Taking control of a game. That is what we have wanted Dirk to do for years, and now that he is doing it routinely here in the playoffs, it is still hard to believe. I have already said he is “all growns up” and I have already said he is a superstar now. What do you say when he gets 50 and just invites the Mavericks to hop on his back in the 4th Quarter of a most crucial game in the Western Conference Finals? You just enjoy it. And move it to the sacred “Do not Delete” status on your Tivo. Wow.
So, now we must ask the question once again: Can this team deal with prosperity and close this thing out in 6 on Saturday Night? Or, will they let down their guard, and invite the Suns right back into the series for a 1 game showdown on Monday Night. Surely, they have learned their lesson and will go for this kill in 36 hours. Right?
And now, the exclusive blog quick hits from the dramatic Game 6:
• Let me stop everyone before they make the statements that “the Mavs have figured out the Suns” and that “the Suns are tired”. You cannot fall into that trap again of declaring this series over until you put that stake right through their heart. It is not the first team to 3, it is the first to 4. Finish Them!
• At 77-70, I must admit: My head was pounding, my pulse was racing, and I was beginning to ponder what window I was about to jump out of. At 77-70 Suns, I momentarily began to wonder if the Mavs dream was about to end. Never have I been more pleased to be so wrong.
• At 77-70, Dirk had 21 points. In the final 15:15, Dirk scored 29 points! The Mavericks scored 47 to the Suns 24. And Dirk had 29! Are you kidding me? That, my fellow basketball supporters, is a timeless classic. Down 7, your superstar outscored the opposition 29-24 over the final 15 minutes. HE IS ALL GROWNS UP!
• I get plenty of emails about Tim Thomas and my role in calling him a spare which would then reverse his mojo and make him a star. I take none of it back. He scored the basket that put the Suns up 77-70…and never scored another point. That is clutch. And let’s not forget what happened after he got cocky, blew Dirk a kiss, and called him a “P”. Hey, Tim, act like you have done it before since you have been in the NBA 9 years and have enjoyed a Max-out contract. Oh, wait. That was the best night of his career. Sorry, Tim. You haven’t been there before have you. Spare.
• Certainly, Josh Howard had another great performance. Despite battling foul trouble all night, he made many key plays and kept his 20 point record alive. Evidently, it wasn’t the braces that were making him great.
• Dave in Carrolton writes: bobsturmshow, can we get a new powerdown song...HERE HE IS THE POWERDOWN...KEITH VAN HORN! each lead blown as soon as van horn hit the floor. what a spare! please have ty walker dub his voice in for the "keith van horn" part of the powerdown ...radio gold!? I think I might steal that, Dave.
• To make the claim that Steve Nash is tired is dangerous. But, he looks like he could use a day off. There are none upcoming, Steve, until you lose a 4th game. Then, you shall enjoy many days off. Not a bad trade off, right?
• In the first Quarter, the Mavericks took pretty good control of the game, and once again, it was that new player from Cleveland leading the charge. Diop does it again. I really think you have to set the tone with him, and play him plenty. You have to keep him out of foul trouble, but with Steve Nash and Barbosa, and Diow all driving to the rim when he is on the bench, he has to play. The game changes when he is out there.
• This series needs to end. The stress level of playing the Suns is really uncomfortable. I have no idea why playing the Spurs seemed so much easier than this, but I will admit the Suns have the ability to make you scramble and when you scramble you leave something open. I like watching their scheme, but I refuse to believe you can beat good teams in a 7 game series with that style. The Mavericks are that good team. Finish Them.
• Did Raja Bell play? Yes. His technical foul certainly had affected the game. Somewhere, Willis Reed is proud.
• Jason Terry is still strug-gel-ling…When the rest of the team picks him up, it doesn’t look so bad, but he has picked a pretty poor time for a slump. But, how about 9 assists?
• Did you see the Suns owner mock Dirk last night? Go back to 7:09 in the 4th Quarter, and watch Dirk drive the lane and get fouled. Then, watch the first row under the basket as the guy in the Orange suit gets up and mocks the Big German. I am pretty sure if Mark Cuban did something like that the cameras might have caught it, but you have to look closely to see their guy. I guess there is a good reason for that, but you will enjoy seeing his display if you go look for it. Thank me later.
• Finish those clowns. Let’s knock the Magic Number down to 4 on Saturday Night.