What the Oklahoma City Thunder saidand the
after Game 1.
(pic-adilly circus in traffic, later)
(On the Win) "I thought maybe the biggest key to the game was Shawn Marion coming back after he got his nose broken because we need him out there to try to deal with Durant. I mean, he was bleeding. He had things stuck up his nose. It was a really difficult situation, but we desperately needed him out there."
(On Westbrook going 3-15 for 20 Points) "Westbrook had a sub-par game for him. I thought we did some good things against him, but I also thought he just had an off game."
(On the Mavs) "Nowitzki played great, obviously. We had a long layoff, but guys were working hard during that period. Dirk spent a lot of time working on his game, keeping himself ready. He got it going early, and I thought he did a good job of mixing drives with jump shots. And getting to the bonus was big, because that helped him get to the free throw line when we had a matchup advantage there."
(On 24) "That's part of his greatness is that he's so good that in efforts to prevent him from getting the ball, he draws a lot of fouls and when you get to the bonus, he's going to make 24 out of 24. That kind of number is possible, but there are very few guys in this league that can do that. And, unfortunately for us, one of the few others that can is Durant."
(On the 'Rest' of the Mavs) "Mixture of rest and competitive play. We just kept talking about how it was going to be good for us. I wasn't worried about the rest. When you go nine days without playing a game, I worry about concentration slippage in some areas. We had a little bit of that, and we're going to have to get that cleaned up for Game 2."
(On Adjustments) "We’re going to have to quit fouling them as much, obviously. This series is, in large part, going to be about the free throw line. If Durant and Westbrook get there a lot, they win. So, we were fortunate tonight. But we’re going to have to play better."
(On Disappointments) "One thing that is disappointing is that we got out-rebounded."
(On the Thunder) "They have a lot of pride in their ability to guard people. There will be an adjustment. They're going to do what they have to do."
(On the Win) "Really, it’s a win. That’s all I care about. It was a tough Game 1."
(On his night) "I was really looking for my shot early. I was working a lot on my shot after we had a week off. I was in the gym every night and it paid off. I really looked for my shot early and was able to get in a good rhythm. And for a shooter, obviously, when the first couple go in it’s even better for your confidence. Just attacked from there."
(On the 2nd Quarter turnaround) "We just had to settle down a little bit and get stops."
(On the Thunder) "They kept coming, especially in the fourth quarter. I think we were up 10, and they kept making plays, Durant kept making tough shots and they were right there."
(On Westbrick) "Well he’s so good in the open court and in transition and as a team we have to get back and try to load up on him because he’s so quick and explosive off the dribble so we just tried to slow him down and Durant just kept making plays. It was a lot closer than we wanted in the 4th, but we came through with a big win tonight."
(On the Bench) "Our bench was great attacking. JET, J.J Barea there in the fourth quarter, we ran like six or seven times just straight up pick-and-roll. He was able to get in the lane or shoot a big 3, so everybody came through tonight."
(On the Series) "We know we’ve got to be better. We’ve gotta be sharper in Game 2 if we want to win."
(On Flaws) "We have some areas of concern that we need to address, but again we can’t continue to give Westbrook 18 free throw attempts and Durant 19 free throw attempts. That’s just entirely too many free throws, so we’ll take a look at that and make adjustments."
(On how Dirk's play was) "Tremendous, and he saw matchups that he liked and he was knocking down his shots early and then you try to get aggressive defensively on him and then you put him on the free throw line. He’s an outstanding free throw shooter so they’ll make an adjustment but our motto is continue to do what we do and defensively we’re going to have to pick it up a notch."
(On the NBA Star) "What JJ Barea did not only in the second half but in the 4th quarter he kind of took control of the game and getting a basket, assisting on a basket or playing pick-n-roll basketball which we like and he kept the momentum going."
(On the highscoring game) "They're going to continue to play that way. For us it was very key to get this one. Now the next one is very big."
(On stepping up) "As much attention as Dirk is drawing, guys like myself, Stojakovic and JJ are going to have opportunities. Taking advantage of those opportunities is key."
(On Barea) "He’s playing at a high level and we all expect that. His confidence is high, and we’re going to need him to play like this."
