What the Dallas Mavericks and the Portland Trail Blazers said
after Game 4.
It is very difficult to blow a game being up by 23 (and looking dominant in the process) with a minute to go in the 3rd Quarter. But, if you try hard enough, you can succeed. It also helps to get a headstart
at the marginable calls. As j0Shi pointed out a few weeks ago:
...the Mavericks seem to relax the most. They own the best [defensive] efficiency in close game situations (-5 to +5) with 101.03, but the defense literally evaporates on bigger leads. From 115.53 (6 to 12) to 120.86 (13 to 20), which is the second worst value upon this group, to a shocking 136.0 when leading with 21 or more. In fact, the Mavs are the only team upon this group [of Western Playoff teams] where the [defensive] efficiency steadily grows with the lead.
Lets Try: The Mavs did a very poor job closing every single Quarter. They didn't score a single Fast-break-Point (happens when you only take pullup-jumpers on your two or three transition opportunities).
They played strong Defense for large parts of three quarters. With 3 Minutes to go in the 3rd, they decided to [basically] dribble out the clock on Offense, leading by 20. On the other End, [even though only Roy was really the only one hurting them] they completely stopped playing Defense at all until the very last possesion of the Blazers, a stepback Three Miss from Roy with 3 seconds and no Dallas Timeout remaining. Offensively, Dallas threw the Ball away, didn't get the ball to Dirk or Marion in their spots, took a lot of unopen Threes and 40 Percent of their Game-total Freethrows.
(On the Loss) "We lost a little bit of our aggression. I thought the way we finished the third quarter was poor. They were on a 5-0 run, and NBA games are long, you’ve gotta keep playing. What got us the lead was stops and scores, and what lost the lead was when we went eight straight times without scoring and that fueled their offense. Obviously it's a very tough loss, and we're very disappointed.""
(On comparing the 3rd and 4th) "The two quarters were diametric opposites."
(On bouncing back) "We've been through tough losses before. It's not easy, but for us, we gotta get back on the plane, get back home, study some of the things that went wrong. It's dissapointing and everything, but the NBA season has a lot of highs and lows, and we gotta keep going."
(On the 4th) "Roy got on a roll in the fourth and made some things happen, and I’m gonna take the blame for a lot of that. There are some different things defensively we could have done, but we should have done some different things. Like executing what i drew up or running back on Defense or not turning the ball over or playing mice..."
(On Frustration) "This is definitely up there with the most frustrating losses. It’s definitely a tough one to sit on. Now, we’ve gotta fly home for four hours on that one. Frustration is definitely at a high level, but good thing is we’ve got to win two out of three now and we’ve got two at home."
(On the D early on) "The focus that we had today, I think our defense was really good."
(On the Reason for the Loss) "We just couldn't get any stops. That's what the thing came down to. It's on us. Really starting at the end of the third we had a 20-point lead and they had a couple of layups there. We didn't run back in transition. Just gradually we couldn't get any stops."
(On the third) "We gave up14 points and that’s what we want to do, get stops. And then I think that sets our flow game up. We don’t have to call a million plays, we can just play off transition, get the ball to Kidd, run some transition screen-and-rolls and just play off of that. When we have to take the ball out we’re in trouble, and that’s what happened in the fourth."
(On Roy) "You gotta give them credit, they put Roy in the middle of the floor. I don't think LaMarcus actually touched the ball in the fourth, it was all Roy on high screen-and-rolls and iso's and he made stuff happen for the team and he got hot. Once you’re hot, stuff just happens."
(On his team’s play in the fourth) "We let up with our aggression. For the first three quarters we controlled them, we were up, we were pressuring them and that was a game-changer. Fourth quarter came, we let them roll the ball up the court, walk it up, get to their sweet spot and good players are gonna make plays when you do that."
(On the Loss) "We let our guard down in the fourth quarter. We let one dude who didn't do anything the whole game beat us."
(On Roy) "When somebody gets going it’s hard to shut them down. They got hot and they were hitting everything they shot."
(On the Road) "We came all the way up here and didn’t get a win. We’ve just gotta go back home and defend home court now."
(On the Loss) "I’m pissed off. I’m mad that we lost this game. It was in our hands. We let them come back. We just let our guard down. We thought it was over with. They were down by 23 and we let our guard down."
