Mavericks are Done
I don’t want to be the naysayer for the Mavericks this post season, but if that’s my role, so be it. The Mavericks had one chance to win this first round series against the top seed in the West. That opportunity came on Monday night in game four. The Mavericks showed their fight and heart in the first half of the game, as coach Rick Carlisle said, “I was so disappointed in our no-show in the first half, that it’s hard for me to mitigate it with fighting for 24 minutes out of 48 minutes in a game with this kind of meaning—so the way we performed competitively in the first half was just inexcusable.”
The Mavs were outscored 32-13 in the second quarter of game four. The fact they came back and had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds before finally losing 93-89 looks nice in the box score but the reality is that they had their foot on the Spurs’ throat and lifted it off and let them get up off the ground and take the series back to San Antonio with the Spurs back in control. A team that has heart and a true championship spirit wouldn’t get off to such a weak start.
After winning game three and owning a 2-1 lead with another game at American Airlines Center, the Mavs had every incentive to squash the Spurs. A 3-1 lead would give Dallas over a 90 percent chance of winning the series. Going back to San Antonio tied at 2 lowers the percentage of a Mavericks series win to around 35 percent. Big difference. I’ll make this bold statement — if Dirk continues to score fewer than 20 points, as he’s done in the first four games of this series, the Mavericks will lose it in six. Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon and Vince Carter and the rest of the team is doing all the heavy lifting but this team is still led by the seven-foot German and he needs to find his shooting touch by Wednesday night.
This Spurs team knows how to win; remember they came within a missed shot and missed rebound a year ago of beating the Heat and winning the whole thing. They know how to win playoff games and they know how to smell fear and uncertainty in another team. My bet is that they will do to the Mavs what the Mavs couldn’t do to them Monday night and come out hard and not take their foot off the Mavs’ throat. Not many thought the Mavs had much of a chance when this series began but after three games, that feeling was replaced by a feeling that the Mavs had the heart to beat a championship caliber team. One game can change things in the playoffs.
Just look at the Stars, one game they’re on the verge of upsetting a top team and going far into the playoffs and next thing you know the season is over. The Mavs are in that same position, or at least were. Now it’s too late and all they have to look forward to is the college draft because San Antonio won’t make the same mistake twice.