The Aftermath of Mavericks 109, Thunder 86: Totally saw that coming

Didn't you?

The Aftermath

  • That was a fantastic win. However, make no mistake -- Oklahoma City is still incredibly tough, and this is a vastly different game with Russell Westbrook playing. A first round match-up against the Thunder is very possible, and while it's certainly a better draw than the Spurs, there will be no easy sleep for any Maverick if that's who the opponent is.
  • Do you want an example of why this game changes so drastically with Westbrook playing? Look at this defense.3-17durantdouble_medium
  • Kevin Durant is the second-best player in the league and one of the best players of his generation. The Mavericks have gone with a let-him-get-his-points approach and he's dropped 50, so tonight, whenever he brought the ball up the court, they would double team him with the center (Dirk did it once, but Blair or Wright worked much better).
  • Derek Fisher is wide open in the corner, but he's two passes away. The ball rotates, but Calderon doesn't have to worry about blazing speed and closes hard to prevent the three, which is about the only thing Fisher can hit these days. That gives time for Blair, who doubled up top on Durant, to recover to Ibaka, his man. And while Ibaka does get a good look at a hook shot, that's not really his game.
  • The gif can be found here if you're interested.
  • If Westbrook's in that corner instead of Fisher, then the threat of him hitting that three pointer or, more likely, blowing by a closing Calderon are much higher.
  • And rapid-fire style: Man, I still like Caron Butler. It makes me sad that Wayne didn't crack the regular rotation tonight. What a game from Shawn Marion, who ever since the 2011 playoff series, loves to kill the Thunder. Congrats to Vince Carter, topping 23,000 points for his career. From VanIblis in the game recap comments, Dirk has shot under 42 percent from the field just three times in his last 25 games. He's good.

Socially Acceptable

If you like .gif

Brandan Wright is ridiculous. That is all.

3-16wrightoop_medium

I'll give a cookie to anyone who can explain to me how Monta made that pass.

3-17montapass_medium

When you get blocked by Jose Calderon, it might be time to retire.

3-17joseblocksderek_medium

I don't have anything to add. Just Shawn Marion at his finest.

3-17marionbuckets_medium

That's a 37 year old and a 35 year old teaming up for a full-court pass and fast break dunk.

3-17vincepass_medium

Some light reading

  • You read our recap, right? Add a comment with your thoughts!
  • Do you like buying Mavs gear? Do you want to win a free $50 NBA.com Store gift card? We've got a relatively simple contest running today that can help you with just that. Seriously, no strings attached -- just make a prediction and we'll let you know if you're the winner.
  • After the game, Wright had this to say about his ridiculous alley oop: "As long as he doesn't throw it over the backboard, I'm in good shape."
  • What do margaritas, Monta and the Matrix have in common other than the letter 'm'? Well, the two Mavericks bartended at On the Border and made some Montaritas, so of course we were out there seeing what it was all about. Here's the scoop from Rebecca.
  • Totally unrelated to anything Mavericks or MMB, but I really enjoyed this feature story by James Herbert about Rasheed Wallace's transition to a coach.
  • And finally, a little Texas Legends stuff: I was at Friday's game and Shane Larkin had his best game in the D-League with 21 points and 11 assists. I thought he was pretty open and informative in the three-minute conversation I had with him.

Haiku and goodbye

One day, he will jump

And he'll go straight up to space

Goodbye, Brandan Wright

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