Sunday, June 04, 2006

Game 6: Mavs 102, Suns 93 (Mavs win 4-2)

Going boldly where no Mavs team has gone before! Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare because the NBA Finals are coming to your town. For years, you have been bold enough to even dream about this happening, well, the Dallas Mavericks are the Best in the West. They cannot take that away from you after a stunning Game 6 performance that is also worthy of “Do Not Delete” status on your Tivo. Gritty, Gutty, and determined to get a win: The Avery Johnson Mavericks are not the Mavericks of old.

Please, for a day at least, soak this one in. You have the Mavericks winning their 3rd round of the NBA Playoffs, with only 1 game this entire run that was “do or die”. I am not saying this has been easy, because my blood pressure says otherwise, but it has been done without the aid of miracles. This is just a real freaking good basketball team. So, before you look ahead to a daunting task of taking on the Miami Heat, please remember to enjoy the trip. I understand that “it don’t mean a thing if you don’t have that ring”, but we can talk about that in a few days. For now, enjoy the journey!

Enjoy the fact that many of you thought their goose was cooked last night at 60-45 with 6:30 left in the 3rd Quarter. That of course, was when the Suns looked to be running away, and the Mavs still looked a bit clueless on offense. But guess who was there to take over after a real poor first half? Let me help you: Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry, who combined for 5 points in the first half (all for Dirk), scored 21 points in a row to put the Mavs down 66-64. Everyone played Defense, but those two did the heavy lifting during that run. Thanks for the help boys, because Josh Howard was tired of covering for you.

Here are some Quick Hits to round up the Western Conference Finals:

• Ok, Steve Nash is a great player. I don’t doubt that. What I do doubt is that his body can handle the meat grinder that is the playoffs. It is too much. We saw it spring after spring, and when I saw him make brain dead plays in the 4th quarter last night when his team could least afford it, including two drives to the basket where it looks like he just dropped the ball along the way, it again occurred to me why the Mavericks would not be where they are if he was still their point guard. He was exhausted again. Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it, right? Well, Mark Cuban must have learned. Nash can’t play this time of year any better than a goalie in hockey who doesn’t win in the playoffs, and as much as you love him, it is hard seeing this problem get better as he looks ahead to the twilight of his career. It happens every spring.

• Jerry Stackhouse has taken his share of abuse. I hope those of you in the Stack-haters club would at least give him your best today. Dude was great last night on both ends of the court. In the 3rd when the Mavericks made their run, his hands were causing steals on defense which is a rarity. Understand that this is a guy finding new depths to dig because he never thought he would get a ring. He can now smell it.

• I am only going to say this one last time: When I originally claimed that Josh Howard was the 2nd best player on this team, I was widely ridiculed. I received email that suggested I go get tests done by a physician. I just am not receiving those emails anymore and I wondered if something was wrong on my end. What a stud. What a player that you can always count on in the toughest situations (provided he is not in foul trouble). I promised not to look ahead, right? Well, I think he is your best option against Wade.

• Mark Cuban, the master of comedy, scored high again as he conducted an interview with a trophy on his head. Well done, Cubes. Seriously, be as goofy as you want because this franchise is nowhere close to this if you are not the owner. I hope everyone understands that.

• Shawn Marion: Not half the player I thought he was. I am sure he will be better next year when Amare and Diaw are getting guarded by the 2 best front court players and Marion gets whoever is left, but I am amazed at how spare he seemed in these games.

• I must agree with Barkley on something: I thought the refs were out of their minds last night for calling that game as close as they did. I understand wanting to get the attention of the players, but at some point, let’s not let this turn into the Bernie Fryer show. Geez, bro, the foul trouble on both sides was absurd.

• Did Devin Harris not play in the 2nd half or did my eyes deceive me? Also, did Marquis Daniels play exactly as much as Devin Harris did? And the Mavericks won?

• I hope Erick Dampier is well rested and well focused.

• I thought TNT was a bit Pro-Suns last night. Of course, I think this blog has been pretty Pro-Mavs most of the way, too.

• This morning, the Phoenix paper was quick to point out that everything went perfectly in these playoffs until Raja got hurt. I swear, this guy doesn’t need an agent anymore.

• This is stolen from Bill Simmons, but I want to use it anyway: The Closer and Saved both start June 12 on TNT, in case you didn’t know.

• Dallas scored 14 points in the 1st Quarter. Seriously. Isn’t it awesome that this team can win like this on the road without shooting well? It is just like the Bulls and the Spurs do it. Grind it out with great defensive efforts. Wear the home team and their crowd right out with getting stops. I love it.

• KVH = 4 minutes. Perfect.

• This won’t go down as one of Dirk’s greatest games, but I thought he was driving this bus in the 2nd half. What great drives to the hoop and what killer jumpers when it mattered most.

• 4 More to go. Seriously. You are not being pranked. The little, cute Mavericks, the team in Dallas that you dared to never dream could win it all are now just 4 wins away. With home court advantage in the NBA Finals. Remember, it goes 2-3-2 now. So, win both of the first two, please.