(On the P'n'R with Dirk) "I’m glad it’s working out. We’ve got our shooters around, so they’re going to be hung up on the shooters. I’ve got Dirk setting the screen and they don’t want to leave him. I’ve just got to keep being aggressive and playing my game. Some nights it’s gonna work, some nights not."
(On the 4th scoring frenzy of his) "I was rolling at that moment, and the screens were coming from the middle, so I knew I was gonna hit them from left to right."
(On Nowitzki) "I thought Dirk was pretty good tonight. I thought we defended him as close as we can -- obviously, too close.
(On Dirk's game in general) "He's a bulldog down low. He's so crafty clever and he has so many awkward shots that go in. There are some shots he made tonight that are undefendable."
(On Dirk's rhythm) "He's been doing it for a lot of years against a lot of great players. He had a good rhythm. He got off to a good start. He was making shots and then we were fouling his jump shots and he's a terrific jump-shooter."
(On 24) "We can't foul him as many times. But he earned them. We fouled him. We have to do a better job of guarding him and hopefully he misses a shot every now and then. Tonight, he had a rhythm. I don't think the ball hit the rim."
(On emphasizing at Shootaround to Ibaka not to get down if the 13-year veteran Nowitzki hits shots, saying that he hits over everyone) "When I did say that.... I didn't think he was going to make as many shots."
(On the NBA Star)"Barea is a handful. He’s a terrific player. He breaks the defense down with his toughness [and] with his playmaking ability. He is a talented young player that has improved every year. He's good. I read the paper yesterday, and Jason Kidd compared him to me, but that's way off. I'm no where near as good as that kid."
(On the Thunder Offense) "Kevin was good offensively. He had a nice rhythm going and he was attacking the basket. His jump shot was falling and he was making plays. I don’t know how many assists he had tonight, but I felt he was passing the ball very well. Russell missed some shots. He's going to come back better. He was attacking the basket, and that's what we want Russell to do."
(On the sore spot vs the Mavs) "Defensively we just have to do a better job of stopping their players. One guy had 48 points. Our starters played well, but we have to figure out how to stop those players."
(On the crucial point) "We cut the lead to five twice. We had a chance. They got that rebound and put it back in. We played well offensively. We can’t complain about putting 112 points on the board. But defensively, we can do better. That’s what we pride ourselves on."
(On inserting Nate Robinson) "I felt we needed a spark and that’s one of the things he does. He brings energy, toughness and he can hit some shots."
(On the Mavs Bench) "They came out and made some shots. Their bench, Terry comes in and Barea comes in, and we understand that’s their strength of their team. We have to do a better job of guarding those players."
(On the Game) "I thought we came out good in the first quarter, and then the second quarter our offense kind of went south on us pretty quickly. But this team has always had an incredible ability to bounce back and it’s what we expect in the next game. We will look at film, watch some film, practice tomorrow and come back better."
(On the Game) "We were down big in the fourth, but we made it a two-possession game. … We just have to keep pushing."
(On the difference to the last Series) "After playing a physical series with Memphis, I think we were a little too physical with him. We have to make adjustments, be smarter. It's a learning experience, just feeling it out and seeing how we're going to play."
(On defending Nowitzki when he's hot and getting foul calls) "It's frustrating, but we have to keep our composure. We know we got to continue to play our game. We have to make adjustments. But we can't get discouraged. He's a good player. He's going to make shots. He's going to make off-balanced shots with a hand in his face."
(On 79 FTS combined) "Both teams are very aggressive on the offensive end. Those guys did a great job of putting pressure on us."
(On Game 2) "We have to come with a better effort the next game."
(On Silver Lining) "We were down 14 but came back and made it a game."
(On Thunder Defense) "We have to do a better job of helping each other out. The pick and roll is something they did well tonight."
(On Dirk's FTs) "With Dirk, you can't put a jump shooter on the free throw line 24 times."
(On what makes Dirk so hard to defend) He's a 7-foot jump shooter, and he shoots one-legged fadeaways."
(Is it that simple?) "Yeah."
(On defending Dirk and quiclky collecting two fouls) "I was trying to play Dirk physical. I tried to knock the ball out of his hands and I picked up two fouls."
