Saturday, April 30, 2005
It could very easily be argued that in one night of riveting playoff basketball, the Mavericks found out that they need another long-term solution at Point Guard (let's hope the development of Devin Harris doesn't take long), while getting a performance from their current Point Guard that might have saved their season.
Jason Terry had a concerning 5 turnovers and only 3 assists. The Point Guard play of the Mavericks has been well below par in this series from a ball distribution standpoint. Of course, he also had 32 points, including some of the most cold-blooded shots of his career. And he had to; Because Dirk Nowitzki, the man who has carried this franchise to enormous heights in the last several years cannot get going.
The Mavericks won a game that they perhaps had no business winning on Saturday night, and now this series suddenly is right back to square one. They did what they had to do. They rose from the dead, when so many said they were done. You know who you are.
And while we are identifying those who might want to enjoy a warm plate of crow tonight, how about we offer some to those Michael Finley critics. He was money tonight, and he was money on Thursday. I have received so many emails demanding that the torch be passed to Marquis Daniels (who by the way has been an inch above awful for about 60 days now), but it is now hopefully obvious to his critics that Finley has a few bullets left in his gun. The dude is a flat out leader on this team, and it wouldn’t hurt if the Mavericks fans would pay him a little respect.
Some other random thoughts:
--Erick Dampier might have a basketball IQ lower than his shoe size. If you have been dealing with foul trouble the whole series, how do you commit your second foul at the opposing free-throw line 3 minutes into the game? And how do you commit your fourth foul 3 minutes into the second half after getting to the intermission with only 2? He has to be smarter. He cannot help them from the bench, and yet he is there as much as Pavel these days.
--Nice to see the Rockets spares act like it tonight. T-Mac will not be slowed, but they cannot have Bob Sura and Jon Barry killing them. Tonight, the effect of the spares was quite minimal.
--Speaking of T-Mac, he is so inside Dirk’s skull right now it is sick. I fear Dirk is lost in this series, and it is because he is trying to equal McGrady. If he shows up, the Mavs are easily through to round 2, but he is showing no signs of returning to his MVP status.
--How far is Shawn Bradley in the doghouse? Far be it for me to call for more of the mantis, but he really needed a few minutes in the second quarter when Dampier and Henderson were sitting with foul trouble. But we can assume that Avery does not want to see him anymore.
--Did McGrady’s poor performance in the fourth quarter happen because he was chasing Dirk all night? Van Gundy doesn’t think so, but you can only wonder why he was suddenly human as he went 1-5. There is no question that he bothers Dirk when he guards him, but they need his offense badly, that it is a quandary for his coach to deal with.
--After Stackhouse missed his free throw, the Mavericks were perhaps given a game-saving gift from the refs on that Out of Bounds call. I am sure we will not protest the league on this apparent blown call.
Edit 12:15am: OK, I have seen the replay now- Not a blown call at all. One major disadvantage of being at the game is only getting the replays that the Houston people want you to see. My Bad. Brilliant play by Howard.
--Game 5 Monday. Let’s stop this “road-court advantage” theme right there. Time to take this series over…
--One last thing: I'd like to thank Alan Henderson for demonstrating what a hard foul is. Well done. Was everyone paying attention? Shawn?
How many big shots did this guy hit all season long?
Do you think Van Gundy wanted Dirk to find Terry on this play?
Above, find Yao Ming, perhaps the most frustrating player in basketball. Why does he insist of trying to draw charges against guys 18 inches smaller than him? You can’t help your team from the bench, chief.
Posted by Sturminator at 10:25 PM