I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't listening to Creed's "What If" for the past half an hour. What if the Mavericks had gotten one more defensive rebound instead of watching Golden State grab 19? What if Dallas hadn't turned the ball over 5 times in the first 6 minutes of the final quarter? What if the BARF offense hadn't been run to perfection in the first half (32.5% shooting!). Would the Mavericks have won?
The game started out as it always does, it seems. Dallas scored 7 points in the opening six minutes with Carlisle looking disgruntled. The bench players, bless them, responded by bringing Dallas back to within three, 15-18. Uncle Ricky tried the unorthodox back court of Dominique Jones and Roddy Beaubois, with Roddy at the two guard. Roddy was shockingly ineffective (that's written in the sarcasm font) but Dominique Jones has to be winning over MFFLers with his hard nosed play. The odd and awesome Vince Carter-Bernard James pick and rolls brought Dallas back to tie, but Golden State finished the quarter up 23-20.
The second quarter started with "Troy Murphy Time(TM), hitting a big three to tie the game again, only to see the Warriors go on a 9-2 run. The offense ground to a frustrating halt for the remainder of the quarter, but to the benefit of Dallas, the Warriors didn't shoot the ball much better (37.5%), and the half finished with Golden State up 43-38. By halftime Dallas was getting crushed on the boards, 36-22 and had surrendered 11 offensive rebounds. Dallas did manage to win the first half turnover battle 6 to 10. Chris Kaman posted a first half of 10 points and 8 rebounds, while Sarge managed to get 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in ten minutes off the bench.
The offense loosened up a bit in the third (Dallas shot 10-18), starting off with a rare site: the Elton Brand mid-range shot. The threat of that shot seemed to open the floor for Dallas, with everyone getting into the lane and getting to the line. The Mavericks still surrendered 6 offensive boards in the quarter, but solid shooting and excellent defense at the rim (through the third, Dallas had ten blocked shots) kept the game close with the Warriors up 67-65. The game would have been tied on an excellent Dahntay Jones buzzer beater, but the refs called a horrible offensive foul call to waive the basket off.
The fourth quarter was a duel. Carlisle opted to give big minutes to Dominique Jones and the bench early and they responded offensively. O.J. Mayo decided he was tired of having an invisible game and made his mark on the game throughout the period. A series of big defensive stops and reasonable offensive execution put Dallas in the position to tie the game with under a minute left. Darren Collison, who otherwise played horrible, took and made a huge shot over rookie Festus Ezeli to tie the game 90-90. The final Warrior possession saw them gather their only offensive board after a missed Harrison Barnes jumper, but Klay Thompson rushed a bad shot and Dallas got the rebound. Carlisle opted to go hero ball to Vince Carter for some reason, and Vince, in true Vince Carterian fashion, settled for a fall away 15 footer that looked awful and shockingly did not fall. Overtime!
The Warriors jumped out to a 97-90 lead in a hurry, because Collison and the Mavericks defense had no idea what to do about Stephen Curry. A Mayo three, a Mayo fast break, and a Mayo iso pulled Dallas back within two. Curry answered again with two free throws, but Mayo hit another shot to tie the game 99-99. A fantastic pass from Curry to David Lee resulted in a basket. Mayo was unable to answer, losing his balance some on an iso play and passing out to Shawn Marion who was forced to take a contested jumper. The Mavs were forced to foul Curry, who sank his free throws and from there Dallas has officially lost the game as they were unable to make another bucket until right as time expired.
Let's be clear: this game was not lost in over time. It never should have reached that point. Golden State shot poorly and turned the ball over even more than Dallas did, that's why Dallas was even there at the end of the fourth. The Mavericks can't afford to keep losing games in the same fashion. It's embarrassing to identify the problems then do nothing to fix them. I believe Carlisle is doing everything he can, but he can't get the rebounds and he can't keep his players from making boneheaded choices on offense. The Maverick players have to improve upon these details or I'm going to have to start listening to more Taylor Swift to get me through the season.
Some notes on this game
-The lack of focus from this Dallas team is appalling. There were glaring mistakes at all the worst possible times. If you saw the game you'll know what I mean.
-The Warriors seemed to get thier hands on a lot of 50-50 balls. I harp and will continue to harp on the Mavs about rebounding, but some of that is just bad luck.
-Wow. Mayo had all the Mavs overtime points (27 for the game). Impressive. I'd like it if he attacked the bucket like that with more frequency.
-Dallas is getting slaughtered by opposing point guards and I do not know who is more at fault, Collison or the scheme. I'm tempted to say Collison but it's not his fault Kaman is not a great pick and roll co-defender.
-Troy Murphy played well. Seriously. 12 points on 4-6 from deep, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. What the what?
-Chris Kaman had 18 points and 17 rebounds and he took 9 free throws. The team does better offensively when he does not settle for ugly fade away jumpers. You are not Dirk, Chris. Just be you. And regrow your Hulk Hogan hair. The world would love this.
-I said this morning I was weary of this game and the next few. New York on Wednesday then the Lakers. Ruh roh.
|Final - 11.19.2012||1||2||3||4||OT 1||Total|
|Golden State Warriors||23||20||24||23||15||105|