That was a bit more like it. Not quite the top shelf performance we were all pulling for, but in the end, they forced the issue and grabbed the game. The following our the notes from the Game 2 Dallas Win.
• If you didn’t know better, you would think Josh Howard was the NBA MVP candidate. While Dirk seemed to float through most of the game last night, Josh was making plays up and down the court and basically pushing the Mavs to victory. Josh has developed so much. If you recall in 2005, Josh played very well for a game or two, then would disappear for a few, and so on. He played horrible on the road, and did not show up in the 4th quarter. Here we are just two years later, and Josh has been the Mavericks best player in both of the first two playoff games. He has come so far, and has not yet reached him potential.
• Ah, Nellie Ball: Settle for bad shots. Lose composure. Feel persecuted by the refs. Give up the rim.
• Seriously, there are people defending Baron Davis on his ejection? Go back and look at the final minute of the 3rd quarter. He already had a technical, so he knew they wouldn’t eject him, right? So, he fouls Josh Howard and yells right in the face of a ref who looks the other way. He fouls Jerry Stackhouse, and screams when called for the foul. He then stands and claps at the ref for no fewer than 10 seconds. He was warned, and his coach told him to knock it off, too. And people thought the ref got carried away? There is a dude who lost his head.
• I feel for Devin Harris. He is the team’s new Raef LaFrentz. If he is involved in a play, and it is even close to physical contact, the ref looks at the two players involved – sees Devin, and assumes the foul was committed by him. He gets no calls. Not saying he doesn’t have issues with fouls, but the guard is still
treated like a rookie.
• As a P-1 said to me, “So Al Harrington is the guy that the Mavericks were worried about Dampier guarding?”. Harrington went 1-8 for 5 points.
• Last game, I mentioned my fears about Jason Terry. To his credit, he was awesome last night. If Terry, Stackhouse, and Howard are that aggressive to the rim, there is very little an opponent can do – when they think the key to beating the Mavs is to run at Dirk. Punish them.
• By the way, I know it is early, but I think you must keep Jerry Stackhouse this summer.
• Is Stephen Jackson really this good? Or, is Dirk also not playing well on defense? Either way, he is really a dominate force in this series. Call him the ’07 Round 1 Boris Diaw.
• The votes are pouring in for “player we are most likely to group with Jon Barry and Tim Thomas as players we hardly knew before the series but after the series hate forever”. It looks like Matt Barnes may run away with this thing.
• I know the refs were cracking down on things, right? Since when is yelling “Bull S---“ at the top of your lungs allowed? It seems like NBA players realize that will not be disciplined, and let it fly without discrimination.
• This series will not be easy. Golden State is building a very intriguing product full of long, athletic players who all need to be taken seriously. They will not get very far this year, but this is a very interesting team heading forward.
• I did think the refs were pretty poor last night. For instance, that illegal inbounds pass called on Golden State after a Mavericks basket was a joke. Not even close to being illegal.
• The Warriors had 9 assists last night. For the game.
• I really like Diop. I can’t quite put my finger on why. I just like him.
• Finally, as opposed to breaking down another subpar effort from Dick Stockton, I thought I would let P1 Justin:
Just for fun, I'm keeping a running log of Dick Stockton's mistakes. Clock is game clock.
11:33 - Out of bounds. Says Dallas ball. Actually GS ball.
(That didn't take long)
8:58 - "Warriors looking to take the lead." They already lead 8-7.
7:58 - "You want to be focused going into this game, but the match-ups don't work." Huh?
Bonus from Reggie Miller saying Monta Ellis was a "doe in the headlights" in game 1.
7:41 - "Al Harrington hit in the face by Dampier." It was Harris, who was the only Maverick on that end of the floor.
6:31 - "The Warriors coming back with 2 baskets, trailing by 4." It was the Mavs.
6:05 - "And the foul will be on Diop." It was on Harris. (I'm not sure Dick knows who Devin Harris is.)
4:15 - "Foul on Diop and that will be his second." It's his first.
That's all I can do. Listening intently to Dick & Reggie is making me crazy.