Monday, May 22, 2006

Words are Words. Wins are Wins.

“It's win or go home. I don't think we're ready to go home.” - Dirk

"Fear going to play a seventh game? That is what we signed on the dotted line for. You just don't sign when you make every shot. You sign up for adversity too, and that's why we are all here." – Avery

Well, what is left to say? Game 7 tonight brings us the finality of an epic. It will end tonight. It will send someone home. So Who will it be?

Spurs fans think it will be the Spurs. Just ask them. Just read my email.

Mavs fans think it will be the Spurs. It is kind of interesting how most Mavs fans have talked a good game, but when they lost Game 6, 90% of my feedback from that side of the fence began to get their post-series analysis ready. Blame or off-season discussion.

And honestly, you could tell in Game 6 that the crowd didn’t quite believe it. It was a good crowd, but when momentum swung to San Antonio, there seemed to be about 20,000 fans trying to convince themselves that the Mavericks could win. Everyone may concede that the Mavs have grown up, they still aren’t convinced that they are “all growns up”.

Fret not. This game is quite winnable.

Sure, the odds say the Spurs should close in Game 7 at home. But, if that is the case, why should we even play the game?

The Mavericks are better than they have ever been. They play better Defense than they ever have. They show more mental toughness. They show more resolve. They are not babies. They are not soft.

These are not the 2003 Mavericks.

We find out tonight. We find out if I have given them too much credit. But, I really think they have a better team than San Antonio does right now. It is by a close margin, obviously, because everything in this series has demonstrated that while one side has 3 rings, in this moment, both teams are incredibly close.

16 Days ago, I thought the Mavericks would win in 7 because they were slightly better. 16 Days later, I feel the same way.

Am I sure? Nope. The Mavericks must now show it. So far, they have only demonstrated to be close. Not better.

But, if it is going to happen, it will happen in hours.

Jason Terry, are you listening?

Sefko looks at recent NBA History

Game 7 tonight at AT&T Center makes this a super series. The competitive nature of the teams makes it even better. These kind only come around once every decade or so.
By at least one barometer, you have to go back to the NBA Finals of 1998 to find a more competitive series.

The Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs have played five games decided by five points or fewer. The last time that happened, the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz were playing for the NBA title, with the Bulls winning 4-2. The margins in those games: 3 in overtime, 5, 42, 4, 2 and 1.

In this series: 2, 22, 1, 5 in overtime, 1 and 5.

Yes, there have been other hotly contested series since '98. Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers had a blood-boiler in 2002 that featured six games decided by seven points or fewer. And in 2000, New York and Miami decided all seven of their games by no more than eight points.

But if your criteria for a classic NBA series are ultra-close games and that it goes the distance, this is your brand of ball.

"It's a huge game," said Dirk Nowitzki, who has averaged 25.5 points and 13 rebounds in the series. "It's win or go home. I don't think we're ready to go home.

San Antonio Paper looks at the numbers, too

Throw out Dallas' Game 2 rout, and the score differential for the rest of the series is 497-495 in favor of the Spurs.

"It's that close," Popovich said. "That makes the most important thing playing well (tonight). Because after that, it doesn't really matter."

Popovich even called the Spurs' home-court advantage "fool's gold." The Mavericks have won twice at the AT&T Center this season, including the 22-point pounding in Game2.

Not since Charles Barkley closed HemisFair Arena in 1993 with a late jumper over David Robinson have the Spurs been eliminated on their own floor. The home team has won 81 percent of Game 7s, including both this season.

Of course, if the Spurs paid close attention to the odds, they probably wouldn't have dug themselves out of a 3-1 hole.

"It might be in (the Mavericks') heads a little bit because of the fact we were 3-1 down, and it's not easy to come back from that," Manu Ginobili said. "But now it gets to a point where it's one single game."

The Mavericks acknowledged they treated Friday's loss as if it were a Game 7. But they also have had two days to recover, as well as the emotional — and offensive — boost Jason Terry should provide when he returns from his one-game suspension.

You think you are watching a match-up of two classic heavyweights tied together in basketball immortality for 15 days. You think you are watching Dallas v. San Antonio. But are we really watching Coyote v. Roadrunner? Is this just an elaborate plot to get the Coyote fans all excited that maybe, just maybe, this time their hero will finally win? Then, at the last second, with defeat seemingly imminent, here comes victory again for the Roadrunner. Just like every time.

I really hope I am wrong, but I must concede that has been in my head all weekend.

It is up to this guy.

Dirk pics from the good ol days in the Fatherland

Game 7 in Detroit shows that defense wins

The Cavs led 3-2 in the second-round series and had a chance to eliminate the Pistons at home in Game 6 largely because James, who didn't live up to the hype -- he surpassed it. But what the Pistons can do on defense -- when they choose to play with intensity, like in a closeout game -- probably is just as frightening for opponents.

Detroit held Cleveland to the lowest point total in any Game 7 in NBA history; the third-lowest total in any playoff game since 1955; and 23 points in the second half, which tied the fewest scored in a postseason half since the shot clock was introduced a half-century ago.

The Cavs made just 31 percent of their shots and scored fewer points than any other team has this postseason.