DallasManUFan said...

Can I be the first to knee-jerk and make this claim:

Mavs in 5

Cap It said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cap It said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Stephen A(-hole) Smith on the Sports Reporters Sunday morning claimed that J-Ho is an all-around better player than Dirk, after bashing Dirk becuase Tim Thomas was guarding him.

(He went on to say that the Pistons' collapse was Flip Saunders fault.)

First - Is this he stupidest, most irritating POS on the air today?

Second - I love J-Ho, absolutely. The Mavs wouldn't be where they are today without him. But better than Dirk? SAS needs to stop it with the funny cigarettes.

Third - All Flip Saunders' fault? Miami has a Hall of Fame center, probably an HOF Swingman in DWade, a solid set of roll players and a HOF Coach, but it was the ONLY white guy on Detroit's team's fault? Put this with the J-Ho thing, and I smell a bit of caucasio-phobia coming on.

Mavs in 7 - Home Court saves the day.

dwebb said...

Scoring more in the 4th quarter than in the 1st half. Brilliance by Avery! Rope a dope! Thank you!

Mavs in 5

Anonymous said...

I thought the refs were out of their minds last night for calling that game as close as they did.

Two words: Dick Bavetta

He's the worst official in all of professional sport. I'm including soccer refs, the roid-raging NFL ref, every MBL ump, and at least half of the volunteers at the last Special Olympics, and Bavetta's still the worst.

Congrats Mavs fans, enjoy the win. You should take the Heat in 6.

Anonymous said...

Oh yea, that was by me btw.

(I should just get a blogger account, I know)

Anonymous said...


First, Mavs in 7.

Second, this will be the highest rated finals since the Chicago days because...
-- You have the only owner with any name recognition with the common man in Cuban.
-- You've the oily slick hollywood Pat Riley.
-- The coolest guy in the league in Shaq.
-- A star white guy in Dirk.
-- Plenty of offense.
-- A bunch of past stars from over the league serving as role players like Walker, Stackhouse, the Glove, among others.

My basketball weenie is at an all-time level of crazy happiness.


Dirk's Blitzkrieg Offense said...

Blitzkrieg offense > Heat
Blitzkrieg offense > Shaq
Blitzkrieg offense > Wade
Blitzkrieg offense > Toine

Mavs in 6

Cap It said...

Wow. I don't know why this just struck me the way it did, but our little Mavver's are in the freakin' FINALS!!

Such a surreal, dream-like reality.

I deleted my earlier comments because I was suffering from sour grapes about the whole 'national media disrespect'

But now, f it and f them all. Our boys are going to bring home the ring and we'll have the last laugh!

Exploding high 5's!

Go Mavver!

go mavs said...

Did anyone else pick a hole on their wife and go to town?

SeymoreButts said...

Yeeeeehah.....first time for the back door for me :D

caknuck said...

So, if the Little Mavericks can pull this next series off, would it be safe to grant Avery a contract extension for life? Cuban should at least consider it.

And since nobody else has dared to say it...

Mavs in 4

eric in keller said...

Good blog, Bob. I disagree about Howard on Wade, however. Whomever guards Wade will get in foul trouble....he's great at that. We need Howard's offense on the court. I say put Howard on him in spots, but put Griffin on him the rest of the time. If Griff starts picking up fouls and has to leave, you don't miss much on the other end.

Wes Mantooth said...

Does anybody else think 2-3-2 in the Finals is a terrible idea? If home team holds serve, the team with home court advantage has 2 MUST WIN pressure packed games. Doesn't that hurt the team that earned home court all season long? I think all series should be 2-2-1-1-1. Why try to trick it up now? Anybody have the answer for me?

Bob, you have the answer to that in your big sports brain? I will miss the show on Monday. I have to travel for work, but I will be checking the blog.

Jay Clendenin said...


go rangers.

Anonymous said...

the 2/3/2 format prolly goes back to the old celtic laker days of the sixties to cut down on travel didnt take time to research but just a guess

wooter in bedford

Nick said...

great game


Patrick said...

For a complete tired-head statistical discussion of 2-3-2, here's a nice web page:

It's for baseball, but you can plug in basketball statistics as well.

Wes Mantooth said...

Thanks Patrick. You weren't kidding when you said it was "a complete tired-head statistical discussion." My brain is now mush and it is not even 9am. So much for a productive work day.

I still don't like changing the format just for the finals. Pick one way of setting the series and stick with it. I prefer 2-2-1-1-1. With the physical nature of basketball, and the role that pace plays, the momentum of 3 straight home games is too much for the team that did not earn the home-court.

That said, Mavs in 6!

PHE said...

Another genius blog entry, Sturm. Without sucking up too much, you do a great job of hitting the key points in a game.

Thanks for sharing your insights. Your blog is a high-point for me every day.

I look forward to your analysis of the upcoming battle w/ Shaq, Wade, and Co.

Keep up the great work!