Saturday, April 28, 2007

Game 3: Golden State 109, Mavs 91 (GS 2-1)

I have never been at a complete and utter loss of words for the Avery Johnson-led Dallas Mavericks. Sure, they have lost before, but there has never been an unmitigated moment where they just got their butts shot off. Until Friday.

What would we call that? How can you face such a key game at a key moment and not show up? How can you still act like Golden State isn’t a threat to you? That is just sad.

After getting pounded for 48 minutes on Friday night, the Mavericks can welcome doubt to the locker-room. Between now and Sunday night, we are going to see what our boys are made of. Let’s hope it isn’t what most of America saw last night. Never has a #1 seed lost a best of seven series in the first round. Never has a 67 win team lost in the first round. This team would be forever immortalized as the biggest choke job in NBA history. Not the legacy we had in mind.

The following are a few of the notes that popped in my head for Game 3:

• I believe I was on record saying that Jason Richardson would get 30 a few times in the series. You want to talk about a player who could not miss last night, there he was. The Michigan State leaper is a special talent, and he was mostly anonymous in Dallas. But last night, he wanted the ball anywhere on the court, and add him to the list of players the Mavs appear to have no answer for.

• Also on that list, Baron Davis. Look, he wants to drive. He wants to drive to his left. He wants to drive to his left 80% of the time. Now if I can figure it out, do you think the Mavs may? They are doing a good job making him look like the most unstoppable force in NBA history. Sadly, he is only Baron Davis most of the time.

• Jason Terry is needed. Could someone direct the “Jet” to the airport?

• That building was really, really awesome last night. It must be nice to have no expectations for your team. Then you can enjoy the wins as they come. Compare them to the Mavericks ’07 crowd, which was booing midway through Game 1 on Sunday. I am guessing the Mavericks crowd believes they deserve to see wins. The Golden State fans are just happy to have a game to watch late in April. I am not
saying which side is proper, just an observation about how wins change fans.

• If the Mavericks have any pride, they would use the confetti party after Game 3 as all the motivation in the world. That should insult them, if they hadn’t already mentally checked out.

• Isn’t it now clear that the Mavericks athleticism is limited to Josh Howard, Diop, and perhaps Devin Harris. Harris is a great athlete, but I guess everyone at his spot is in the league. For instance, is Monta Ellis not just as athletic? But elsewhere on the floor, it is Josh Howard against the jumping jacks of the Warriors. Good luck, Josh. Against the Spurs, this isn’t a big issue. But the Warriors have really put together a team that would excel at track and field, too.

• Dirk was ok. He still looks largely uncomfortable, but at least he looked like he wanted the ball. Still a far cry from looking like the Most Valuable Player in the NBA, And that will need to change Sunday.

• I think Don Nelson is smirking again. Who can blame him?

• How would you like to be Mark Cuban this morning? Don’t you have to worry about the poor blood vessels inside his body? What stress he puts on them!

• I seriously contemplated turning that garbage off last night. If you know me, that says quite a bit. Those 12 guys are going to have to decide how bad they want this. Even the most loyal fans are now doubting them. If they want to get out of this hole, they will need to look inside themselves to find whatever is there. There is no easy way out of this mess….And how much energy are they burning in the first round if they do survive?


mrowlou said...

can we knee jerk now?

They are playing worried, worried that they won't win, worried that they won't advance, worried that they won't win game 4 of the finals.

This may not go 7.

Jay, Christi and Andrew said...

First of all, isn't it great that we have this huge distraction called the NFL draft today so we don't have to dwell on the pig slop that was last night's game? Maybe the team was also thinking about last night's draft.
Not only is Josh the only athletic one out there, he was the only who genuinely seemed pissed off that they were losing, and he immediately got pulled for showing that emotion. Did we put Willis on the roster? I'm sure he's good for 6, knock-you-down to the ground hope your bum knee can handle that, fouls a game.
The most infuriating thing is that most of the team looked like they didn't care. The others looked worried. I can't believe how they are this mentally week after a great season. This series is still very winnable, but not if you're looking for a free pass to the finals.

Andy D. said...

I'm speechless. This is a freaking 67 win team letting it all get to them at once.

I have been a Mavs fan forever and I have seen Motta, McCloud, Adubato, Buckner, Cleamons and on and on... Tarpley's mess, the joke we were for a decade, and the three J's, but if we screw around and are eliminated by an 8 seed that will be the most catastrophic occurance this city has ever been apart of when dealing with the Mavericks. Oh my God, please don't let this happen now. We need to fly in Tarpley, Aguirre, Blackman, Perkins and D-Harp and have them talk to our team about the importance of being great and actually taking care of business.

