(author's note: This is a continuation of the SB Nation hypothetical 3v3 tournament hosted on the dot com site. Read about the tournament here, the Mavericks 3v3 team here, and how they did in the first round here. If you want to see the full tournament, here you go.)
They did it. In a moment that will live forever in Mavericks history and all of our hearts, the Dallas trio took on the Thunder trifecta and they won.
Okay. That might be overplaying it a touch.
But the Mavericks did beat OKC, according to the random simulation. Here's the quote:
Out West it was a different story. The Heat's opponent in last year's NBA Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder, were likewise favored to defeat the Dallas Mavericks, if not quite so decisively. The Thunder team of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Nick Collison was given a 68 percent chance to win any given game with the Dallas Mavericks, a team featuring Delonte West, Dirk Nowitzki and Elton Brand. The first roll came up huge at 98, giving Dallas game one. The second roll was a 37, leveling the series at a game apiece. The third and decisive roll was 82, giving Dallas the victory and sending one of the pre-tournament favorites to an early exit. The Mavericks will now face the Los Angeles Lakers in a West Semi-final next week.
That's a beat down. How was the 68 percent chance determined, you ask? Here's the raw votes.
- Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Oklahoma City wins 14 of 20
- Andrew Sharp, SB Nation -- Oklahoma City wins 11 of 20
- Steve Perrin, SB Nation, Clips Nation -- Oklahoma City wins 14 of 20
- J.R Wilco, Pounding the Rock -- Oklahoma City wins 15 of 20
- CA Clark, Silver Screen and Roll -- Oklahoma City wins 14 of 20
- Probability to win any given game -- Oklahoma City 68 percent; Dallas 32 percent
- Probability to win series -- Oklahoma City 75.83 percent; Dallas 24.17 percent
Notice I bolded Andrew Sharp. He gave the Maverick trio the most love, saying they'd win 9/20 games. This is the same columnist who predicted the Mavericks 19/20 against Houston (the highest odds for Dallas in that match-up, too). So yeah, I'm liking this Andrew guy. He really gets that it's a three-on-three tourney, and his analysis below shows it.
Leaving off Harden or Ibaka is going to cost them dearly eventually. -- Ziller
I'm not sure anybody on OKC can stop Nowitzki, but I am sure nobody on Dallas can stop either Durant or Russ. A few of these games go to the first team that gets a stop. -- Clark
Would this be the best matchup of the second round? Brand-Collison is a solid matchup, Delonte-Westbrook the same, and then... Dirk-Durant? LET'S GO. The Thunder get the edge here, but only because of Westbrook. The Durant-Dirk matchup would be a push, and God it's glorious to think about them going back-and-forth for 20 games. -- Sharp
Dirk can only do so much. The Thunder are relentless and cover all the bases. I'd pay to see this matchup actually happen, but I can't imagine Dallas taking more than one of every four. -- Wilco
I have to disagree with Clark rather vehemently, as Delonte is a perfect match-up to Russell Westbrook. Of course no one is going to completely lock him down, but West has the tools to make his life very difficult. Really, it's an extension of the larger problem: Delonte West is incredibly underrated by a majority of the league. He's going to be huge this year if he can finally stay healthy.
Next week doesn't get any easier, when the Mavericks face the dreaded Lakers. Then again, the Mavericks have shown no fear of beating superteams before (2011 Finals). The Lakers will probably have to go to Kobe to defend Dirk, while the Mavericks defense might have Dirk playing Nash at times. Some very strange head-to-heads in this round, so it will be interesting to see how that effects the odds. I expect they'll about the same as this series, but it remains to be seen.