Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Darkest before the dawn

After the 92-89 loss in Game 4, the Mavericks were left for dead. Myself included.

There were plenty of talking points: Rick Carlisle's rotations, Dirk's toughness + supporting cast, the worth of the Butler/Haywood trade and so forth. Some were viable (play Butler and Marion more), some weren't (fire Carlisle, trade Dirk).

Now there is life. There isn't much, but there is some. The resounding 22 point Game 5 victory at least gives the Mavericks one more night to prove why they won 55 games in the first place.

Will they wither away Thursday night in the Alamo city? I'm not sure. Just know that these adjustments from Game 4 to 5 have to continue:


BOOM. Go back home San Antonio. Go wash up in the ugly river water. Go get your skirts cleaned.

OK, enough of the fandom outbursts I couldn't control but...


Who saw that coming? I already buried the Mavericks the other day. So what do the Mavericks do? They do the COMPLETE opposite of what they did in Game 4: Moved the ball, pushed the ball and most importantly, made shots. Funny how that works?

Not a lot to say in this post, I'll try to post follow up thoughts, but here are some quick notes.

*Erik Dampier got his first DNP-CD of the playoffs. All the radio/blogger/newspaper talk was aimed at how miserable Damp has been in this series. While I argued he hasn't been great, he still was doing something of getting in Duncan's way at times. Look like my argument is shot. Brendan Haywood got the minutes, got the numbers (8 points, 8 boards, 4 blocks) and proved to be the factor. I don't know what it is about centers but they have some inferiority complex issues. Haywood starts and all of a sudden he's a better pick and roll defender? Beats me. All I know was this was the most active game Haywood has played in this series. Whether it was the pick and roll, or rotating out on shooters in the lane. He was everywhere.

*THE BUTLER DID IT! Oh wait, I'm not the first person to use that line? Shucks. Well he did do it. 35 points on 12-24 shooting, 11 boards, 8-9 from the free throw line and how about NO turnovers. For the first time Butler looked like he actually knew what he wanted to do with the ball. We didn't see as many 'dribble between the legs twice step back and shoot a contested jumper' plays. When Butler got the ball he either: A.) drove it B.) shot it. C.) drove and pulled up. It was all in the flow and for the first time he didn't stall the offense. It also allowed Dirk (15 points, 7-14 shooting, 9 boards) to just hang out and have space to hit open looks and not have to carry the load.

*Finally Jason Kidd looks like Jason Kidd. We didn't see a timid and aggressive Kidd. We saw Kidd doing the things that makes him so great on this team. He was moving the ball, PUSHING the ball (23 fastbreak points) and setting guys up in great positions. His stat line isn't wow-y (10 points, 7 boards, 7 assists, 3-5 shooting, 1 turnover) but you could tell he was making in impact on the flow of the game, which is his number one job on this team. When the offense runs well (the 44% shooting is a little misleading) we can praise Kidd. That's how it works. Mavs score 100 points, they beat the Spurs, we praise Kidd. When they don't? Start the Devin Harris talks. That's just how it is.

*That all being said, the Spurs definitely looked like they had Game 6 at home to fall back on. They looked like they were ready for a practice and that's how they played. Credit the Mavs for forcing the issue but the Spurs made countless errors they typically avoid (careless passes, 1-on-1 offense, lack of authority on the boards). So Mavs fans can't jump up and down thinking they have this series, the Spurs mailed this one in to a degree. But that's also a worry. You can't mail games in once you're in the playoffs. You have to put teams down when you can. San Antonio's lack or urgency in this game could very well bite them in the butt. We'll see.

I said the other day that I wouldn't blame you if you didn't still believe. Well I guess I wouldn't blame you for believing now.

I love how sports does that.


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Monday, April 26, 2010

Ashes to ashes

Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images
For the record, I HATE writing this post. I absolutely despise it. For one, it's hard. Trying to put emotions and rash feelings aside to write a coherent piece on why the Mavericks fudged themselves is not an easy task.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rise together, Oklahoma City. We'll be watching

This may seem out of place, an OKC post. Sure, this is a DFW sports blog first and foremost, but I'd like to think this is just a sportsy blog as well. Add that to the fact the the NBA is my blood and tears and KA-BOOM: You have an Thunder post.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Don't suck tips for game 2

With game 2 between Mavs/Spurs tipping off in mere hours later tonight, I've compiled some trends you should watch for during the game to see if the Mavericks have made any adjustments from game 1.