Brad C said...

All I can say is the Mavs brought this on themselves. We could be playing the sweet gentle Clippers right now. How nice would that be? Soft, sweet Clippers that lost 5 out of 8 to end the season. Clippers that that Mavs blewout twice in the regular season.

NO!! We WANT the Warriors, we want the show them up. Rub it in Nellie's face! Playoffs are different! Regular season doesn't matter! Confetti revenge!!

Well how the EFF is THAT working out for you??

To end, and admittedly just to point to the scoreboard a little, I will now re-post my comments in Bob's blog from April 16th the day BEFORE the last Warriors game. Because if lay sports-person ME can see this, how can a professional sports team not?

"So rumor has it that Dallas will rest some starters tonight vs. the Warriors.

Dallas has the ability to single-handedly keep the Warriors out of the playoffs by beating them tonight. All the Clippers would have to do is win one of their last two and tie them because they have the tie-breaker.

Dallas is 1-6 against Golden State in their last seven.

Dallas is 7-2 against the Clippers in their last nine.

Golden State is 7-1 in April and CRUSHING teams. Golden State is getting white hot.

The Clippers are 3-4 in April. The Clippers are fading.

So HOW is this a tough choice??

Here are the implications. If Dallas sacks up and takes out the Warriors tonight. They don't have to worry about any of this.

If Dallas rests on its laurels tonight and Golden State rolls them like they have every other team this month, then Dallas is 1-7 in the last eight against them. It likely secures their spot in the playoffs and boosts their morale even further into thinking they own the Mavs. And frankly, who has the stats to refute their claim?

If the Mavs go down to this 8th seed team in the first round that they LET into the playoffs after having one of the best records in NBA history AND after choking away the title last year being up two games, they will be labeled as the biggest chokers in NBA history.

Thus, biggest game in franchise history tonight.

But let's jut not worry about any of that, we need to rest our starters." - Brad C

Anonymous said...

i turned the game off in the early 4th quarter, it was that bad....its going to be a long summer unless they get their crap straightened out.

michaelandfaith said...

As an H-town transplant living in Dallas, I am loving this series. Look, I firmly believe that something changes in the playoffs, but bad match-ups don't go away. Maybe someday we will read Cuban mandated Avery to rest his starters to setup the Warriors series because he wanted to rub Nelson's nose in it and just didn't have the basketball iq to recognize the potential pitfalls. Stay Classy Mark!

The stars are aligning for a Rocket title run.

Gary said...

what to say what to say,

67 wins big f'ing deal we all know in the NBA during the regular season teams play at 60%. Except the Mavericks they played at 100% for what so they could clinch home court. Nelly has this teams number they may win this series but they will not get past the Suns. All we have in Dirk is a great shooter nothing else, MVP he lacks the intensity needed to be a Champ thats the European mind set, afraid to hurt someones feelings. GROW SOME BALLS DIRK

Jay said...

This series reminds me of the throwup taste I had in my mouth during the finals last year? Is this worse than blowing the finals? Not sure if it's worse or better but I'm sure it sucks. We're on pace to get bounced in the 1st round, maybe in 6 games. Would anyone have bet the Stars would have lasted longer than the Mavs this year?

I still have an ounce of blind faith that the Mavs will get their "S" together and play some playoff basketball in GS and get a win there but I don't know man.

I can't believe what a sports weekend this is, Mavs sandwiching a nice Cowboys draft. If we lose tomorrow this series is over and we can all start looking forward to training camp--those of us at least who don't really ever care what the Rangers are doing.

How can the Mavs be so good these last few years and then totally let the bottom fall out. I guess that's what makes this so tough to digest. They take huge leaps forward then in the finals, a leap backwards and then this season a huge leap forward and should we fail in the round--another huge leap backwards.

I know ppl are saying the matchups will ensure the Mavs demise, but this is Nellie ball, he always does tricked up matches but isn't it usually to his ruin bc his teams don't play defense? Shouldn't the best team win in a 7 game series. I just can't get my mind wrapped around the idea that GS is even close to being better than the Mavs. Oh and it appears this Nellie team does play some sort of defense, at least pretty good perimeter defense.

I can't believe how flustered the Mavs looked. It didn't really appear to me that they were not trying to win--they looked like a Deer in the headlights, fumbling passes away, getting beat by GS out-hustling them. I can't believe how awful that game was. One of the worst performances I've ever seen..