6

Wasn’t That an Amazing Series!

Last night, after experiencing Game 6 live, I got home at about 1 a.m. I had my wife DVR the game for me so I could dissect it Friday. But before I knew it, I was on the edge of my seat at 3 a.m., watching Jax drop in 3-pointers like socks in a hamper.
That was the most surreal experience I’ve ever had in basketball. I am just totally befuddle at how the Warriors just made the Mavericks look like CYO consolation champions.
I was so drooling over the Mavericks this year. I thought they had the most complete team in the league. I was such a huge fan of what Dirk had become and how he’d lifted that team. Josh Howard was, to me, one of the most underrated players in the league. I like the kind of guy Avery is. I love Cuban’s persona and craziness. I mean, that was a team I could get behind.
And the Warriors just chumped them!
The crazy part is that the Warriors got nothing from Al Harrington, very little from Monta, and much less from Jason Richardson they they’re used to getting. Anyway, he’res a recap of the series from one reporters perspective:
BEST MOVE: Nellie sitting Al Harrington and starting Andris Biedrins — We all knew how the Warriors would play. Nellie kept saying that he had his eight guys and he were going to play how they play. So after Avery reponds to small ball by going big, Nellie countered with Andris. They had no answer for him, when you think about it. He limited how much Diop hurt the Warriors (and he was hurting the Warriors) and he took the pressure off Baron and others to finish their own drives – which is what they were forced to do in the first couple of games. Andris is their best finisher, and his energy, coupled with the crowd, was way too high voltage for the Mavs.
WORST MOVE: Avery starting with the small lineup in Game 1. That was checkmate right there. He changed the entire tenor of the series by chasing Nellie.
BEST PLAYER: Baron Davis. No doubt. He deserves mention among the game’s most clutch players.
WORST PLAYER: Jason Terry. I know, everyone is thinking Dirk. But I think Dirk at least kept the attention of the Warriors. He kept the Warriors honest on defense and lured two or three defenders to his area. Those other defenders were focused on Josh Howard. That should’ve opened it up for Terry to have a big series. When he’s not scoring, he’s not contributing anything, not even drawing the attention of the defense to open up things for his teammates.
BEST GAME: I have to go with Game 5, even though the Warriors lost. That was such a riveting game. So many peaks and valleys. Up 21. Down 9. 15-0 run to close the game. The Warriors were knocking down threes left and right. Dirk stepped up. There was the Jax ejection, the Richardson incident. That game was just chilling.
WORST GAME: Game 2. The Warriors meltdown, with Baron and Jax getting ejected, really tainted the game. That wasn’t playoff basketball.
BEST ROLE PLAYER: Matt Barnes. He did everything. Defended. Rebounded. Scored. Ran point. Committed hard fouls. Got in the Mavericks head. Dunks on Dirk after getting blocked by Dirk. He was awesome.
WORST ROLE PLAYER: Greg Buckner. They bought him in to defend. He couldn’t guard anybody. And he didn’t bring anything on offense.
BEST RUN: The Warriors third quarter surge during Game 6 was so dominant. They just took the life out of the Mavericks, who had fought so hard to get back in the series, in one fell swoop. The crowd was as loud as you’d ever heard. Even Carlos Santana and Snoop got hyphy.
WORST RUN: The Warriors’ scoreless drought to end Game 5. There’s no excuse for going 3 minutes, 20 seconds without scoring, especially when one basket at the right time wins the game and ends the series.

Marcus Thompson

  • James

    Now thats what I’m talkin about!!

  • commish

    Marcus, that was a great blog. I have no idea what that dude was talking about when he said he wanted something different than you are giving us readers–your thoughts on a variety of NBA topics AND the ability to send you questions you’ll sometimes answer. I think James (comment above) must have felt the same way. You are at the top of your game, just like the Dubs. Besides us winning the series, I thought Cuban was very classy interacting (fearlessly) with the fans near the Mavs bench. He was cheerful (at least through the first half), let folks take pictures with him, and so on. I really enjoyed shaking his hand and telling him I thought he was an outstanding owner. I’ll remember that along with us just kicking Dallas’ ass. One last thing: why did Damp hardly play? Was he injured?

  • itsagreattimeout

    Next one will be a blow out. W’s in 4 or 5.

  • manhattanproj

    blog question: why is monta struggling in the playoffs? i havent seen him having so much trouble. he couldnt even get to the hole or make his ever so reliable mid-range jumper. he looks a step slow on every play. this comes a bit of a surprise because monta seems fearless. he doesnt seem to get wide-eyed by anything.

  • Tim Dickinson

    re: monta

    I think there were three factors dragging him down. Diop cleaning up around the basket in the Maverick zone meant that even if Monta could lose his defender he had too much length to contend with in the paint. Give Diop credit. He didn’t just give Monta fits, he made the warriors have to drain their jumpshots (luckily they got hot)

    Two: D. Harris. Monta may be one of the top five quickest guys in the league, but Harris has lightning speed. Easily a quarter step quicker than Monta. It was interesting to see that he was even the most effective mavs’ defender on baron. Size or no size he could stay in front of the warriors guards and limit their dribble penetration.

    Three: Nerves. Monta wasn’t Monta because he’s still a 21 year old kid trying to contend with the awesome responsibilty of the playoffs. He didn’t want to make mistakes (Nellie certainly had him on a short leash) and so he wasn’t his typical balls-out self. Fewer fearless drives meant more contested jumpshots.

    Throw it all together and it’s pretty easy to explain his underperformance, though I thought he really gave them huge minutes when baron had to hit the locker room in game 6. He kept them close until Boom Dizzle could come back and sizzle.

    Harrington is tougher to explain. It’s like he caught Dirk’s underperformance virus. He seemed to be overthinking everything including his freethrows. And Nellie certainly wasn’t giving him a chance to play through it.

    I gotta say, I hope they start Barnes in the next round. He’s their best team player — an energizer bunny who only very rarely tries to do too much. He takes and hits big shots plays bang up D and his handle is probably third best on the team.

    He’s so much better than Mike Dunleavy it’s ridiculous.

    Wonder what murph and Ike and Jr. are thinking about watching this cinderella story unfold on TNT?

  • jim back from fishing

    Marcus,

    I love your blog. But as the earlier fan said. I think you need to write a lot more. Now, Harrington has hit a walll. I can see it in his body language and a kind of thickness in his play. I hope he plays well in the Rockets/Jazz series because we will need him much more in these grunt games.