonymous said...

Last night was one of the more frustrating games I've seen in a LOOOOONG time! We couldn't guard ANYBODY!!! I don't know about any of you Mavs' fans out there, but other than Howard and Griffin, we had NOBODY else step up. They might as well have stayed in the hotel and watched the game from there.

I don't know what kind of training these NBA refs go through, but I think a first grader can do a better job then they can. I can't recall the last time I've seen a postseason with this many AWFUL calls. You're going to call Dirk for his second fould for BARELY touching a Sun after Dirk, but you won't call Nash for bumping Dirk to prevent the fast break or for falling and tripping Terry????? Come on..... Also, I'm sick and tired of the flops by players in the NBA now. Starting with Bowen, Ginobli, and not Mr. 'I felt disrespected' Bell.

As much as I would love to see the Mavs taking it in six, I don't think it's going to happen. I think it will go to seven no matter how great the Mavs play. Why? Because the NBA wants it that way and with the way that the refs have been controlling momentum in close games throughout the playoffs, I don't see it going down any other way.

Mavs in 7 (if NBA allows it)

Anonymous said...

When Dirk goes to the basket early, gets mugged and the refs don't blow the whistle, he stops driving and the parade of fade-aways begins. He's got to learn to keep going back. Eventually they'll start giving him the calls. "Fadeaway Dirk" is not going to get a ring. "And 1 Dirk" will get a ring.

Klank Van Horn starting is insanity. If I were a Suns fans I'd get hard every time I saw him on the floor.

Stackhouse and Terry are putting too much pressure on Dirk. They are giving NOTHING to this thing right now. One of them has got to find their shot so Dirk can work more freely inside.

Has anyone noticed that before some games Devin Harris looks pale and bug-eyed? Everytime I see that look I know he's going to have a bag that night. The first time I really noticed was Game 6 vs. the Spurs. Somebody get him some Xanax.

Start Diop! Make sure Dirk touches the ball close to the basket on every possesion. Don't shoot unless there are less than 10 seconds on the shot clock and the Mavs win. Settle for piss-poor jumpers, let Dirk get lost and we lose.

The Rangers still suck!

Arthur

Anonymous said...

Circle the wagons Mavs fans... after last night's lackluster performance we are GUARANTEED a World Cup blog by next weekend!

Footy! Footy! Footy! Footy! Footy! Footy!

Anonymous said...

Nash is willing this team to success. The Suns have a bunch of oddball athletes who take shooting lessons from Marion. Diaw and Barbosa got that funky Matrix shot. Bell is an S.O.B. flopper. I rewound that offensive foul on Stackhouse a few times hoping to see some contact. There were none. They bumped 2 times and Bell bends his knees and falls on his ass. The guy has great footwork to pull it off, I'll give him that.
Disco

Brad said...

There is STILL too much optimism going on.

The confidence of the last few days got us(the fans) nowhere, I think the Mavs went through the exact same thing that we did. They weren't worried about them being up 2-1.

People who say they aren't worried, worry me.

I'm VERY worried.

Cap It said...

At the risk of being 'Duncan-esque', I'm piling on the refs as well...

You see Stack go up for a shot in the paint, 3 Suns go up with him - arms flailing everywhere and no call??? WTF??? It was so obvious that he was hacked. If we play role-reversal and it's Diaw shooting - the Mavs get the foul everytime. It ain't right.

I would like some explanation from those mothball heifers.

Expedite dress blues, order more service revolvers...

mr. t said...

mumm,
Very underrated line-
"If I have to watch him standing around the three point arc catching AIDS for the rest of the playoffs"

pretty funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

Most people don't know this, but Craig Sager is reporting that during halftime Raja Bell donated both his kidneys to starving orphan babies. He knew it was a death sentence for himself, but he had to help those children. Also, his tears cure cancer.

-JB

Brad said...

Sagers' orange jacket was awesome last night.

I heard he had on purple "I Heart Raja" boxers.

PenisWrinkle said...

