Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Three games back in the loss column

Email from my brother: “Your post tomorrow needs to emphasize Dirk's laying an egg in 4th quarter and overtime. Forget the pick and roll. Suns shouldn't be in this game.”

Dirk's line looked pretty nice tonight, but I'm not going to repeat it here, because timing is everything –– as in late-game missed free throws, a stupid foul, a stupider tech, and back-to-back misses of shots to tie/win.

Mark April 1 on the calendar. Home-court in the playoffs might be on the line.


Ryan B said...


Not only do games like tonight's stress me out, but they reveal that we're vulnerable to a good team like Phoenix. We had that game won! While Dirk did have his fair share of stupid mistakes and missed opportunities, I can't help but think back to the foul on Nash's three-pointer. That was really stupid when I know Avery Johnson was shouting the whole time, "DON'T FOUL! DON'T FOUL!." I think it was Howard who fouled him.

But, ultimately we probably should blame Dirk. He is the MVP of the Mavs and should make clutch shots at the end of games. That's the scary thing about tonight too: Dirk failed when it mattered most.

All in all, it was an enjoyable game. We haven't lost two games in a row since the beginning of the season, right? I just hope Phoenix and San Antonio will cool off and not overtake us. Let's hope this game isn't one we look back to and say it was a turning point for the Suns' road to the championship.

scoots said...

The Mavericks are continuing their bid to lose exactly once to every playoff team in the west. Look to the Nuggets on April 6 to complete the set.

Dallas lost games like this to the Spurs in the playoffs last year and still won the series, so it doesn't necessarily spell doom –– but the dumb decision-making is disheartening.

ryan b said...

I just read this on an ESPN article that was written before the Phoenix game. The article asks several questions and gives the responses of different sports writers.

Here's Hollinger's response to whether the Mavs will win 70 this year or not:

"No, they won't. First, to win 70 you normally need an average victory margin of +10 or better, and the Mavs don't have that. Second, they'll stop playing their starters so much once they've clinched home court. I say they end with 67. They shouldn't try for 70 either -- the ring's the thing."

What's Hollinger's deal with margin of victory? Maybe he really does believe in his ranking system after all.

Regardless of margin of victory, it doesn't look like we're going to win 70 anymore.

scoots said...

Maybe not, but I only see 3 or maybe 4 really tough games left on the schedule. If you're going to win 70 games, it's going to be because you're something special anyway –– so winning 3 out of those 4 plus all the rest against the mediocre teams seems realistically special for that kind of run.

micah said...

It was really disappointing to see the Mavs melt down last night. Howard's foul and missed free throw were big. Dirk's missed free throws and tech were big too. Any thought to Dirk's struggles coming from playing too much? Should Avery have rested him more throughout regulation? Do you think fatigue contributed to his lack of clutch? He played 4 more minutes than anyone on the suns and 9 more minutes than Nash & Marion. I think Avery deserves some of the blame for Dirk's performance.

ryan b said...

I was thinking about everyone being tired too when it got to the second overtime. But, I don't think you can base player minutes on the possibility of there being and overtime to play. If the game had ended in the fourth, I don't think we would have said anything about Dirk's minutes.

On a side note, here's a couple of interesting things from the Daily Dime:

Dampier had 11 offensive boards with no defensive boards last night. One of the only other two people to have at least 11 off. reb. with no def. was a former Maverick, Popeye Jones.

Also, someone else agrees with my claim that Shawn Marion has about the nastiest shot around:

Steve (Phoenix, AZ): Shawn Marion has the worst-looking shot, bar none!

micah said...

Still, Dirk only sat 1 minute in regulation. I'd say that's a little outside the norm.

Did anyone else cringe when Dirk missed a big free throw to chants of "MVP...MVP...MVP?

Jeremy said...

And D-Wade says, "I rest my case."

(props to deadspin)