Game Three was hectic in Dallas. One bad call decided the game, and the rest of this series. There is a big difference between being up 2-1 and being up 3-0. Being up 2-1 means there is only a one-game lead over your opponent, and the series can change real quick.
"I'm upset like everyone else in this locker room and I feel like we have the right to be upset," Mavericks forward Antoine Wright, involved with the controversial no-call Saturday, said. "The series is not over."
Despite his optimism, being up 3-0 pretty much means the opposing team is finished; no team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 deficit.
After all hell broke loose on Saturday in Dallas, the Mavericks are going to come out firing, as the Nuggets will probably hear it from the crowd. Expect this game to be real physical and loud.
"I smelled blood coming in the building," Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin boasted. "Not just because we're up three. We were up 2-0, so we wanted to come down here and just keep our poise and play hard and it went our way."
For sure, there will be blood in the building. The Nuggets are going to have to keep the distractions out of their heads if they want to complete the sweep, which would be their first sweep ever, including before the ABA merger.
This would also be the third time the "Golden" Nuggets make it to the Western Conference Finals. The last time they made it was against their bitter enemies, the Los Angles Lakers, back in '84-'85, losing four games to one. The other one was a four games to two loss against Seattle back in '77-'76.
Make no mistake, Dirk is a great player and he will get his 30 points. It's how many shots he has to take to get his 30 which will count.
Nowitzki only took 19 shots in Game Three, scoring 33 points. That game was close. In the previous two, Nowitzki took 22 and 20 shots, respectively. In my opinion, the game will be decided by how many shots Nowitzki takes.
We have heard my good friend, Mark Jackson, say that the Mavericks like to play the two-man game in the fourth quarter featuring the Sixth Man of the Year, Jason Terry, connecting with the team's leading scorer, Dirk Nowitzki.
That leads to their downfall.
Nobody but Dirk and Terry can score on that team. Howard is still hurting on both of his ankles and is a very good first quarter player. He will be a non-factor today unless he plays 30-plus minutes.
"We know Game Four is going to be harder than Game Three, especially after everything that's going on right now," he said, regarding the controversy that surrounds the Game Three win. "We're expecting a tougher game. We just have to come in more focused than we were in Game Three."
Carmelo Anthony is going to need to step it up if he wants his team to have a easy time. He shot a horrible 9-of-24 from the field in Game Three. Billups is going to have to be that silent assassin again. He quietly went for 32 points in Game Three, due to the lack of production from Nene and J.R Smith.
Nene, who went for 24 points in Game One and then 25 in Game Two, only had five points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Game Four will be tonight in Dallas 9:30 EST/6:30 Pacific on TNT. If necessary, Game Five will be at Denver.