Skip Bayless always warns you never to be a prisoner of the moment. Dirk Nowitzki and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks are showing you why you shouldn’t follow that all the time.
It’s been all talk about how the Los Angeles Lakers had a complete meltdown in the playoffs. Chemistry issues, inconsistent play and lazy defense let the Mavericks sweep the lifeless Lakers. Kobe Bryant passing the ball to Lakers players that weren’t paying attention. Constantly not getting to the perimeter after the Mavericks kill them on the pick-and-roll. Not getting it to Andrew Bynum down the stretch.
Bottom line, because the Lakers didn’t play well, the Mavericks were able to win.
What should be talked about more is about how well the Mavericks were able to play on offense. The ball movement was executed perfectly in each game. Dallas now has a solid post with the addition of Tyson Chandler. This opens up the perimeter and with clutch shooting, the Mavericks had 49 three-pointers compared to the Lakers’ 15.
That’s astonishing. I don’t care how bad a defense can play, you simply are just playing at a high level if you can make 34 more three pointers in a span of four games. Jason Terry was unconscious in Game 4 and Peja Stojakovic was amazing once he got out of his funk in the first half of Game 3.
Nowitzki wasn’t even needed in the fourth game, but his presence was felt throughout the whole series, shooting over everyone the Lakers could put on him.
The way the Mavericks played during this series, I don’t think any other team would have been able to defeat them. Sure, stats would be different, but the result of a series victory would have happened.
What if the Lakers closed out Games 1 and 3? You can play "what if" a lot, but that shows you that the Lakers didn’t play horrible the whole series. Really, the only bad game was the final game where this current group of Lakers like to quit when they are done with a series.
It’s a shame with the Mavericks’ previous history that they get no love. This team matches up well in the post compared to everybody else left in the playoffs. Miami would be there biggest challenge in the NBA Finals, and we are looking to get the match-up more and more.
With the awful conclusion of the 2006 NBA Finals between those two teams, not to mention the recent first-round exits, we all know how much hunger the Mavericks would have.