What the Oklahoma City Thunder saidand the
after Game 5.
Coach Rick Carlisle
(On the Game) "Tonight, coming home and everything, it looks like it’s tailor-made just to go out there and get the crowd behind you. But Oklahoma City had other ideas, and they played a great game."
(On Trix) "Tonight, the plays Marion made at the end of the game, to finish with the foul, making the free throw, that gave us enough breathing room and it took a little bit of wind out of their sails, because they were really going."
(On OKC) "You know, Oklahoma City is a great young team. They played with unbelievable fight and spirit. I mean, the game tonight, of all the games I’ve been involved with over the years in the playoffs, this is as hard a game as I’ve ever been involved with, just because of some of the adjustments they made and how they attacked.
(On OKC going small in the 4th) "We went small for awhile. We were having success getting shots, but we had no rim coverage, and we were struggling to get rebounds. So, we went back big and basically went with the finishing group that has been pretty much our closing team most of the year."
(On the Win) "It's exciting, but my sense is we're very grounded. We'll enjoy this moment for a day, watch the Miami-Chicago game tomorrow night and see where things are. We have a lot of work left to do."
(On Closing) "Psychologically there was stuff that could have gotten us down, but our guys stayed with it. And the Thunder's time will come, but it's not now. We feel like now is our time to move on. This is a great moment, but we've got a lot of work left to do."
(On his Three late) "I missed the wide-open 3, which actually Jet set a heck of a screen. I was so wide open and missed that 3. I said if I get any daylight on the next look I'm going to let it go again."
(On bascially disregarding the WCF Trophy) "We've got one of those trophies already. This is nice for a day, but we set our goals in October to win it all. We haven't done it yet."
(On being good in Crunch-time) "We've got Jason Kidd, who has obviously seen it all in this league, who is one of the great leaders. He always seems to make the right play down the stretch."
(On returning) "It's been a long stretch here. After the year we lost in the Finals, we came back, won 70 games, had a great season and lost in the first round. Been trying to get back to this stage ever since and fell short a bunch of times."
(On what's so special about the Mavs) "Well, I mentioned we've got a bunch of experienced guys, a bunch of veterans. Everybody has kind of unique stories on this team. Everyone sacrifices for each other, and they just want to win."
(On Marion) "He was spectacular for us. He’s probably our best perimeter defender. He’s long, he’s active with his hands, and he was phenominal the last couple games against Durant. On the other end, he’s versatile. He had a big basket when we were down four late. He’s a competitor, and he’s a big reason that we’re in the Finals again."
(On the Finals) "It feels good to finally go back. This time, hopefully we can finish the job."
(On why he left the Celebrations) "I was already thinking about the Finals."
(So no joy?) "We talked about it, obviously, after the game that this is a great moment. We can enjoy it for a day. But we got one of those conference championship trophies already. And it didn't mean anything at the end."
(On who he wants to face in the Finals) "Whatever happens, happens. It’s not in our hands right now. We made it to the Finals, and we’re going to enjoy that for a day or two. It’s good to get these series finished off early. It was big for us to get J-Kidd rested after the last series, and we’re going to have a couple of extra days here again, and we’ll be ready for whoever goes through."
(On the Ball getting back to Dirk for another try at the Three) "Second chance. That's us."
(On Dirk's Three) "Huge 3. I think the bigger play than Dirk's 3: Dirk doesn't even get that 3 if Tyson Chandler doesn't run in and get the offensive rebound, so that was tremendous. For him [Nowitzki] to take that next one, I knew it was going in."
(Why did you knew?) "I knew it was good. I knew it was good. You can't give a shooter like him or myself, Peja Stojakovic or Kidd, two shots on the same possession. It just don't work like that. Percentages say he's going to make that nine times out of 10."
Age Experience) "It goes to our veteran leadership, our experience, us being in every possible situation we could possibly be in. We know what we're going through offensively and defensively. We know we have to get stops and we're able to do that. When you have that belief and that trust in what you're doing it's just a confidence and more times than not you're going to be successful."
(On the best) "Down the stretch, we like to say that we're the best team in basketball."