I don't like basketball, especially the NBA variety. I'm hockey-intensive, specifically Stars. But I've been sucked in by this Mavericks team and they've got me watching every playoff game and cheering my arse off. I'm bandwagon, and I freely admit it.

I do have something basketball related to say, though...

I used to bitch about NHL officiating and how inconsistent and terrible it is. Never again. When Steve Nash grabbed a big handful of his buddy Dirk's jersey and yanked him to the floor and there wasn't even a HINT of recognition of it by anyone on the court with a whistle, I came to the conclusion that the NBA is far and away the worst officiated of the major league sports. What a joke.

Go Mavericks. And go terminal cancer in every NBA ref.

Anonymous said...

If I see Barry Bonds or Larry Brown on ESPN one more time, I'm gonna inject AIDS into my nutsack.

Brad said...

You should see Keith Van Horn about obtaining the virus...

Anonymous said...

Mavs fan: "the refs suck!, Dirk never gets a call!, there's a conspiracy against the Mavs and Cuban!

Spurs fan: laughing his a$$ off.

By the way, wishing terminal cancer on someone is not cool or funny!

Luis M said...

"By the way, wishing terminal cancer on someone is not cool or funny!"


you are right, we should only wish that on spurs fans...

DallasManUFan said...

Terminal Cancer on you Mr. 12:12pm Anonymous. If you'd have uses your name, you'd have been spared. Enjoy your last few months.

Jay Clendenin said...

go rangers. let's see if the rangers can do something the mavs can't...SWEEP!!!

Anonymous said...

Jay,

The Mavs CAN sweep. Just ask the Grizz.... It's not like the Spurs or Suns are chumps. This is the playoffs and we ARE in the western conference (best conference without a doubt).

THE REFS OFFICIATING SUCKS!!!!!

Cesar

DUDE1394 said...

The mavs are having quite a few difficulties adjusting to not pushing the ball imo. In general all season AJ has yelled at Jason to push it because he wants to walk it up. Now when he needs to walk it up he's finding it difficult to be in rhythm.

I would like to see the mavs push it more but pull it out when they don't have numbers. Right now they are completely walking it up and it's not what they've done all year.

This is not good.

I also would have liked to have seen dirk step out some more and not try to back down thomas. He was actually trying to body and back down thomas instead of driving past him.

When it's marion, he's just got to go towards the hoop and not fadeaway.

Jackson said...

Not to be whiny Spurs fan, but the fact that Dirk settled for fadeaways last night had a lot to do with the officials in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, we played terrible and were not winning that game, but a few times I felt like Dirk wasn't confident he would get a call so he settled for a fadeaway. Also, I thought at least 3 or 4 times he felt like he was getting mugged so he kind of threw something up there expecting free throws. Some of those shots were with like 15 seconds on the shotclock and they looked like desperation heaves.

He really needs to go to the basket no matter what. Even if they don't give him calls, put the onus on them by doing everything you can to get to the hoop.

Reality Check said...

"Not to be whiny Spurs fan..."

You're not, you're just being a typical whiny MFFL. Just face reality and admit it and you'll feel a lot better.

JoeMama said...

BOB!

Don't say "Bro". That's right up there with you whining, "Are you high?" all the time.

"Dude" is OK, but not "Bro".

Brad said...

The Mavs are going to play at least 2 games in June!!

Do NOT try to steer the conversation to baseball. You make me sick.

AttnyDan said...

For the moment: Mavs playing, Spurs not....so for the moment, Spurs fans (cue "SHUTUP" drop).

Is there a Spurs blog I can go to and post anonymously? Now THAT would be fun. I've already got Tony Parker-Eva Longoria questions and Manu y Manu (is he a mexican) comments.

I got a joke:
A Frenchman, a Spaniard, a Honkey, an African American and a Pollock walk into a bar...what a minute, it's the Spurs team!!!

Can the Rangers get me to July? Please Lord, I've been good, just get me to Training Camp...mini camp or anything football.

