Over the next couple of weeks, Mavs Moneyball is trying to determine the best Mavericks playoff game since 2000. Here's our homepage, with every game, seed and matchup. Your votes are being recorded below!
(2) 2011 Finals, Game 2 vs. Miami
Holy shit this comeback. I admit that I haven't seen even the majority of the championship series in the history of the NBA, but this has to be near the top of all-time Finals comebacks. Let's start at the beginning of it.
With just over 7 minutes left in the game, Dwyane Wade (who finished the game with 36 points) hit a corner three to cap a 13-0 Miami run that gave the Heat a 15 point lead. It felt like a dagger, like it was inevitable that the Heat were about to go up 2-0 in the Finals. But Wade, being Wade, had to be an asshole about it, holding his follow through insanely long, lording it over the nearby Dallas bench.
This did not sit well with Jason Terry and the Dallas Mavericks.The Mavs proceeded to play great defense that forced bad jumper after bad jumper by the Heat, while working an energetic and efficient offense that prevented the turnover transitions that had killed them most of the game. Dallas finally tied the game at 90 points each with just under a minute left in the game, on a transition Dirk lefty layup.
Dirk then hit a gorgeous 3-pointer to take the lead, only to have Jason Terry's brain fall out on the next out of bounds play--leaving Mario Chalmers wide open for the easiest three of his life to tie the game up again. (This was Miami's only FG after the Wade three that provoked the whole comeback effort--this game was freaking awesome.) With 24 seconds left, Dallas ran down the clock and then gave the ball to Dirk. The big German promptly put a couple of great moves on Chris Bosh and put in another beautiful lefty layup with 5 seconds left in the game to take the 95-93 lead. Did I mention there was a torn tendon in Dirk's left hand?
With no timeouts left, Miami tried to get the ball up court, and then Wade did the most Dwyane Wade thing ever. He threw up a terrible transition 3-point shot from well beyond the arc, and then promptly collapsed as though he was hit by a Mack truck. Even though no one touched him. His face when the refs rightfully ignored his antics was just the best. And with that, the Dallas Mavericks completed the most insane and enjoyable comeback in Finals history (probably) and gave us all hope that maybe a championship was possible after all.
- Bailey (@BRogers789)
(15) 2011 Western Conference Finals, Game 5 vs. Oklahoma City
Inevitability hovered over the closing game of the 2011 Western Conference Finals. Dirk was in his purest form for the duration of the series crushing the young Thunder squad with his focus and determination. I happened to be in attendance for this game. My favorite Dirk three-pointer occurred during the closing moments of moments. Dirk gets a wide open look for a dagger three, but misses. Jet corrals the offensive rebounds, swings it to Kidd, who shovels to Marion, and Trix hits Dirk with a perfect pass for the redemption dagger three. The entire sequence foreshadowed the foreboding Heat series and the retribution to come.
Game 5 was Shawn Marion's crowning moment as a Maverick. He tallied 26 points on his funky floaters and opportunistic baseline cuts. Trix held Kevin Durant to just 23 points on a modest 8-20 shooting. It was Marion at his peak performance filling in all the creases of that magical 2011 team. He channeled every playoff disappoint from his Suns tenure into that one magnificent performance.
The theatrics from this game will become mostly forgotten as time passes, but it's an integral part of the MFFL experience. It marked the first moment we all knew that Dirk would get the opportunity to avenge the 2006 Finals.
- Austin (@garooya)