by Ben Collins
I got caught up in moving yesterday, but I finally got a chance to edit and post these. Check back before the game for a preview.
– Let’s say something obligatory about pacing early. The pace is great for Dallas! I feel like Bill O’Reilly with his dirty Talking Points. Ugh, I feel gross. This will wear off in a couple of seconds and Golden State will do the track meet thing by the end of the quarter.
– Devin Haris just hit a jumpshot. If he did this consistently, he would be a top-10 point guard, Dallas would be winning this series, the Mavericks would have a backcourt to at least neutralize Golden State, he would make about 10 mill a year and the world would be rid of all its problems. But he doesn’t, so nevermind.
– Gana Diop just outmuscled a guy for a rebound and a putback two to put Dallas up eight early. Everyone check out my “I am so smart!” face.
– Reggie: “Nowitzki looks like a changed player early on.” Uh, he’s making layups? He looks like the same passive player early on that he has all series to me.
– Al Harrington still hasn’t found his groove yet. He’s arguing a frustration foul where he intentionally swiped his arm down to prevent a dunk. I can’t tell if he’s playing terribly this series or if he’s just the only Warrior not playing the best basketball of his life this week.
– Nice round of applause for Jerry Stackhouse from the Dallas fans. That was one collective, “thanks for being the only player to give a damn the last couple of games,” from these fans. And thank God these fans finally seem to care about this series, too. They were too busy buying nachos in the third and fourth quarter to find out their team lost Game One.
– B-Diddy right to the rim for a slam just as DeSagana Diop comes out. Then a quick two for Al Harrington over a smaller defender. Just a massive coincidence, I bet.
– OK, maybe Reggie is starting to make sense: Dirk is going to the basket. But I’m not ready to concede that Reggie Miller is lucid until he says two coherent things in a row. (How pathetic is it that these are high standards for NBA analysts?)
– Devean George knows his role this game. His defense should be limited to what he just did — he tried to draw a charge and forced Harrington off balance. On the other end, he spots up and hits a three on the other. If Dallas wants to play small ball and win, they have to be just as pestering and sneaky as Golden State. 24-13, Dallas.
– Wait, 27-13 after a Howard steal and two. 27 points with 5:39 left in the first quarter. Yowza.
– Stackhouse throws it home after cherry picking. Do you know that non-basketball people don’t know that expression? People think you’re making a horrible (awesome) sex joke.
– Matt Barnes is the Flomax of the Golden State Warriors. (He’s keeping them regular. [Rimshot!]) Got to the free throw line and allowed his team to regroup a little bit.
– A Dampier tap gets Dallas another opportunity. Yes, I’m going to write about it every time he does anything at all.
– A Harris three is countered by a Pietrus three and it’s a ten-point game all of a sudden, 34-24.
– Harris just lobbed up a disgusting alley-oop to Stackhouse and Dallas fans are loud again. Stack hasn’t been loved like this since he was in Detroit.
– Golden State is playing much more traditionally-styled defense out of the gate. Which is great, I guess, but it will never, ever work.
– Pietrus just ran a backdoor and, shocked that he was successfully running a set play, intentionally missed two layups.
– Harris got his third foul. He is doing his Baron Davis in Game 2 impression.
– After that Ellis missed layup, I’ve got a five-count on times the Warriors have “blown the bunny.” Probably another expression you don’t want to break out in everyday conversation.
– Monta Ellis has to look like he’s giving birth to make layup. He just hung up in the air for about 15 minutes before finishing off an up-and-under plus the foul.
– Dirk is still going to the hole. It’s a good sign, but he’s just not getting the ball enough.
– If Reggie Miller can’t even pronounce the word basketball, we’re in for a long night.
– Howard flushes it home loudly when he could’ve deferred to Dirk for a dunk. If the Mavs lose, someone will make a big smelly deal out of this play that ended in two points.
– Little scuffle here for Josh Howard trying to poke the ball loose from Baron Davis, who was cruising to midcourt, waiting for a timeout. I don’t know why people don’t do what Howard did more often because not one person on the floor is paying attention.
– Hey look, Austin Croshere hits a spot-up three! So you’re telling me he’s been on the Mavericks all this time? 53-32.
– A backdoor to Nowitzki. It’s not your patented play for Nowitzki, like a high-post or a screen, but it’s a play, so I’ll take it.
– Golden State does this thing at the end of quarters where they look like they were just in the gym four hours longer than you every day of your life.
– I just remembered that Croshere played extensive minutes in the only other game Dallas won.
– Jerry Stackhouse and Jason Terry called a closed-door meeting earlier in the day. I thought closed-door meetings were for the Cincinnati Bengals. Never a good sign.
– Stephen Jackson just licked his shooting hand, passed it, got it back and hit a three. I think you can do that on NBA Street. Is that kind of like blowing the smoke off your gun after shooting it? Should I really be making that analogy about Stephen Jackson?
– Croshere three, but another Warriors three brings the game to nine, 62-53. Here we go with that end-of-quarter Warrior momentum stuff again?
– Seven point game on a Warrior tip-in and some boos going into the half followed by a technical foul from the Mavericks walking towards the tunnel. If I’m in the American Airlines Center, I’m thinking about leaving early to buy Rangers tickets.
– Nice halftime nap for Dallas, but they should probably wake up to save their season. A couple of quick Warrior buckets and the lead is down to three.
– Jason Terry gives Baron Davis a stunner in the corner for reasons I don’t understand. Gotta be a technical there.
