The East Coast take on the West Coast tilt:
This morning, following the Mavericks 118-112 win over the Warriors in Game 5 last night, I couldn't help but notice that every basketball analyst had all of a sudden turned into Dirk Nowitzki's jock strap.
"He was clutch." "He made the shots when he had to." "This is why he should be the league MVP."
Excuse me, but did I miss something here? Did anyone else notice that in the second half, prior to his making those two 3-pointers towards the end, that he was only 1-for-3 from the field. Yes, he had only taken three shots the entire second half up to that point.
(I'll concede the fact that he did have 30 points and 12 rebounds, but to not exist in most of the second half like he did was unacceptable. Plus it took a calling-out by Avery Johnson to wake this guy up, which most analysts played up as a superior coaching job by Johnson when the truth is that Nowitzki should not need any kind of impetus to get up for a playoff series. And besides, the player who should get mentioned most in the Mavs win is Devin Harris, whose nine points in the fourth quarter - 16 total - kept the Mavs in the game as everyone else was melting away.)
You can blame it on good defense by the Warriors, but if you're one of the leading contenders for MVP, getting shots off should not be a problem.
The truth is, Nowitzki and the Mavericks didn't win that game. The Warriors lost it.
City of Oakland had a nine-point lead with four minutes to go after a rediculous 3-pointer by Baron Davis (who would later foul out). Instead of playing the sensical game and working the ball inside and penetrating on every possession, the Warriors decided to hoist 3-pointer after 3-pointer like it was the only way they could score. Needless to say, they went that final stretch shooting 0-for-8 from the field, including 0-for-5 for 3-point range.
Why, oh why, did they have more 3-point attempts than 2-point ones? I'm sitting there thinking they should grind it down every possession and when there's less than a minute left in the game, that's when Dallas would have to start fouling.
Instead, the Mavs ended the game on a 15-0 run and walked away with the win (prompting Mark Cuban to immediately go buy a whole new set of shirts because he seemed to sweat through every single one he owned during last night's game).
What do I call the Warriors 3-point shooting ways: The Jimmy Rollins syndrome. Whenever the Phillies shortstop hits a home run, he all of a sudden begins to think that he can hit a home run at every at-bat and starts swinging for the fences (then again, he does have nine HRs this season - he typically strikes out 1,573 times in a row - which ties him for third in the league with Texas' Ian Kinsler).
That's what the Warriors did last night ... and it cost them the game. Next time, stick to normal basketball and don't try to show off with 3-pointers at the end of the game.