(On unique Stories) "Shawn Marion, Peja, Coach Carlisle, Jason Kidd being to the Finals twice and not getting it done. So, I think that’s what is driving us and that is why we’re going to try to get it done this year for all of those guys."
(On getting a Tattoo of the O'Brian Trophy) "Everybody laughed and they thought it was a joke at the time. When they actually see me get it, they were like, 'This boy is serious.' And our whole talk and conversation was about right now, about us getting to this point and winning it all."
(On what's necessary to get a hard copy) "The whole makeup, the chemistry, just all together, all the stars have to line up for you to win it. They're in place right now. It's just on us to go out and finish the job."
(On the next Step) "Everyone knows what this next step means. Everybody knows when you wear a Dallas Mavericks uniform, certain things come along with it. As long as you keep talking about the Miami series, it's going to hang over us. Me, Dirk, Mark Cuban, Darrell Armstrong, we sleep with it every night."
(On the Mavs of 2011 vs 2006) "If you look, to a man, this team is better than it was in 2006. To a man. The whole makeup. The chemistry, just all together. Just look at the point guard on that team. It was me. Look at the point guard on this team: Jason Kidd. Big difference."
(On knowing about having 'it') "I think in training camp we knew we had the pieces. Last season when when we made the trade for Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson, we thought with that team we would do it. But it was steps that needed to be taken."
(On returning) "It's been long. We've had to sit back and listen to a lot of critics. We're still gonna have to listen to the same people until we finish the task. But it's been long. It's felt like 10-20 years and it's only been five. We never talk about the struggle to get back. We only talk about when we do what's gonna happen. Talk is done now. I never let it go. Anytime I go to sleep. Anytime I lift my arm up I got the trophy tattooed on me this season. If you look in my locker, it (a photo of the O'Brian) is right there."
(On who he wants to face in the Finals) "It doesn't matter who we play. Whoever shows up in those uniforms they know they're going to have a fight on their hands because we're going to go out and we're going to leave it all out on the floor. We know what happened last time, and it's our job to seal the deal. [...] I always said it though, every time we played the Heat it's always been something special, even in the regular season those five years."
(On the goal) "Our goal now is to win four more games no matter who we play in the Finals. This time around it’s even going to be more special. We’re going to leave it all out there on the floor and this is what you play for."
(On the Mavs in Crunchtime Situations) "Everybody's calm. The crowd might be a little uneasy, especially when we're at home, but the guys don't panic."
(On getting some Rest) "Any time you can get rest this time of year is a bonus. For us to close it out here is huge."
(To the Crowd) "Four more! Four more!"
(On his thought process joining the Mavs in the Offseason) "The amount of talent that we have in this locker room from top to bottom, and then I felt like when I came here I would bring a certain edge to the team. A mixture of that edge and all the firepower that already existed here, it would be perfect."
(On getting to the Finals) "You don't understand how hard it is to get to this point. These opportunities don't come up in your career as much as you want."
(On Dirk's Three) "When he got another shot, you knew Dirk wasn't going to miss that. Second time around, man."
(On the Mavs) "We just kept our poise at all times. It seemed like we never got rattled and just chipped away and chipped away."
(On his first Finals) "Lots of guys never go, so I'm going to make the best of it. We knew what we were capable of from the start of the season. This is a realization of that."
Coach Scott Brooks
(On the Game and costly misses) "Sometimes those are breaks of the game. You make a shot that keeps the momentum going. You miss a shot that keeps the momentum going. You miss a shot, they get an opportunity and get out and run. It was a heck of a ballgame. They battled just as hard as we battled. Unfortunately, somebody has to lose this game, but I can’t complain with anything we did. We fought for 48 minutes."
(On heck of a basketballgame) "That’s what you want. We wanted this game to be a tough, physical game and it was. I’m proud of our guys. They battled for the entire 48 minutes. We came up short, it’s unfortunate, but I have nothing but praise for our team. They battled."
(On going small in the 4th) "I knew that to win this game we had to keep moving the Mavs’ feet, and we put as much quickness on the floor as we could. We were looking to get opportunities to use our speed and use our quickness to get around the rim and get some fouls."