J-in-H said...

Jackson, Cap-it, and various anons:

Post your addresses so we can overnight your vagisil.

Jay Clendenin said...

have the faith dan. koronka will be the rangers' anchor...wait...o shit.

Anonymous said...

At 1:46 PM, AttnyDan said...

For the moment: Mavs playing, Spurs not....so for the moment, Spurs fans (cue "SHUTUP" drop).

Anonymous Spurs Fan said...
For the moment: Spurs 3 rings Mavs 0 rings!

Anonymous said...

All we need is a Cuban cuddle and an Avery reach around to get things back on track. Forget the have had and wish for the get got. Mavs in 6. You can send my vagasil to S. Bradley c/o BYU Pep Squad, Provo, UT 84602.

Jay Clendenin said...

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/images/2006/05/30/BZ53aRlM.jpg
http://www.getthatsound.com/General%20Assets/Images/DavidGilmour.jpg

rheinecker looks exactly like david gilmour from pink floyd. maybe the " ranger hitler look-a-like" should be abandoned for the "psychadelic band member look-a-like"

mayhew said...

whatever. raja did contribute a lot last night. both emotional and physical. the guy was all over the floor, and although some may be flops, if the offense intiates contact, it's an offensive foul. btw - i'm not a suns fan or a mavs hater, mearly a hawks fan .. ha! so i don't care either way. just PLEASE quit crying everytime your team loses! at least they're still playing -- it is possible for them to get BEAT by the OTHER team every once-in-a-while .. right?

Luis M said...

some one get this damn spurs off this blog, you lost, shut your trap and get the hell on!

hey for the moment:
Dallas:
Cowboys 5 trophies, 8 Superbowls
Stars 1 Cup, 2 Cup appearances
hell let's just throw the mavs & rangers in there too
Number of Mavs game after 5/22/06 4, spurs ZERO
And the Rangers are better then the san antonio...ah...the...ah..san antonio...somebody help me out here, oh wait, SA doesnt have another professional sports team. you cant really compare the sa missions minor league team to the rangers, but you can to our minor league team because we have one of those too,frisco roughriders.
SA doesnt even have a spare ass soccer team like FC Dallas...
Hey annon you see that....thats scoreboard!

now go home and get your shine box!

MFFL!

Fake Sturm said...

Nevin traded to the Cubs.

Anybody have any info on this?

Luis M said...

nothing announced yet, even newberg doesnt know.

Luis M said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fake Sturm said...

DMN is all over it.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/060106dnsponevintrade.3ed640a7.html

"They are not expected to receive a significant player in return."

Anonymous said...

Good Job Luis,

I thought we were talking about the Mavs.

I know all the cowboys, stars and rangers stats because I'm a huge fan of all of them. You see, my one-horse town only has pro basketball so my other favorite teams are Dallas teams! Plus, I did graduate from UNT. So Luis, thanks for reminding me about all those titles, I enjoyed every one of them!!

By the way, can I shine your shoes?

Anonymous said...

Why trade Nevin for squat in return? Is this a $ thing?

Luis M said...

you are right, we are talking mavs, so get the spare ass spurs talk out of the conversation, we can talk about them next year.

Fake Sturm said...

Quite convenient to be able to pick and choose your teams like that Anon. You forgot about the solid WNBA squad you got going down there. You got scoreboard on Dallas there.
If you are going to lurk around here still bitter after your spurs were sent packing, why dont you at least get a username so we can differentiate you from the other anonymous spares.

Anonymous said...

SUNS SUCK!

The Polit Burro said...

Apparently Nevin was once more getting hormonal about his playing time. News flash, Phil: You're done. Quit fighting it like you have another gear left.

Even though Jerry Hairston Jr. is the living definition of a quadruple A player, I'm happy to be rid of Nevin. Botts is a huge upgrade at DH and Nevin would eventually be another clubhouse albatross.

I like Hairston in OKC.

Anonymous said...

