Friday, April 28, 2006

More About This Series

Game 2 should have been a 25 point blowout, but the refs were obviously trying to make it close. How many offensive fouls can you call? Especially on plays with obvious flops! Anyway, Terry played possibly the best game I have ever seen him play. I can't think of a single mistake he made. And it was awesome to see the Mavs hold the Grizz to no field goals for close to 10 minutes. I was hoping it would go an entire quarter, which would have been ridiculous. At the end of the game, I was rooting for the Mavs to keep it under 80, and they did. Ah, to be a Mavs fan.

Here's where the Mavs are going to run into trouble. There are two factors at work:

Playing in Memphis: The series is going to change now that the Grizz have homecourt. The Mavs must adapt to the change of scenery. I have full faith that they can do so. But you have to remember, this is the Mavericks. We blew a double digit fourth quarter lead to the Suns in Dallas just a few weeks ago. They beat San Antonio on the road then proceeded to sh*t the bed in Golden State. So this game is no guarantee. Do I think it will be a win? Without a doubt. Do I think it will be close? Certainly. Do I see an important player not showing up when we need him (ahem, Diop/Dampier)? You betcha. This game won't be enjoyable for Mavs fans because even if Dallas wins, people will start to panic about how prepared the Mavs are for San Antonio. Now to my second factor...

I Will Be Hammered During the Game: I'm not posting that on the blog just to sound cool. If I wanted to sound cool, I would say that we bought 200 dollars worth of liquor and are starting to drink at 6 am. But I'm not going to make that public knowledge. What is no secret, however, is the fact that everytime I have ever drinken during a Mavs game, they have lost. In fact, the past two D-Days (Rochester's Spring Weekend), the Mavericks lost to the Kings and the Rockets in the playoffs. The sole loss to the Grizz and the first San Antonio loss occured when I was in an inebriated state. The 13 game winning streak ended in Denver when I decided to get drunk (Again, if I were trying to sound like a badass, I would have mentioned that I drank a baby keg of Heineken). Last year's elimination game against Phoenix happened when I got drunk. Those are the only times that I've gotten drunk either before or during a Mavs game. So if luck tells us anything, the Mavs will lose because I will be hammered by 5:30. Despite all this, I will take no blame for any loss because I'll sacrifice a loss to the Grizz to have a good time.

Then again, I think the whole curse will end if a lady Mavs fan is willing to keep me company tomorrow.

Monday, April 24, 2006

10 Points? No Criminal Charges?

If you had told me on Sunday afternoon that Dirk would score over 30, Jason Terry 20, and Dampier would get a double-double, I would have said the Mavs would win by at least 17 points. But a 10 point margin of victory is troublesome because I would have expected the Mavs to win by more. I know what you're all thinking. Beggars can't be choosers, and I should be happy with a win considering it's the playoffs and last year we were down 0-2. Well, my friends, you would be correct if the Grizz were a somewhat equal opponent, but they're not. I proved that last night. Game 1 is supposed to be a statement game. The Cavs, Spurs, Wizards, Pistons, and even the Lakers made statements with their game 1's (Yes, I'm still on the Lakers' bandwagon, and I will be even if they're down 0-3). The Mavericks just won. Nothing fancy, not a grind, but they didn't do much to show anything.

Having said that, I enjoyed watching the game. There was only one time where I got almost halfway decently nervous, and that was at 77-75. Reggie Miller had outstanding commentary throughout the game, which calmed me. He kept referring to "Playoff Basketball" which he among anyone would know about. When one of the greatest clutch performers of all time talks about how overmatched the Grizz are in the playoffs against your team, you are in good shape. And we were.

Having said that, here's what made me cringe during the game:

Adrian Griffin I don't like him shooting the ball when there's an open man on the court. I counted twice where he took a jump shot while Jason Terry was open behind the three point line. He's in there for defense.

Pau Gasol's Second Half He essentially lit the Mavs up in the second half going for 21 after the break. Maybe Fratello figured something out. He must be contained to keep this thing a sweep.

The Game Times I had to miss Sopranos for the game. I have to miss Alias on Wednesday. I'm going to be drunk when I watch Game 3. Why won't the NBA consult with me about these scheduling matters?

Here's what I liked about the game:

Dirk's Poise He never got too greedy or too unselfish. He played his game, and the Mavericks were much better because of it.

Team Spirit I loved seeing Devin Harris, Josh Howard, and Darrell Armstrong rush the court in the second half when Marquis had that sweet finger roll. These guys are into it. And the Mavericks look like a Team.

