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?