(On the Mavs) "They played
great basketball. They are a heck of a team."
(On getting better) "I'll tell you this. Our guys aren't going to hope to get better. They are going to work to get there. They are focused on hitting every day on the practice floor as a day of improvement. I've never been on a team, other than my high school team, that has had as close a group of guys that are all fighting to get better."
(On OKC) "We're not ashamed of how we played tonight. We fought ... we gave ourselves a chance to win. I can't complain about anything we did. We fought for 48 minutes. We played tough for 48 minutes. We're a heck of a basketball team."
(On the Process) "You can't skip developmental steps. We all have to get better, including myself."
(On the end of the Season, compared to last year) "It’s a different feeling. To be honest, all of us expected to go far. We had high expectations for ourselves coming into this year and we knew we worked hard enough. After a good first round, hard-fought second round, we put ourselves in good position to fight for a Finals appearance and thought we had a good chance. It’s kind of shocking our season is over."
(On the Game) "I just think we played hard and just couldn't come up with the win. There were a lot of crazy plays that happened in this game."
(On the mood) "It's tough now. But we can learn from it. The only way to get better is to keep pushing."
(On Westbrook) "It's kind of frustrating to see how much criticism Westbrook has been taking. Because he led us by playing the way he's playing the whole season. It kind of baffles me that people just start to criticize him because he's playing like that right now. He got us here as our point guard, and we leaned on him for that. I thought the criticism wasn't fair. But I can't control that. He can't control that. I was proud of how he kept his composure and never let things get to him. He deserves everything he's getting as far as accolades. He had a great year."
(On if he's happy for Dirk after his struggles the last few years) "I’m not happy at all. I’m a competitor, man, I really didn’t care about what he went through the last three or four years. I know it’s been tough for him; he lost three of the last four years in the first round. I’m sure he’s happy now that he’s going back to the Finals, but I’m not happy for him at all because I wanted to be there."
(On the year) "It's been a fun ride for us. We had 15 guys on this team and a whole city behind us. Everybody was great. We'll keep working hard."
(On what happened in the final eight minutes to his team) "I don't know. It was a good game throughout the whole game. It was back and forth, and it was a great game."
(On the series' biggest lesson) "Just how tough we are. We stuck together, and most of the time it didn't go our way, but we stuck together and that shows something to us as a team."
(On Westbrook) "Without Russ, we wouldn't be anywhere close to what we are."
(On some late miscues) "Wish we could have some of those plays back. I'll think about those plays all summer."
(On Dirk) "After this, I feel like he's the toughest guy in the league to guard for a big guy. He has counters to everything you do. He's got the total package."
(On the Game) "We came out expecting to win today. One thing I told our guys before we ran out there, if we're going down, we're going down fighting. We did that. Every guy gave 100 percent."
(On Westbrooks critcisms) "One thing I learned, is I don't watch ESPN, I don't read the papers, I don't do none of that. I don't even talk basketball with my own wife. Seriously. Because it could break up a locker room, it could break a team. I think Russell handled everything well. One thing about Russell, he's great with adversity. He always kept his head high, he never showed any sign of weakness. He took it like a G.
Russell's been treated worse than Rondo. Rondo's lasted a little bit, but Russell lasted for the whole playoffs, no matter if he played good or bad, he was getting criticized about something."
(On how close OKC is to being a title contender) "Very close. But those turnovers....Red Auerbach once told me, 'get the ball, don't give up the ball. Every possession is key. Is key."
(On failing to close) "A couple times this postseason we lost our composure. It's nothing about our talent, it's nothing about our togetherness."
Play of the Day
"Dirk?...Dirk is gone...Jason Kidd?...Seems like everybody is abanding you...abandoning me.."
Not at all
MMB | Rottcap: Drop and Advance
The Mavericks made the right decision and gave it to Dirk. He missed a three from the top of the key, but they got an offensive rebound and handed it right back to him. So what does he do? Takes the exact same shot and makes the damn thing. Mavs up by one.