– After the replay, why is Jason Terry called for a foul there? Quite the flop there from Baron Davis, but this is not soccer. We are men; we play with our hands.
– Hey, let’s go to the authority on flopping. Reggie Miller, be useful for once: “A bit of a flop there from Davis.” I knew it!
– A one-point game, four off of technicals from the Mavericks. This is how many points the Mavs lost by last time. This has to scare you.
– Richardson for the three with all the momentum in the world, and a tie game at 67-67.
– Biedrins shoots free throws like he’s being tased. For the second straight Game Notes, I bring up Hack-a-Biedrins as a decent strategy in this series. Maybe Sloan or Van Gundy will figure this out if he gets there.
– Reggie Miller makes sure to let us know that a foul on Jason Richardson was a ticky-tack foul, even though this is the first reach call on the Warriors all night to Dallas’ sixth or seventh. I’m fairly certain he has the $3,000 he was using for diction classes this month riding on the Warriors.
– Baron Davis is just eating the Dallas’ bigger guards (Howard, Stackhouse, Buckner, George) alive. Beautiful take with the left-hand to the basket.
– Matt “So much of a glue guy we should be calling him Horse” Barnes making another big splash with a drained three.
– My Mom called me to say this: “Dallas fans should have signs that say, ‘Make Me Believe.'” I risk all of my credibility putting my Mom in an article, but it’s dead-on. I’m also wondering why she’s up at midnight on a Tuesday.
– This Stackhouse three might get this Mavericks team a little bit amped. Then again, I’ve said that 15 other times this series and I’ve been entirely incorrect.
– The discrepancy in the reaching calls is getting a little ridiculous here. I’ve got an 11-to-2 count with the Mavericks getting the short end of the stick, off the top of my slightly biased head.
– Wasn’t Matt Barnes cut midway through last year? One of those how-the-hell-did-that-happen? moments, as he drains another three to get the Warriors within six again.
– I just figured out that he was cut by Isiah Thomas. Everything makes sense now.
– Richardson’s enormous three cuts the Dallas lead to 87-84. Imagine what it would be like to see this Mavericks team cleaning out its lockers tonight. Surreal.
– That Devin Harris three would have at least given the team some momentum, but now that seems impossible. I have no idea how, even if they win this game, the Mavericks will win this series.
– Finally some smothering defense on Baron Davis, who is doubled and throws it out of bounds. Maybe the Mavs should play defense, you know, all the time.
– Matt Barnes has just become an all-World player with that dunk. Posterizes Jason Terry, 91-90. What has this guy been fed?
– Nice play by Devin Harris. A drive and take, finishes off the glass to get the bucket and foul, 97-94 Dallas. That’s his move.
– A Baron Davis three plus a loose ball foul gives the Warriors a 4-point play. 98-97 Golden State and this series is officially just a weird dream.
– Jackson for three again, 101-99 Golden State. Croshere from three, 102-101 and we’re going to have a 135-134 game at this point.
– There’s a “You Suck” chant to the refs that could just as easily be aimed towards the Mavericks.
– Baron Davis sends a filthy alley-oop pass to Jason Richardson from half-court. This should never, ever happen in any point of a playoff game. Nevermind a home, elimination playoff game against an 8-seed with five minutes left.
– DeSagana Diop just airballed free throw. This is getting embarrassing.
– Another Richardson three and this feels like the beginning of the end. If the Mavericks lose, the boos for this team are going to be deafening.
– The only saving grace here for Mavs fans was that Dallas was in the same position Golden State was this time last year against Miami. Golden State up is with four minutes to play. Is this the only way they can win a championship, is to finally beat that series mentally? I feel 1500 words coming on if they win this one.
– Baron Davis hits an absolute miracle shot from three, a leaner with no time on the shotclock. That pretty much sums up the series. 112-103 Golden State. Maybe it’s fate.
– Finally a Dirk three. Enough excuses, he needs to take over. 112-106.
– Dirk block. Dirk three. 112-109. Look, we found the MVP of the league. That sequence may have saved his entire career and it definitely prevented four months worth of ridicule.
– Three-point game with 1:30 left and Dallas has the ball. You’re going to live and die by Dirk, give it to him.
– Or give it to Harris. Bucket and the foul on Harris’ best move off the glass. 112-111. That’s an 8-0 run in a minute. But you’ve got to make free throws (Harris missed) and you’ve got to get that rebound (off of Dirk’s fingertips) if you want to win this game.
– This is the last 55 seconds of a one-point elimination game. They might win this game if they don’t give it to Dirk, but they’ll never win the series.
– And it goes right to Dirk, who gets to the line. You can’t ice Dirk. He hums Hasselhoff, remember.
– Peace out Baron Davis on Golden State’s first iffy reach call of the game. What goes around… Anyways, enough tough guy talk, who’s gonna take their last shot now?
– New strategy for the Mavericks: miss free throws, win this game. After a team rebound out of bounds and 24 more seconds of stall time with a lead, it might work.
– That should be a flagrant foul on Matt Barnes for a too-touchy intentional foul. ESPN made a big deal of how Golden State “lost it” at the end of Game 3, but this is frustration from Golden State.
– They needed to start an MVP chant there in those last free throws but, instead, people are filing out. You would get shot for that in Oakland.
– Stephen Jackson is the Human DVD Player. He can’t stop getting ejected. And it might get him in trouble this time.
– Thank you for that MVP chant. The kid will be all right.
– 15-0 run to end the game for Dallas and we have ourselves a series again. Let’s just hope this never ends.