Meanwhile, in Ice Hockey, Oilers win both games in Anaheim

On a night the desperate Ducks deserved a saw-off in the series on the balance of play, the Oilers prevailed thanks to 33 saves by Roloson and goals by Pronger and Pisani, whose eighth red-light celebration of this post-season was the difference.
When Peca hit an empty net with 18 ticks remaining, the Mighty Ducks knew they will be facing 16,839 crazed fans and have history against them in the bedlam of Rexall Place when the series resumes.

"It's nice to get some bounces and breaks when you maybe don't play your best game," said captain Jason Smith, who played despite a flu bug that's hit the team hard.
"That's the way the ups and downs go throughout the season and in the playoffs. You've got to grind through them."

Dismiss the history book stuff if you want, but the Oilers are heading home on a six-game winning streak - their longest in the post-season since 1990 - and they're 5-1 in their own rink in these playoffs.

The doctor said Barbaro "practically jogged" to his stall, but cautioned that his chances of survival were only 50-50.

WARNING: While I endorse this as the video of the day, and while this may partially demonstrate why I love hockey I must caution you to only listen to this if you are not easily offended by incredibly shocking language…

Danny Almonte is married…to a 30 year old ….

Confusing, funny, shocking, and amusing: Japanese TV comedy

Beat SA. (said in feeble, meek voice)...


DallasManUFan said...

38 and 12 from Dirk for the Mavs to have any chance tonight.

Go Mavs.
F the Spurs.

Anonymous said...

Mavs fans this year remind me of Longhorn fans before the National Championship season. They think they have a great team - possibly the best in the land - but their beliefs are fragile and easily shattered. In a sense, they're afraid of what could be, a little afraid to believe they might be right for the first time in forever. They need that trial by fire to galvanize them. For the 'horns, it was winning at Ohio State that got them going....for the Mavs, it's tonight. If the Mavs win tonight, they'll finally be wearing their big boy pants. I'm hoping they do it; I know how elated I was to finally see a Longhorns team live up to the hype and I can only imagine how happy Dallas would be to see their Mavs finally make it over the proverbial hump.

Anonymous said...

Please keep attacking the second half of the game like you do in the first half! And PLEASE do not stop taking it to the basket. Stop shooting bad jump shots. Don't get them in foul trouble and then bail them out by stopping the attack at the rim!


AttnyDan said...

What? No Soccer talk?

No matter what happens, it's been a fun couple of weeks. I only wish the game started is gonna suck tomorrow.

What's the over/under on Anonymous posts re Spurs fans today? 20?

I think Anon's are kitty cats.

Anonymous said...


I think you're thinking that there's another Eastern Conference game tonight. There's not one. It's a 7:00 tip. We actually get to see a game finish before 11:00 tonight!

Then again, you may be admitting to being a little hungover in the morning after the game. The question is: will it be out of joy or sorrow?

Kip in Burleson

Luis M said...

words cant explain the emotions that have went thru my body since this series started. i have looked into the future and i will die at a young age from a heart attack watching a mavs game, like the guy in pittsburg, hopefully i survive my attack like he has. the emotion that i have put into this makes my heart hurt. i literally feel like crying after each loss and its gotten worse after game 5 and 6. call it gay i dont care. i wish it wasnt that way, i wish that i could love the spurs and had the "may the best man win" attitude. but i dont. i want this win so bad it makes me sick. the loss on friday just ruined my entire weekend. i got up early on sat. & sunday and started my part time work early. i didnt even bother reading this blog, becuz i was afraid to add to my suffering. didnt watch ESPN or listen to the ticket. i did not want to remember game 6 and focus on game 7. i did work around the house, anything to keep my mind off the loss. my confidence is shaken. its one thing to root for an underdog and hope they can pull it out (like the cavs of this year or the mavs of 01 vs the Jazz). those teams, you really never expect them to win but whether the do or dont you will be able to accept the outcome. i'm not sure what i will do if the mavs lose tonite. i hate the spurs and their fans. after every loss, my phone goes off, text messages from spurs fans rubbing it in. i never heard or said anything after a mavs win. after game 6, i replied to one guy, what a series, cant wait for game 7, what i really felt like typing was F-YOU! A-HOLE!, but i hope the basketball gods look down on me and reward me and punish him them those messages. this day will last an eternity before we get to tip off, then the game it self will be a blurr as we sit restless waiting for the final two minutes of what i know will be a last second shot determing who moves on and who goes home. if the mavs loss tonite i might turn off my phone and avoid spurs fans for weeks because i dont want to get into a fist fight. i am that emotionally attached to this series and this team. even though they have let me down in years past, this year was different. maybe i say that every year around this time, but i cant remember, i all i know is the moment i am living in now. and for that moment to be remembered as greatness i need dirk, terry, howard and the lil general to come back home winners. since game 5 i have tried telling myself, calm down, its just a game, why am i stressing myself out, but that crap doesnt work. i'm in too deep, the only thing that will help me is a mavs win.

Anonymous said...


You took the words straight out of my mouth.

Go Mavs Go.


Cap It said...

Right there with you, Luis.

mr. t said...