Dallas defense clamped down and they got a transition dunk from Marion, who hit the and-1 free throw giving them a four-point lead with under a minute to play. Westbrook hit a pair of free throws and Dallas took a timeout to design some way to win. Dirk actually missed a shot (I know, right?) but Kidd, King of the BBIQ, grabbed the offensive rebound and got it to Dirk ASAP, who was fouled. He sunk the free throws.
The Dallas Mavericks are headed back to the NBA Finals.
Welcome to Loud City Well done Dallas
You beat a very good, very precocious team 4-1. There isn't much that can be said after that.More to come later.
NBA.com Mavs On Eraser Mission
As the noise rose to a deafening crescendo and the temperature bubbled up to a steamy boil, the ball seemed to make its way around the court seeking pilgrims on the road to redemption.
There was Dirk Nowitzki, a former MVP, future Hall of Famer and the 13-year-veteran perhaps best known for not being able to close the deal in the 2006 NBA Finals, pulling up and missing a 3-pointer that could have given his team the lead.
There was Tyson Chandler, a one-time No. 2 pick in the draft who had bounced through three different teams and so many questions before arriving in Dallas, keeping the play alive on the offensive glass.
There was Jason Terry, the only remaining teammate of Nowitzki's who had lived through the Finals agony against Miami, seeing the ball squirt through Eric Maynor's legs and scooping it up.
There was Jason Kidd, the 38-year-old perennial All-Star who had been to the Finals twice with New Jersey only to lose, catching Terry's toss outside to the right of the basket and swinging it across the court.
There was Shawn Marion, who could never get over the hump and lost twice in the Western Conference finals during nine seasons with Phoenix, never hesitating to shuffle one more return pass out to the top.
So the ball came back to Nowitzki and he buried the 3-pointer with 74 seconds left that finally broke the Thunder and sent the Mavericks back to the Finals.
ESPN Dime Party Time? Not yet
Teammates got the limpest, fastest hugs and saw the faintest of smiles from Dirk Nowitzki. He couldn't wait to pawn that trophy off to a teammate, filter to the back of a jubilant pack of Dallas Mavericks huddled at midcourt and then scamper back to the locker room when no one was looking.
Western Conference champions?
With the cameras still rolling, Nowitzki didn't even stick around to the end of Wednesday night's trophy presentation.
He quietly took his congratulations and some high praise from a pretty fair scoring forward in his day named Rick Barry, slipped out of view while Mark Cuban handled interview duty with Doris Burke ... and then high-stepped over the scorer's table to get the heck out of there. Like it was 2001 all over again.
Like he had to get off the floor as fast as possible because Karl Malone had just knocked his tooth out.
"All that celebration stuff," Nowitzki said, shaking his head at his locker as his voice trailed off.
"This is not what we play for, bro."
ESPN Dallas A Chance for Retribution
Nowitzki and the Mavs are back. Wouldn't it be something if the Heat are, too.
"Hopefully this time," Nowitzki said, "we can finish the job."
Finishing is what this Mavs team has been all about.
Daily Thunder Thunder up: Season ends
Sometimes, it just doesn’t even seem fair. Or meant to be. Or both.
First, I can’t tell you how proud I am of this Thunder team. To come back with that effort in those circumstances… inspiring. They were ready to go from the tip, ready to fight. I think even us fans were sort of ready to pack it in after Game 4′s crushing defeat. I wouldn’t have blamed the team for just going through the motions, for just showing up. I kind of felt like cheering through the motions. Despite trying to talk myself out of it, the mountain the Thunder had to climb was too steep and the cruelty of Game 4 too fresh.But with their hands on another win — I mean, they were right there — the final few minutes doomed the Thunder. Scott Brooks pulled out all the stops. Russell Westbrook absolutely busted his butt. Nick Collison did his Nick Collison thing. Kevin Durant, Eric Maynor, everyone, put in the work. Losing a seven-point fourth quarter lead makes me want to belly-flop into an empty pool, but sometimes, it’s just not your time. It’s Dirk’s time. It was just meant to be for the Mavs.
I can’t believe it’s just coincidence that Tyson Chandler constantly finds himself in scuffles. Yet he always pleads innocence. And gets technicals rescinded.
