Saturday, April 24, 2010

Are They Who We Thought They Were?

To paraphrase Dennis Green, are they really who we thought they were?  Did you recognize what you saw last night?  The Mavericks resembled Elaine Benes' herky jerky dancing from Seinfeld.  Seriously.  And like Elaine's dancing, it's impossible to figure out just what this Mavericks team is.

Is it the one that beat San Antonio by six in Game 1 and looked dominant?  The one that failed to show up in Game 2 and lose by 14? Or is it the Game 3 group that battled but didn't have anything left late in the game?  Even CBS11/TXA21 photographer Bill Ellis remarked while looking at the video he shot of Game 3 that the Mavericks looked confused.

I get the sense Dallas thought the Spurs would be an easier bunch to deal with.  Even after last night's loss, I still sort of feel that way.

The Mavericks have to make shots down the stretch.  They made only seven of their 22 shot attempts in the final period.  Would making a substitution have helped?  Rick Carlisle stayed with small ball for the majority of the fourth:  Jason Terry and JJ Barea to start the fourth, along with Jason Kidd.  Dirk Nowitzki started the fourth on the bench, like he usually does.  It's easy to understand why Carlisle went with that group the majority of the second half, they had a 17-0 run in the 3rd quarter, built a nine point lead and entered the fourth quarter with 70-66 lead.

"In the fourth quarter, we had too many empty possessions," Nowitzki said after the game.

You have to wonder if it was as effective as it could have been.

Caron Butler sat the entire second half. A starter.  Yes, I get he struggled,  going just 1 for 3 with two points.  Don't you at least give him a few minutes?  Now you have to ask where his confidence is.  Will he be pressing in Game 4?

This much I do know about the Mavericks: they need to win Game 4 because based on what they've shown, combined with the way the Spurs are playing, Dallas doesn't seem have the constitution to come back from a 3-1 deficit.

Please Stop!
Finally.  Stop.  Just stop about the refs.  It's so junior varsity.  Sure, the Mavericks are a whine-inducing 1-17 when Dan Crawford officiates games.  It's a bitch.  I get it.  But deal with it and move on.  It's an excuse that's old, tired and nothing more than a lame reason for the Mavericks to feel something was taken from them.  Take responsibility and deal with it.