Erick Dampier His dunk at the end of the first half was sick. I jumped out of my chair and started celebrating. It was awesome. I didn't see a double-double coming out of him at all. I definitely did not think I'd ever see him hit five free-throws in a row. He looked hungry out there. When he chased down a loose ball against Bobby Jackson, I thought for sure two courtside fans were going to be killed because Damp threw Jackson into the stands, then body-slammed him and yelled, "&%$@ YOU JACKSON! I DIDN'T EVEN PLAY HERE WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE THE %@#& WHAT NOW?! And then he body slams him and gets arrested for second degree murder and two counts of manslaughter. As funny as that would have been, we need Damp. Stay out of trouble, fella.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mavericks Playoff Preview

Before I jump into this thing, I'm going to let everyone know that this blog will be all about the NBA with a heavy Mavericks slant. I have deleted everything on this blog not having to do with basketball except for the 90210 post because that thing took forever to write, and I couldn't justify it's deletion.

And away we go...

Now that we've established all the wrong in my preseason and mid-season entries on the Mavericks, let's put the past behind us and concentrate on what's going to happen between now and late June.

You will never read a single complaint about the NBA seeding system in this entry. The NBA is completely justified in not changing the rules when you have two 60-win teams on a collision course for the second round. They wouldn't change the rules to benefit one team, but in this case, the rule change would benefit many teams. AND a few years ago, they changed the rules about length of first round series for the sole purpose of helping out the Lakers. But I won't complain about that here. If you have complaints, then close this window because I will hear nothing about how badly the NBA has botched the Western Conference playoffs.

The seeding for the playoffs has not affected the Mavericks nearly as much as it affected the Grizzlies. I actually feel worse for the Grizz than I do for the Mavericks because I would like them to win a series because well, they epitomized sucktitude for so many years, and it's nice to see a bad team become good. Unfortunately for the Grizz, that will not happen. I don't even think the Mavericks will let them win a game. In fact, I'm gonna say that there is a 10 percent chance that this series goes 3 games and the NBA enacts the mercy rule. Well, may be not that far, but the Mavericks are a far superior team. Let's break this thing down in quick form.

Chucky Atkins vs. Jason Terry Advantage: Mavs

Eddie Jones vs. Adrian Griffin Advantage: Mavs (and I can back that up)

Shane Battier vs. Josh Howard Advantage: Mavs

Pau Gasol vs. Dirk Nowitzki Advanatge: Mavs

Lorezen Wright vs. Desagana Diop Advantage: Mavs

That's just the starting 5. Add in the deepest bench in the league with Jerry Stackhouse, Erick Dampier, Devin Harris, Marquis Daniels, and I'll even say Darrel Armstrong and DJ Mbenga, the series shouldn't be close. So what is my prediction? In at least two games, the Mavericks will light up the Grizzlies Michael Vaughn style (for all you Alias fans).

Mavs in 4

As for the rest of the league, there are only three, may be four, series where the winner has yet to be determined.

If Lebron averages a triple double every game, then the Cavs will win in 4. If Lebron plays at 'Bron 'Bron level, and he's supported nicely by Larry Hughes and Flip Murray, then the Cavs win in 7. If Eddie Jordan quits coaching the Wizards in the middle of the series, Washington will win in 7.

After the Pacers game today, their bandwagon will be at full force. Unfortunately, they are the Pacers, and they have terrible chemistry and questionable coaching. How do you not have Peja Stojakovic in a tie game with thirty seconds left? The guy can hit a shot from anywhere on the court, and he's a sick free throw shooter to boot. Nets still take this despite Vince Carter.

I could care less who wins the Nuggets/Clippers series because I don't like the Nuggets, and though I understand what the Clippers did at the end of the season, I still don't appreciate it. I wanted to see the Mavericks pancake them. My prediction is that a team is going to win and get destroyed by the...

Kobe Bryant will score 60 points in a game against the Suns. The Suns will get blown out by the Lakers in a game back in LA. And the Lakers will prevail as long as they defend the 3. That's all they have to do. DEFEND the 3!

In case it isn't obvious, Pistons, Heat, Mavs, Spurs, all advance. And I'll still stick with the Mavs/Heat final I have been saying all season. And if you think Miami can't make it, just watch Shaq when they play the Nets. It's going to be insane. And then he and Wade will pick apart the Pistons. It will be fun to watch.

Mavs over Heat.