They had to come from behind again. But, we've learned this week that the Dallas Mavericks know how to close out a game, and the Oklahoma City Thunder don't! Let's take a look at some additional Dallas strong points in their 4-1 Western Conference Championship series victory...
First, the numbers from Wednesday's Game Five.
DALLAS 100, OKLAHOMA CITY 96
2-point pct: OKC 45%, Dallas 47%
3-pointers: OKC 5/16, Dallas 5/20
Free Throws: OKC 21/25, Dallas 31/36
1's and 2's: OKC 81, Dallas 85
Their SIGNIFICANT edge over OKC in having a gameplan in nailbiters may or may not help them as much in the next round. It's not like Miami has knocked everyone's socks off in buzzer games this year. But, the Heat at least have a few guys who have been in playoff nailbiters many times before and won't be in awe of the moment. Let's review how close all five games were from the Dallas perspective.
Game One: Up just 106-101 with 3:42 left vs. tired OKC
Game Two: Lousy finish in only loss
Game Three: Blew almost all of a huge lead
Game Four: Please
Game Five: Trailed 94-92 with 1:15 left
A 4-1 series win feels dominant, particularly coming on the heels of 4-0 vs. the Lakers. But, Dallas trailed late in three of the five games vs. OKC. And, they were also almost too cavalier in the series opener, then again in Game Three after jumping out to a 35-12 advantage. If you assume Miami won't be exhausted in the series opener...and that Miami is less likely to fall apart in the final seconds...
An advanced Boxscore at Arturo
I pretty much told you so.
OKC was not coming back from the Game 5 Collapse.
Particularly when Dirk Nowitski has officially become the third player in my lifetime who I’m stunned when he misses in the last 5 minutes of a game (Bird, Jordan and now Dirk).
Kidd and Harden are the team MVP’s for the series by the numbers but the numbers don’t quite tell the tale for Dirk. We have to consider the fact that if Collison had popped Dirk with a hockey stick to the head as he was going for a Layup there’s a better than 50% chance he’d have gotten called for the charge.
Russell Westbrook did kill OKC but let’s get some perspective. He carried them against LA last Year. He’s a 22 year old point guard who looked inexperienced against Jason Kidd and made some dumb calls. He’ll figure it out soon enough
Let’s get to it.
SI.com Hmm, OKC may learn from this
Before the celebration got started, before they joined the city in a party destined to go all night, there was one thing the Mavericks needed to do. Find Kevin Durant. One by one, players hurried in his direction. First Dirk Nowitzki. Then Jason Kidd, followed by Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler. Each pulled a dazed Durant into an embrace, each whispered words of encouragement into his ear.
Basketballprospectus Mistakes and Misfortunes
at Dallas 100, Oklahoma City 96 (Dallas wins 4-1)
Offensive Ratings: Dallas 113.4, Oklahoma City 109.9
What Dallas has done over the last two series is consistently put itself in position to win by playing well over the first three and a half quarters and executing down the stretch. That the Mavericks have won virtually every close game in that span (Game Two of this series being the exception) couldn't really have been predicted. It happens sometimes.
This wasn't Nowitzki's best game of the series, which means he only scored 26 points on 19 shooting possessions (albeit with five turnovers). Nowitzki ended up averaging 32.2 points over the five games with a True Shooting Percentage near 70 percent. For this point in the postseason, facing a defense that has emerged as one of the league's best, that's virtually unthinkable. Watching Nowitzki in the playoffs has been a treat, and fortunately we've got at least four more games to enjoy him.
NBAPlaybook One Possession shows all
With 1:14 left in game five and the ball on the side coming out of a timeout, the Oklahoma City Thunder trailed the Dallas Mavericks by one point. Unlike most possessions, the Thunder came out and tried to run an offense, however, it failed because of an issue that has been haunting Oklahoma City all series (and playoffs) long. No backside action/movement.
Refcalls Needs moar time
cuz it takes a lot
The Mavericks have the best player in the playoffs. They have a deep team where somebody different is stepping up every game. They have good defense. They have fantastic end-of-game execution.