(On squandering the lead) "We can’t do that, man. This ain’t home court. This arena is rowdy as hell in here. You’ve got to know that. The crowd was quiet [when the Mavs were up 23], and this is one of the loudest arenas I’ve ever played in. They knew it. They could smell it. And we just quietly let the crowd get back into it and let them get back into it. [So] That’s what happens."
(On his final brick) "I thought I was gonna make that one, but it just didn’t go."
(On the Loss) "It’s one game, they won two games at home. Obviously, we feel like we should have won this one, but we didn’t. So, let’s go back home and we’ve gotta get a win.Go back home and it’s must-win time for us."
(On Roy) "Tonight was the Brandon Roy of old. He took the game on his shoulders and just carried the team, willed the team to a win. There were possessions where I thought he was doing a good job of setting guys up and kicking it out. In the fourth quarter I saw the Brandon of old in the sense that he wasn't passing the ball. He was going to take the shot and he was going to live with the result, whether he made it or missed it."
(On the third) "We were feeling sorry for ourselves. We had to play the game and get aggressive. Get stops. And at least get a rhythm. Was it over? No. But we had 12 minutes."
(On the fourth) "We knew that it was going to be tough to come back but as you can see anything is possible. The energy was great, our fans were great, we made plays, Dallas I thought started to miss some shots, lose some rhythm. We were able to pull this out."
(On the Crowd) "Our fans were unbelievable again for us. We did things to get them out of their seats."
(On the Series) "Just paint a picture of the situation. Now the pressure is on, really, both of us. Certainly we know that we will come home to play a game. Game 5 is very important. We know we have to win Game 5 so we have an opportunity to get it at home. For us, if we can get Game 5 and have home court advantage in our building...."
(On the 4th) "When people ask me what did I do in the 4th quarter. I'll tell them 'I stood in the corner and watched The Brandon Roy Show.'"
(On the Series) "We have to win
on the road to win this series. We have to take this momentum into Game 5. This is far from over, baby."
(On his game) "Honestly, I envisioned a game like this when I first came back from surgery. I was like, ‘Yeah, I think I’m going to do something special.' But as things progressed, I thought Game 2 was a down moment. I didn’t think anything good was going to come. I was pretty down on myself. But like I said, the next day – so much support. I just wanted to go out there and give myself a chance. I didn’t think that this would happen, but it was a great day for me and for our team."
(On Dallas) "I think we've got some pressure on them now."
MMB | Rottcap
The Blazers went on a 43-18 run to end that game. Epic collapse by the Mavericks as they got Roy'd.
Blazersedge, Recap | Media Row Report | Video Orgy
When Aldridge hit his Mighty Shot the Mavericks were up 20. The margin would go to 23 as Peja Stojakovic connected with a three on the next play. Forget sparks of life. The Mavericks had stuffed the Blazers, and probably the series, in a tomb and rolled a huge stone in front of it. The Rose Garden was as silent as a funeral.
That's when Brandon Roy showed up. Yes, that Brandon Roy.
In the game preview for this game I said the Blazers really needed a convincing win to turn the tide of this series. They didn't get that. But given Dallas' history they got something even better: a soul-crushing win that will put every single Maverick lead and shot in doubt until the final horn sounds on that final game. Dallas not only has to deal with the Blazers now, but their own ghosts as well. Coming back from 23 is the only kind of victory I can think of that would do the job better than outright winning by 23. That's not to say Dallas will lay down, but this series feels more even now than it would have been under any other outcome.
For 36 minutes we suffered through some hideous hucking. For the last 12: we were treated to history.
Hoopdata Boxscore (none in
3 4 days) | Notes
Dallas just disappeared in the last 13 minutes of action, blowing a 23-point lead with 1:15 left in the third quarter, and a 10-point lead with 3:32 left in the game. Dallas was outscored 14-2 at the finish.
An advanced Boxscore at Arturo
I’ll have two of whatever they gave Brandon Roy (I need them for Shaq actually ). This was an unbelievable game to watch live. Dallas could not buy a bucket (seriously, just give it to Dirk, how hard can that be to understand?). Brandon Roy was like a character from NBA Jam. He was on fire (which is fitting for Rip City’s Blazers). I’m glad I have Dallas in 7.
Portland Roundball Society Roy raises Portland from the Dead
Roy’s play is a testament to gritty determination, how not only a team, but a player all but counted out by the media, his opponents, and even at times his teammates and perhaps himself, ulitmately refused to buckle. Roy kept faith in himself when no one else did, then went out and actually acheived what no one else had—knees be damned.