I need to get the taste of Ranger, among other things, out of my mouth

Dear Mavericks,

You haven't had a playoff game since Sunday night. Since that glorious victory over the Spurs I have had to endure the following.

-Some absolutely horrendous games between Heat/Celtics, Bucks/Hawks and Blazers/Suns. Those games made me throw up and crawl into the fetal position.

-Watch Texas Ranger baseball. Really bad Texas Ranger baseball. I don't know what's worse: the lackadaisical defense, the terrible bullpen, Ron Washington's decisions or actually wondering if Ian Kinsler is the right man for the lead off spot when he returns. I need some serious psychiatric help.

-Nonstop coverage of the NFL draft that makes my head spin. I can hear Mel Kiper Jr. in my sleep. "I think Tim Tebow is going to be an H-back in this league...Only way I can see Tebow preform at this level is at the H-back position...When me and Tim Tebow get married the first thing we're going to try that night is the H-back position..."  Make it stop.

So please Mavericks, I implore you, make the madness stop. Just win tonight and all will be forgiven.

Because I know just how FANTASTIC you are when holding a 2-0 lead in the playoffs.


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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Video: J-Kidd and the Matrix give Clipper fans something to cheer about

The Mavericks are rolling and the biggest roar from the Clippers crowd came from this nasty alley-oop courtesy of Jason Kidd.

Now I know the NBA probably has some stake in NBA TV (It would only make sense. It's a sound investment) but did they have to use their broadcast, which in turn featured the Clippers broadcast duo? Not to be Buzzkill McGee but those two are some total Debbie Downers. Who cares if he's hanging on the rim?! Did you see what he just did?! For shame.

Where's Mark and Bob when you need 'em?


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Monday, April 12, 2010


Video courtesy of

Bring on the playoffs. April 17th can't come soon enough.


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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Would you like franchise with that?

There's a thing about hitting in the three spot in a batting order.That's the spot that, typcially, is for the teams overall best hitter. The hitter with the best combination of power, hitting for average and sometimes some speed. In the 2008 season, Josh personified the three hole: .304 average, 32 bombs and an ops of .901.

So just look at other three hitters in the bigs. There's Chase Utley, Hanley Ramirez, Mark Teixeira and of course Albert Pujols. The guy hitting behind Tex, I believe his nickname is A-Rod, was also a pretty good three hitter around these parts some years ago.

My point is, the three spot is usually reserved for the franchise guy (or one of them). So, how many franchise guys do you know get benched after two games? Yeah. For as much as A-Rod struggled in the first weeks in April around here, he was never sat down or benched. You just don't do that, that is, if you HAVE a franchise player to play there.

I know this is just overreaction to Josh's awful start (0 for 7 with 4 K's) but how  bad is it when you replace one of your 'franchise guys' because of the lefty match-up with...another lefty. Excuse me if I'm wrong, but David Murphy hit .234 against lefties last year. And .258 the year before. Yeah, getting Murphy in the lineup really screams situational hitting.

For all I know, this is a pretty mindless rant. For all I know, J-Ham will go nutzo for the next month, and we can just have a laugh about this incredibly, incredibly small mini-micro slump. I hope he does.

If he's a franchise player, he will.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Baseball is back, whether you like it or not

I have a small confession: football is not my number two sport. Shocking, I know.

For those of you that know me (my 10 or 11 friends) this isn't a big deal. I've had my fair share of reasons why I don't splurge all my sporting attention to the NFL or college football. And I also have my fair share of reasons why baseball, yes baseball, is my second favorite sport.

Instead of trifle you with mundane, nostalgic reasons of why I adore a sport that plays 162 times a year as opposed to 16, let me just trifle you with why I'm so happy baseball is back. I don't care that 75% of the people I do hate baseball.