2011 NBA WEST FINALS GAME 3 -- Mavericks 93, Thunder 87: My Top 10 Observer-ations

Categories: Texas Rangers

Dirk - OKC Practice.png
Dirk: Playoff beard
10. Think of the Ford Center Oklahoma City Arena as a 'roided Reunion. Basketball here is still fresh and, let's face it, there's nothing else to do. I was at Reunion in the '80s and Sacramento's ARCO Arena with the cowbells in the '00s, and this place is louder. Says Dirk Nowitzki, "It's the loudest I've ever been in. During a timeout I couldn't hear a word coach was saying."

9. That said, it's kinda strange to start a frenzied Game 3 of the NBA West Finals...with a prayer. And if you thought the invocation delivered by former Maverick and Thunder guard Kevin Ollie was weird, the ensuing National Anthem was sung by Hanson. Yes, "MmmBop" Hanson.

8. Russell Westbrook is as immature as he is immensely talented. With his team down 22 points in the third quarter he aggressively defended Dirk, prompting a turnover, but then negated the whole thing by picking up a technical foul...for taunting. Only a petulant 22-year-old would talk trash down by 22. He finished with 30 points, but 7 turnovers to 4 assists.

7. If you're at a game or get a chance to see OKC's player intros, check out backup guard Nate Robinson. He's got these dramatic, animated, exaggerated dance/handshakes with each and player -- even inactive former Kansas center Cole Aldrich, who looks plain goofy performing the splits in suit-and-tie. You just get the feeling the Thunder are having more fun in this series, but that the Mavericks -- thanks to the battle scars -- are more serious.

6. There were times when Nick Collison's physical defense made Dirk Nowitzki look awkward, unathletic and ineffective. The old Dirk -- think Golden State, circa '07 -- would've began passing and deferring. This Nowitzki kept pressing, and in the last minute made a Flamingo Fadeaway and two free throws for the Dirk Daggers. Said Dirk, "There was a time when on a night like that I would've folded it in. But I know I have to stay in attack mode no matter what."

5. This W belongs to Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler. The center was hyperactive, grabbing 15 rebounds and seemingly latching onto every loose ball. And Marion, who has frustrated us at times in the playoffs with his failed finesse finishes around the rim, scored 18 points and helped pressure Kevin Durant into 7-of-21 shooting.

4. We can break this down from a lot of angles, but the truth is 99.99 percent of teams who miss their first 16 3-pointers are going to lose. The Thunder went 1 of 17, their only hit from Westbrook with 35 seconds remaining. Some of it was contested by Dallas defense, but some of them were just open looks that missed.

3. Admit it, when the Thunder cut a 23-point lead to 84-78 with three minutes left you were freakin' out. Thinking back to Portland. Maybe even Miami in '06. "Here we go again" crept into your mind. The collapse never came, however, thanks to the inexperienced Thunder. On three possessions with a chance to really shrink some Dallas sphincters, OKC produced a Westbrook missed 3-pointer six seconds into the shot clock, a Daequan Cook missed 3-pointer six seconds into the shot clock and a Westbrook turnover five seconds into the shot clock. A mature team would've probed for the best shot; the green, giddy Thunder tried to erase a six-point deficit in hurried, horrible possessions.

2. After torching the Mavs for 23 points in Game 2, James Harden managed only 7 in Game 3 on 2 of 9 shooting and one awfully fake flop after a Chandler almost elbow. With his full beard and evil intentions, I'm dubbing him James Bin Harden.

1. There was a time when a combined 10-of-33 shooting by Dirk and Jason Terry in a playoff game would have begat certain doom for Dallas. Maybe the Thunder aren't yet quite good enough or smart enough. Or maybe defense makes this a different Mavericks team.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
Daniel Martinez
Daniel Martinez

Westbrook didn't pass the ball 10 times in the 4th quarter and KD only "touched" the ball 33% of the 4th. News is saying that Westbrook actually thinks he is better than KD and the real star, so with that attitude and the way he hogged the ball Saturday, I wish failure on him. 

ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

Mavs did make my butt pucker a little. I'm with JSB, Mavs win this in 5. Thunder are a good team, will be a great team in the future, but they just aren't ready for the big stage yet.

After three games of Bulls/Heat, which team would you prefer the Mavs play in the Finals (if the Mavs make it)?

Storm_71
Storm_71

Congrats to all for surviving the rapture. It was touch and go there for awhile. I went to the store to grab some groceries and there where like ten people waiting for the bus. When I drove back by they where all gone. Freaky huh? 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

As I said last week, the inexperience of OKC would kill them, but didnt think their all star point guard would be their demise.  I dont get how you have 10 straight posessions without Durnat touching the ball, we'd be steamed if Dirk went 10 posessions w/o a touch.  and you're dead on richie, this okc team is like the mavs when they first made the playoffs, just happy to be there.  Its nice that our guys "GET IT" now.  Business now will lead to fun later. 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Mavs in five..book it.  In baseball news, Jham is arisen, or some such. 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Give me the Heat, just like when U of Texas had to take on the unbeatable Trojans...not at all like when U of Texas had to take on the unbeatable Tide though.. 

Storm_71
Storm_71

That was a swwet squeeze by Gentry yesterday huh Mr. Broken Shoulder? 

ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

So, what will your name change to since Josh's shoulder is no longer broken?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Twas awesome sir...scary as hell for him I bet...almost a Marlon Byrd situation. 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

working on it sir, working on it..I think I'll give a couple of weeks before updating..somebody else on my rag tag bunch of injured, will surely give me options. 

Loading...