Regardless of what follow in Roy’s career, be it long or cut short, this moment will always be with him—in the face of impossible odds, he toppled through them all.
In addition to providing a memorable finish, this win evens up the series at 2-2 and adds a ton of intrigue to Monday's Game 5 in Dallas. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead and seeming to have total command, the Mavs have dropped two close games late in Portland. Can they regain control and put the pressure back on the Blazers?
Basketballprospectus Most Improbable
at Portland 84, Dallas 82 (Series tied 2-2)
Offensive Ratings: Portland 105.3, Dallas 98.9
PORTLAND - How do you analyze a miracle?
The other interesting strategic aspect of this game came in the last minute. After Kidd's airball, the Blazers took possession up two with 28.9 seconds on the clock and the Mavericks out of timeouts. (In an issue worth its own discussion, Carlisle keeps using timeouts early in the game, leaving him with less than a full complement of three entering the final three minutes. It cost him here.) Dallas chose not to foul, which Carlisle explained later was because he figured his veteran team could get something off quickly.
The Mavericks delivered their best defensive possession of the game, with Kidd shadowing Roy and keeping him from getting the basketball. That foiled McMillan's play, and Roy missed at the shot-clock buzzer. Kidd rebounded and fired long to Jason Terry for a three at the buzzer that was as good a look as the Mavericks could have hoped to get in the situation, but there was no denying the script. This was Portland's, and Roy's day. No matter how improbable.
NBAPlaybook - nothing yet, but bet (not on it)
PTB Time Machine
In front of a desperate, always emotional Rose Garden crowd, the Blazers stormed back from a 23-point deficit Saturday night behind 18 fourth quarter points from a player who less than a week ago was crying as he was left on the bench for much of the game due to injury. Nate McMillan rewarded the one-time All-Star with playing time, and he came through with an outright barrage. Off the dribble, from the corner, slip-screen catch-and-shoot, dagger after dagger after dagger. The crowd responded with a roar, Roy wound up with a four-point-play off a nice sell by Roy on a touch foul, and the Mavericks were caught in a tidal wave of emotion.
It may be hard to find optimism in such dire times as these, but those still pulling for Dallas should embrace the self-contained nature of each playoff game. There’s a natural momentum and course to the series as a whole, but as long as the Mavs can clear their heads and prepare adequately, there’s no reason why any of Game 4’s maladies should linger into Game 5 or beyond. Look forward, if only because looking back into the core of a team that blows a 23-point lead may be a bit too depressing.
Haywood bricked 0 of [zero] from the line. There may have been a temporary need to foul him, but Steve Javie said no. He is now 2-12 on FTs in four games. Celebration for our third-best Center, Beaches! [nsfw]
Dirk missed zero FTs on his four (lol) attempts. Dallas didn't miss at all in Ten Tries, none of them in the first half....It's not like they didn't go inside though. Anyways, Portland was equally sharp from the Line, hitting 22 of 23. (Most  in the first 3 Qtrs)
Chandler 6-7-0 [5
marginalPF], Haywood 2-5-2. Mahinmi DNP-Playoffs/French.
Mavs 31, Blazers 29. And Roy had 9 of those. None before the last second of the 3rd Quarter.
PIP-BoysPOR 34 DAL 24. Egregious.
Bonus or Malus (your whistle)
Disclaimer: If you couldn't tell by now, all italic sentences are made up thoughts, not actual quotes. Also, props to Brandon Roy. Incredible Story.
Finally....KneeJerk Recap (TM) Jonthefon v2.04
The Mavs (
beat /lost t o) [the Portland Trail Blazers]¹ tonight (thanks to/ despite) totol reliance on Dirk’s Awesomenessstarting to dribble out the clock with 3 Minutes to go in the third Quarter. They totally stopped doing what helped them getting the big lead in the first place: Posting up Marion on Batum/Roy, working Dirk inside-out, packing the paint on Defense, forcing Portland into Jumpers etc pp. 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 Shawn Marion/ Brendan Haywood². Especially useless was Jason Kidd's foultrouble and late decisionmaking/Jose Barea's finishing/Jason Terry/ Peja Stojakovic/ Tyson Chandler's attempts to draw an honest foul/ DeShawn Stevenson³ and it is (GUESS WHAT) THEY’RE ALMOST NOTALL USELESS!
¹ Inserted Opponent
² Only one of them, mind you.
³ Two at the minimum, up to all six
seven of them.