Not bitter at all, the Mavs were the better team this year. Mavs won, Spurs lost. Good Job. During the series everybody here said don't blame the refs, which I don't. The Spurs just don't match up with the Mavs. But during this series all I see is about the refs and conspiracy.

By the way, I don't think I pick and choose my teams based on convenience.When I was in high school I worked for the Spurs. Growing up we got the Cowboys and Oilers games on San Antonio TV. I grew up watching the Cowboys and becoming a huge fan. I promise you that I cheer for the Cowboys more than anyone living in Dallas. I was in college in Denton when they won 3 out of 4 Super Bowls. I cheer for them as hard as I cheer for the Spurs. While in college I went to alot of Rangers games and still want them to win a World Series as much as anybody. I like to listen to the ticket just like you even though I no longer live in the state.(it was tough during the series). The only difference between you and I is that I'm a Spurs fan and your a Mavs fan.During football and baseball season I will agree with everything posted here.

Steve said...

Anyone else besides "anonymous 4:16pm" wanna give their life story of their sports allegiances?

Steve said...

By the way, anyone care how the Suns bench were so happy and cute and holding hands while bitch slapping the Mavs? That was pissing me off.

Dirk and JT better actually make some shots and stick their tongues out tomorrow night.

mr. t said...

This is post after game 6 of the Spurs series.
"At 5:22 PM, Anonymous said...
I've noticed a trend.

1. Spurs fan posts (Anonymous of course because after Tuesday they will never post again here so why get a username?)

2. Mavs fans posts response by calling them names or insulting their intelligence."

Spurs Fans,
Just admit it. You don't know how to quit us.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else besides Steve like when guys stick their tongues out?

Fake Sturm said...

Anon...once again using anonymous username so you wont be credible for rediculous posts.

You dont really have a dog in this fight as evident by your post of your life story. So in the words of the great Lloyd Christmas, "Welp... see you later."

Join us in July for Ranger talk.

Jay Clendenin said...

rangers fan always.
cowboys fan always.
stars hater always (can't stand the bandwagon capacity of "hockey fans" in dallas).
mavericks fan since cuban bought them (bringing the six pack to the bandwagon).

Wes Mantooth said...

Jay forgot FaithfulAG always.

Jay Clendenin said...

ooooooooo.

wes mantooth bio: UNT grad. UT "fan"

Wes Mantooth said...

Nope, I'm no Craig or Corby. I don't go to a spare football school and root for a good one. I am 100% sip and proud to have the best education this state has to offer. My alum dollars pay for those players kicking aggy butt every year.

Oh, and I love drawing aggy offsides.

DUDE1394 said...

Remind me not to waste my time on this thing again. sheesh

Jay Clendenin said...

all in all...a great blog-post-day. exploding sports high fives all around!!!

Cap It said...

sorry i'm late guys, i had an appointment with the dugout.

...someone is sending me vagisil from san antonio? you're too kind. what do you do with that stuff anyway? just curious, sounds like san antonio peeps have a run on the vag market.

Discuss?

Sam said...

Please understand that i know this loss was 99.9% due to the suns outplaying the mavs, but .1% seemed to be due to the refs having a really inconsistent night. shouldn't nowitzki get some "superstar" calls? i also gagged and did a little throw up into my mouth when i saw nash and one of the zebras hamming it up and then ending their lovefest with a dap and a cigarette - all in the middle of a western conference finals game

FBombAndy said...

Yea, Nash was offering BJs to the refs in exchange for non-calls. When Dirk was asked about how Nash pulled him down and away from a rebound, he politely said, "Next question." You'd figure the refs would have some integrity and act like professionals.

But really, who expected the Mavs to win when TNT showed Salvatore as one of the refs? And the game before had Joey "Look at me funny and I'll eject you" Crawford! We lucked out a win for that game.

Craig Sager is the worst sideline reporter of all time! He might as well shove the mic down his pants and toss crap at the cameras.

At least when Dirk is called for a foul, he doesn't show his palms and get wide-eyed.