(On Westbrooks shooting, the bench etc) "I could bet my whole house that Russell Westbrook won't go 3-for-15 again. You can quote me on that. I think James Harden will give us a bigger push the next game; he played well still. Guys like Daequan Cook, he will come out and help us out as well. I have a lot of faith in my teammates and I believe in them and no matter if they miss 10 shots in a row, I'm still going to pass them the ball, still going to have trust in them. That's what it's all about. We got to lean on each other. One guy can't win a series, two guys can't win a series. So we got to stick together."
(On the 4th) "We were still in the game. They made more plays than we did. We have to keep pushing and play harder. It's a series. You don't win a series in one game."
(On the Mavs Offense) "They do a great job of spacing the floor with the shooters they have. We have to do a better job with the pick and roll. It's going to be a tough challenge for us, but it's something we can handle."
(On the foul calls) "It's frustrating. After playing a physical series with Memphis, that's what we were used to. It's a learning experience."
(On being tired, compared to Dallas) "Nah, we're professionals. Our coaching staff gets us prepared every day. You have to make adjustments and be able to turn around. I knew we had a Game 7 against Memphis. You just have to adjust."
(On defending Dirk in the Series going forward) "We can't get discouraged. Dirk is going to make tough shots. I think that next game it'll be a little different.
(On defending Dirk) "He was hot. It's tough. You can't get frustrated. I'll watch the film and we'll come back the next game."
(On foul calls defending Nowitzki) "More than playing against a guy that's on fire like that is when he gets some questionable calls. It plays with your mind because then you start thinking, ‘What should I do?' You can't be too aggressive, but at the same time you want to be aggressive."
(On tired legs) "You can't blame an excuse on that. We had a chance to win the game towards the end of the game but we just weren't able to close it out."
(On what the Mavs defense did to him as he shot 3-15 from the Field) "Nothing. I just missed shots."
(On his play) "It's not about me or what I was doing. It's about our team, and we have to continue to play."
Harden your Chin up
MMB | Hammcap
Dirk had an awesome game that has become typical in these playoffs as he finished with a line that would make any fantasy owner sad that real playoff stats don't count. Sigh.
Welcome to Loud City Recap
I had a nightmare last night. The Dallas Mavericks had beaten the Oklahoma City Thunder, and all they had to do was pass it Dirk on the wing over and over again. Unfortunately, after checking the box score this morning, my nightmare proved to a reality. Dirk had gone to the wing over and over and over again, and nobody had done a thing to stop him.
If the Thunder are to win this series, they must improve defensively. This provides an interesting contrast with the last series, where the Thunder were inept offensively. The main difference between the Grizzlies and Mavericks is that the Mavericks make no real attempt to stop your superstars from scoring, while the Grizzlies have no problem double-teaming Durant all day.
The Thunder's best moments tonight, unfortunately, came when Dirk was out of the game or they were just plain outscoring the Mavericks. Defense was only a factor when the ball wasn't passed to Dirk, and the Mavericks only lost face when they were outright missing shots.
For the first time ever, there was obvious tread wear on Kobe Bryant's tires this season. The cracks in Tim Duncan's foundation began to show several years ago.
Yet Dirk Nowitzki's game still looks timeless, like it could go on forever.
LeBron James and Chris Bosh bolted to the beaches of Miami. Amar'e Stoudemire fled to the bright lights of New York.
Yet Nowitzki never really considered setting one foot outside of Dallas.
Longevity and loyalty, it turns out, are a difficult combination to beat.
ESPN Dime Shooting in Line
"Looking good so far," Geschwindner said, offering what passes for gushing praise in his vocabulary.
Daily Thunder OKC gets completely Dirk'd
And oh yeah, the Mavs shot 53.4 percent, had an offensive rating of 130.1 and got 53 points from their bench.
The Thunder lost by like 30, didn’t they?That’s definitely how it felt. But somehow, Oklahoma City stayed in the game throughout, kind of without actually totally being in it.
It’s possible for Westbrook to play bad again. I wouldn’t have bet my house on that if I were KD. But defensively, I think OKC will be better. Dirk’s not going to score 48 on 15 shots again. At least I don’t think he will.
One could certainly make a case that Oklahoma City didn't have its legs yet. There were arm fouls early (arm fouls are a sign of legs that aren't moving). Russell Westbook had a few plays where he was chasing a Dallas point guard from a couple of feet behind. If they do get there legs back (which they may not if head coach Scott Brooks keeps playing Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook about 40 minutes in games they're longshots to win), you could see OKC reducing the two-point percentage for Dallas, and the free throw volume. Dallas is probably going to get close to 9 treys with their offense unless they just have an off night or two (which happened vs. Portland but not the Lakers). That means we'll at least have a series, even with this very high level of offensive efficiency for Dallas.