I feel your pain. My employer now wants you to pay them $3.28 for the 30 minutes it took for me to read your posting.
If anyone has faith that the Mavs will win tonight, you're a better fan than I.

"I think when you saw this year's playoffs, Miami and Detroit have a pretty fierce rivalry now. Also, the Suns and San Antonio look like they're starting to develop something there. I look forward to seeing those rivalries continue and develop."
-John Starks

BigPhil32 said...

Go SPURS go!!!!!!!!! Game of luck to all the Mavs fans....

MrSimic said...

Luis: palabra.

J-in-H said...

David Moore of the DMN reported that Dick Bavetta was on his flight to SA. I hope that fossil is just going to watch this one. This has been an epic series regardless of the refs. My wish if for an epic game where the outcome cannot be blamed on the refs by either side. But that ain't gonna happen. So whatever happens tonight, please remember that gun barrels aren't for chewing. You worry me Luis. That's okay, I'm the same way about the Cowboys.

Fake Sturm said...

I hear you Luis...
Anxiety has been at an all time high today. I cant ever remember being this nervous for a sporting event. This is the reason I am up at 1 AM for a meaningless November game in Utah. There is a reason I have to watch every game and read every article. And that reason is tonight... game 7 in San Antone. We knew we would be here before the series started, hell we even knew before the season started. Just go out and get this done. Man I love this shit.

Tony said...

RIP Vito

Anonymous said...

Luis, i feel your pain, bro. i think alot of us are living and dying with each possession. i hope tonight we get to raise the glasses high.

i predicted failure at the start, but i'm believin' in this thing now. even after games 5 and 6, i think we got what it takes.

we'll all know later tonight.

(cue the Rocky theme)

mr. t said...

Oprah's Ball is tonight at 7:00pm. Maybe a little Tivo action for the Mavs in the Sturm house tonight?

Shiffman's Blog said...

I have been listening to Eye of the Tiger all day, preparing myself for the drama that will sure unfold this evening (Gay?)

I'll leave you with 3 quotes

"Going in one more round when you don't think you can - that's what makes all the difference in your life. " - Rocky (for the Mavs)

"You're gonna have to go through hell, worse than any nightmare you've ever dreamed. But when it's over, I know you'll be the one standing. You know what you have to do. Do it." - (for Avery)

"We always have to be in the middle of the action 'cause we're the warriors. And without some challenge, without some damn war to fight then the warriors might as well be dead, Stallion. Now I'm asking you - as a friend - stand by my side this one last time."(for the Mavs fans)

Let's Go Mavs!

Greatmondo said...

Great f'n post Luis.
I feel EXACTLY the same way. I wanted to punch Jason Terry, Stern, Stu, and Finley after Game 6.

I also have laid a few sacrifices at the altar of the basketball gods. May, they shine down
upon us and reward the Mavericks and punish the evil Spurs and their fans.


Chris Martin said...

Grown men acting like children is one of the reasons you like hockey? That's kind of sad Bob.

Robert Bentley said...

Glad you're so much more grown up than the rest of us just because you're the lead singer of Coldplay.

I wore my green Mavs ballcap today and am rocking a rally moustache. Win this one for Dexter Cambridge, boys!

Anonymous said...

We are 30 minutes away from gametime and I am pumped. This series has been so good ,but I dont think we will realize it has been great until it is over. Luis, I couldnt say it any better..Go Mavs!!!

For the sake of a Mavs fan living in SA!!

Andy Douthitt said...

Tonight is for...

1980, 1988, 1989, Reunion Rowdies, Don Carter, Norm Sonju, Keith Grant, Motta, Nellie and Cuban.

That group represents the "hope" box of anything positive the Mavs have represented since we started here in Big D.

Win tonight. Go Mavs.

Rick Bentley said...

If the Mavs lose this series, Jason Terry should buy a bullet proof vest.

"Bitch, I'll never forgive you for this. Go warm up the car."
--Leonard Washington

cracker1743 said...

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that Ernie Johnson's got a chipmunk stuffed in one of his cheeks? That's a strangely lumpy profile.

Oh, and the Mavs are playing kind of good right now. For all us Rockets fans in Houston who hate the Spares as much as you do, please win this game and send those S.A. punk ass bitches back across the border.

TimmysBSlap said...

Eat sh*t Ginobilli

Guess Dave Stern is a happy camper...

J-in-H said...


Anonymous said...

I can't take it!

Please! Stop with all the jumpers! Just find a way to the rim!

TimmysBSlap said...

or not.........


Diop4Prez said...

Diop for Prez

mavs dip said...


mr. t said...

We should all be gracious winners to the Spurs fans.
Screw that! I enjoyed watching the fans go home in the Spurs jerseys. I enjoyed watching Finley airball the last shot. I enjoyed looking at Parker and Duncan pout after the game. I like that these sorry Spurs fans that have posted here for the past few weeks are gone. Bye Anon's. I love that I didn't have any faith in the Mavs winning today, but they won only because of Luis's post today. Possible letdown next series, but oh well.
After Ginobli hit that 3, I thought it was over. Enjoy this Mavs fans, you all deserve it.