2011 NBA WEST FINALS GAME 1 -- Mavs 121, Thunder 112: My Top 10 Observer-ations

Mavs-Thunder Game 1.jpg
​10.
 Dirk Nowitzki was obviously unstoppable with 48 points and an NBA playoff-record 24 of 24 free throws, but the Mavs were stagnant and stale offensively until J.J. Barea entered the game in the second quarter. As Thunder coach Scotty Brooks said afterward, "He's a handful." I'm still shocked at his effectiveness. But I can no longer deny it. His 21 points in 16 electric minutes changed the whole tenor.

9. I set the over/under for Mavs turnovers at 12. Around that number or lower and I figure they'll win games and the series. If they get careless and it gets up into the teens the Thunder can win this thing. Last night? Dallas had five turnovers in the first quarter and trailed by seven. Final tally: 12. Only seven turnovers through three quarters is winning basketball.

8. Win or lose this series, we about done with this "Mavs are soft" nonsense? Dirk was relentlessly aggressive and Shawn Marion played through a bloodied, almost broken nose.

7. Not often is a 40-point playoff game a footnote, but Kevin Durant got no help from sidekick Russell Westbrook. Twenty points is nice, but he missed 12 of his 15 shot attempts. Said Durant, "I'll bet you my house that he doesn't go three for 15 in the next game. You can quote me on that."

6. Weird look at AAC with all the royal blue T-shirts and the visiting Thunder wearing blue jerseys. Also saw a very drunk OKC fan in a Durant jersey get handcuffed and escorted out by two of Dallas' finest. Bravo.

5. In an attempt to stop Nowitzki, the Thunder guarded him with Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Durant, Thabo Sefolosha and by double-teaming on the dribble. Only guy they didn't try was assistant coach Maurice Cheeks. The Thunder is a proud defensive team that refused to double Memphis' Zach Randolph last series, but nothing worked. Dirk shot 7 of 9 over Ibaka and drew an amazing 16 fouls from Thunder defenders.

4. You knew it was going to be a special night when in the first quarter Dirk pump-faked Ibaka to the roof, spun left, drove baseline and...dunked. Just for fun, he also added four blocked shots.

3. Favorite Dirk move of the night: With Sefolosha up under his jersey on the right wing, he rocked the defender with a couple of subtle jab steps. With Sefolosha off-balance, he then jumped up -- and back -- off one foot for a patented Flamingo Fadeaway. Off the glass, no less. Sorry OKC, that's H-O-R-S-E. 

2. Michael Jordan is more flashy. Kobe Bryant is more athletic. But I've seen them all in person, and they weren't more productive than Dirk last night. Forty-eight points on only 15 shot attempts is just re-Dirk-ulous. And all without a 3-point attempt. The ball left Dirk's hands toward the basket 39 times and went in 36 times. Next closest to that kind of playoff efficiency? Bob Cousy scored 48 points on 22 shots in the '50s. Said teammate Peja Stojakovic, "Best performance I've ever seen."

1. In his last two Western Conference Finals games at AAC (last night vs. Thunder + 2006's Game 5 vs. Suns) Dirk's totals: 98 points on 51-of-52 free throws. 


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18 comments
the harvster
the harvster

 Dirk is just a badass, all there is to it. He "gets" it now.

Sybil's Beaver
Sybil's Beaver

Man I really wish armen would eat less tomatos, that man juice he keeps leavng in me stinks

Richies bleached anus
Richies bleached anus

Hey guys, th reason richie has put more into this here blog is his new editor boss has been riding me to get his shit together

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

They can be proud of their defense all they want. Keep it up. Worked great. This just in; Joey Crawford knows we watch the NBA just to see his fine work.  Westbrook couldn't find his ass with both hands and a map last night. Lost does not seem sufficient to describe his game. I can't expect that every game, but a couple of those might sink this bunch. Why in the hell is Durant carrying a backpack to the press conference? I thought he was wearing a back brace until informed otherwise. His momma needs to talk to him about that,'Son stop acting weird, people are starting to talk."The ESPN studio crew has no chemistry. Magic is pathetic,  a sad sad rendering of what a player pundit should be. Wilbon is stiff and uncomfortable. Barry comes across as just another blowhard. Hannah Storm, well she doesn't look awful, but whoever said she needs to be the bus driver needs to have their head examined. TNT wins that race hands down. Keep mashing the gas Little Mavs. When asked about covering Dirk, Durant instantly rubbed his nose. Bad sign for OKC, they are afraid of him. The question made him uncomfortable because the thought had been rattling around in his head and he didn't have an answer. Cautiously optimistic.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

With apologies to everyone (musers, norm, richie) hooting and hollering about Marion playing with a broken nose, the offical word from the Mavs was that his nose was not broken. I thought the same thing about the blue out against a blue team.  And I guess for all the rest of my thoughts, what Richie said sums it up

Kergo
Kergo

Almost First, rectal rangers!

You know your team is crap when the fans think the greatest performance of all time was in the first game of a seven game series and it wasn't even the finals.

Sorry for not posting in a while. The bidness has been struggling mightily lately and my wife got boned by the mesican next door. I can accept that she's a skank but I can't accept a burrito in her nasty snatch.

I might have to move back north to get away from all this, back to my douchey greaser family and friends.

David Swinney
David Swinney

 With apologies to Larry David, Dirk is prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay, pretty good.

Volta
Volta

trying my hardest to laugh... 

Mishon
Mishon

Agreed with what you said about ESPN. I hate that we are stuck with them throughout the whole conference finals. Why can't they mix up the games instead of having each one exclusively on one network? I want TNT. I also hate that the Finals are going to be on ABC. They should move to cable like everything else is doing. TNT deserves to have the Finals.

Quanshave
Quanshave

 It'll look just as odd when OKC has their "blue out" against the mavs, who will be wearing blue.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

add to the good list: Nascar of Fox, UT games on ABCadd to the bad list: Big 12 football on FSSW 

Jason K.
Jason K.

The NBA on TNT is the greatest.

Richie's hair plugs
Richie's hair plugs

Nascar on Fox is good except for Darrell Waltrip and his blatant Hendrick Motorsports fan boyism. It shows when another team wins and he goes completely silent and justs nods at everything that others say. 

Mishon
Mishon

 Don't watch NASCAR, but I will take your word for it.

Mishon
Mishon

For the NFL on Fox, I think the whole package is great. Bradshaw doing highlights has never bothered me.  

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

 I hope you don't mean Fox NFL pre- and post-game too. Bradshaw trying to do highlights is worse than Jalen Rose.

NFL Network game coverage goes right on the Bad list too.

Mishon
Mishon

The Good: The NBA on TNT, The NFL on FOX, March Madness on CBS/Turner Networks, NCAA Football on ESPN.

The Bad: The NFL on CBS, Pretty much anything ESPN does outside of college football, Rangers Baseball on FSSW.

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