They will have a chance to prove just how good they are one more time against the Miami Heat in the finals.
While Durant has always been polite and pleasant during postgame interviews, we saw the competitor in him sneak out just a bit after Game 5, when a question about Nowitzki’s success was thrown his way at the postgame podium. Durant was essentially asked how he felt about seeing Nowitzki succeed at his expense, getting back to the Finals at this stage of his career after so many missed opportunities. To be honest, this was not the most intelligent of questions to be lobbed at the best player of the team which just got bounced from the postseason, but Durant handled it both honestly and admirably.
If anything, for a veteran team like the Mavericks, the extra days off and the slow schedule of games in the finals makes things easier. More time to rest the bumps and bruises on bodies that don’t heal as quickly as they once did. Their execution — the key to their playoff success — will not suffer.
And it is more time to scout. To get ready for what is next.
The Point Forward Writing on the Wall
The Mavs became the Mavs again at the right time. The bigger picture showed a very good team that had radically redistributed its shots to include many more three-pointers and finished in the league’s top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency — one of just three teams to do so. Butler’s absence would hurt, but Dallas went on that 19-2 run without him, and neither Portland nor Los Angeles had the firepower to consistently punish the Mavs’ suddenly smaller backcourt.
2MG's All the Difference !MUSTREAD!
You know the drill. The Difference is, under most normal circumstances, a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin. These are not normal circumstances.
Dozens of media members wait around Chandler’s empty locker, chattering amongst themselves in lieu of chatting with Haywood, or DeShawn Stevenson — who stands shirtless at his locker speaking with media members, wearing a scowl of sorts until the word “Finals” lets escape a slight smile — or Brian Cardinal — who dresses in front of his locker undisturbed save one man with no recorder — or Peja Stojakovic — who has a smirk plastered to his face, perhaps making him as one-dimensional in the locker room as he is on the court.
Dirk finally makes his way toward the garage, where only he and his police escort will go. His walk is slow, but not heavy; there’s no lightness, but only deliberation. He marches, but somehow does so without the slightest rigidity. As they trail off down the hall, talking and laughing along the way, Nowitzki finally finds respite. In that moment, he offers himself the slightest concession. To this point, nothing in Nowitzki’s actions or words has suggested celebration.
Haywood bricked one of [six] from the line.
Why oh why don't you chop that wood, Portland Lakers Thunder?Wait, 83% today? Wow. He really worked there. He is now 17-37 on FTs in 14 games. Celebration for our third-best Center, Beaches! [nsfw]
Dirk missed nil FTs. Abe, Jet, Trix, Coqui and the big Worker missed once each.
Chandler 9-9-2 Haywood 7-3-0 Mahinmi
Mavs 32, Thunder 35 Not enough, though.
PIP-BoysOKC 50 DAL 44. A little high totalBenchOKC 40 DAL 36 Could've won that game
Break it FASTDAL 17 (but allowed only 8 Points off 12 Turnovers, lol) OKC 20 (allowed 21 Pts off 13 To) It's called 'Run back!' not 'Lean back', folks...
The TEAM STATDAL 19 Assists OKC 16 Assists At least more Assists than Turnovers..
And one more
Disclaimer: If you couldn't tell by now, all italic sentences are made up thoughts, not actual quotes. Also, 396 Photos. Who wears #9 at Miami?
Finally....KneeJerk Recap (TM) Jonthefon v4.05
The Mavs (beat/
lost to) [Oklahoma City Thunder]¹ tonight (thanks to/ despite) totol reliance onDirk’s Awesomeness late in the 4th Quarter. The (cloud in the silver lining/ major culprit) once more as usualwas the (reliabilty/ lack) of support from his team-mates, with the exception of Jason Kidd/ Tyson Chandler ². Especiallyuseless was Jason Terry/ Jose Barea/ Brendan HaywoodDeShawn Stevenson Shawn Marion³ and it is (GUESS WHAT) THEY’RE ALMOSTNOT ALLUSELESS!
¹ Inserted Opponent
² Only one of them, mind you. Don't foul out, TY
³ Two at the minimum, up to all six
seven of them.