If OKC's legs never come back, we're just going to see a higher scoring replay of Mavs/Lakers.
You probably know that Dirk Nowitzki scored 48 points (including 24 of 24 from the free throw line). And, you know that Kevin Durant almost kept pace with 40 points of his own (including 18 of 19 at the charity stripe...tonight's star of the game...Joe Crawford!)
An advanced Boxscore at Arturo
may come in time
SI.com Shooting Star
These games are a reminder, a warning to the rest of the league from Dirk Nowitzki: I'm still here. Yes, Derrick Rose is the MVP and Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have followings that span the miles between Laguna Beach and Biscayne Bay. They have Nike, Adidas, even State Farm in their back pockets. Nowitzki? There's a German bank that shows him the love, but that's about it. "Jump shots," said a Mavericks staffer, "don't sell sneakers."
The Thunder weren't immune to the same sort of screen and roll attack that doomed the Los Angeles Lakers in their bid to repeat as NBA champions a week and a half ago. Jose Juan Barea seemed unstoppable as he drove below the free throw line time and time again, finishing with 21 points off the bench. And as is usually the case, Jason Terry warmed to the national TV cameras and came up with 24 points of his own. As it was when the Mavericks last made the Western Conference finals in 2006, Dirk had help.
But more importantly, Dallas had Dirk. He was the team's constant, scoring at will and making each possession count. He had more blocks (four) than three point attempts (zero), as Dallas put up an astonishing 133 points per 100 possessions (usually around 112 will lead the league) against an Oklahoma City Thunder squad that can appear dominant defensively at times.
The Dallas crowd also chanted "MVP," rather loudly, during most of Dirk's attempts. Nowitzki missed out on the award this year as Chicago's Derrick Rose(notes) won it, coming in sixth and well behind the fifth-placed Kevin Durant in the voting. But as he's averaged 28.5 points per game with Dallas racking up a 9-2 playoff record against Portland, Los Angeles, and now Oklahoma City, you'd have a hard time arguing against Nowitzki as this postseason's most valuable player.
Basketballprospectus Unparalleled Efficiency
at Dallas 121, Oklahoma City 112 (Dallas leads 1-0)
Offensive Ratings: Dallas 134.0, Oklahoma City 125.6
The game's tight whistle extended to both ends, and the Thunder attempted 43 total free throws to pad its efficiency numbers. The trips to the line were a saving grace for Westbrook, who was unable to finish at the rim against heavy defensive pressure. Such was the case against Dallas in the regular season as well, but not to this extent. Westbrook shot 3-of-15 overall and 1-of-10 outside of five feet. Durant guaranteed postgame that Westbrook would do better in Game Two, and as good as Dallas' defensive strategy is against Westbrook, that will almost certainly be the case.
The Mavericks' answer might be to use more zone defense. It was very effective in the second quarter, allowing Rick Carlisle to keep Barea and Stojakovic in the game despite their defensive limitations. For whatever reason, Dallas went away from the zone after halftime. The more teams see of it, the more effective they are, so Carlisle might have wanted to tuck it away for a later point in the series. If so, the gamble nearly cost him when Oklahoma City rallied to get back in the game. But ultimately the Thunder could not find enough offense to match Nowitzki and the Mavericks.
If Dallas’ zone ends up playing a large role in this series (which I think it will), I think that is enough to push Dallas through to the finals. Mavs in 6.
There is simply too much settling and not enough ball/player movement when the Thunder see the zone. In fact, there aren’t even that many passes. I count four or five of them in five possessions (and three of them take place during one possession). You can’t beat the zone by dribbling the basketball and not making passes, and these "plays" are a pretty good example of that.
Refcalls Joe Crawford happy
There were so many questionable calls and no-calls from last night’s game between Oklahoma City and Dallas, we’ve decided to break up our analysis into two separate videos. A video from second half action will be coming out later today.
Because of all that this game felt like an outlier, a one off, a fluke. Dallas got the win but you can’t expect Game 2 (or three or beyond) to look or feel the same. Dirk can score, but can he replicate this pace? Can Durant? Can Westbrook get it going (four games against Dallas this season and Westbrook struggled in every one, so maybe not)?
Oklahoma City can defend Dallas better. Dirk someday will miss a shot. And that may be all the Thunder need.
When Barea checked in 30 seconds into the final period, Dallas held a nine-point lead. He then proceeded to score his team’s next 12 points, pushing the lead to as many as 16 during that run. Barea used his speed to blow by defenders to get into the lane as Dallas spread the floor with its shooters, and he was able to finish at the rim, sometimes in traffic. And just when the defenders started to sag off of him and dare him to shoot from outside after he got to the basket for three consecutive layups, he nailed a 25-foot three-pointer, just because.
Don’t expect any member of the Oklahoma City Thunder to mimic Bynum’s actions at any point in the conference finals, no matter the situation. But just because they can control themselves better than Bynum did doesn’t mean they won’t share those same feelings of frustration.
Demarcus Cousins: RT @DrewFranklinKSR Dirk Nowitzki is obviously playing this game on Rookie.<<~lmao
Demarcus Cousins: GREAT performance from dirk! Then walked off the court like it was nothing ...#takingnotes
Here's what he's talking about:Baron Davis: 1 hour ago
Midwest Sports Fans PPM
As Bill Simmons tweeted: "48 points, 3 missed shots total (FG + FT). We need a stat like ‘points per miss’ to see if that’s a record for a 40+ point game."
For the evening, Dirk’s "points per miss" (or PPM as we’ll refer to it henceforth) was 16. 16! 16 points for every missed shot. That is astounding, and it is a terrific way to appreciate what was one of the best single-night shooting performances on any level of basketball ever.
The Point Forward Dirk torches Thunder
What was interesting about Game 1 was the degree to which Dallas worked from simple post-up sets. The Mavs finished 23 percent of their possessions in the post, up from 9.8 percent in the regular season, according to the stat-tracking service Synergy Sports. That’s massive, and it’s mostly a function of the Thunder’s total inability to defend Nowitzki there. As badly as Nowitzki torched Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison, I wonder if Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks regrets all the experimenting he did with Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden guarding the Dallas forward. Those guys had no chance, and the points Dallas piled up via those mismatches turned out to be more important than it appeared they would be, since the Thunder rallied late.
Perfection, thy name is Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk’s Game 1 showing was dominant and poetic, an awkward exercise of mismatch exploitation that can be matched by none. His skill is something to behold in itself, but it was Nowitzki’s versatility that set him apart on Tuesday night; Dirk worked against Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, Buckminster Fuller, Frankenstein’s monster, Joe Montegna, and Rube Goldberg. He varied his approach depending on the coverage — pump faked bigs, backed down guards, shot over the geodesic dome — but the results were always the same.
Haywood bricked 1 of [two] from the line. Why oh why don't you chop that wood,
Portland LakersThunder? He is now 7-22 on FTs in 12 games. Celebration for our third-best Center, Beaches! [nsfw]
Dirk missed nil FTs ! I guess he didn't have enough tries.....
But Tyson 'Formerly 90%FTShooter' Chandler did miss one of 2.
Chandler 3-8-2 Haywood 3-3-0 Mahinmi DNP-Playoffs/French. Limbo dancers...
Mavs 39, Thunder 34. Let's just get rid of FTs alltogether?
PIP-BoysOKC 40 DAL 36. Can live with that. 22 Fastbreak points 22-14? That i don't.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki makes a face in the final minutes of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Dallas. Dallas won 121-112. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Disclaimer: If you couldn't tell by now, all italic sentences are made up thoughts, not actual quotes. Also, 273 Photos. One for each FT, eh?
Finally....KneeJerk Recap (TM) Jonthefon v4.01
The Mavs (beat/
lost to) [ Oklahoma City Thunder]¹ tonight (thanks to/ despite) totol reliance onDirk’s Awesomeness. 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 Terry/ Jose Barea ². Especiallyuseless was Jason Kidd/ Shawn Marion Tyson Chandler/ Brendan HaywoodDeShawn Stevenson³ and it is (GUESS WHAT) THEY’RE ALMOSTNOT ALLUSELESS!
¹ Inserted Opponent
² Only one of them, mind you. The one who couldn't see the Rim.
³ Two at the minimum, up to all six
seven of them.