The Greatest Individual Playoff Performance in the History of Dallas-Fort Worth Sports. Is Dirk's Dominant?

Dirk - Ibaka.jpg
The Mavs can play better than they did in Game 1 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals.

For the first time in the playoffs they allowed 100 points, 112 to be exact. The Thunder grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and, according to Mavs' coach Rick Carlisle, corralled 13 of the game's 20 loose balls. In the fourth quarter it felt like Dallas was trading Dirk Nowitzki free throws for Serge Ibaka uncontested dunks.

Oklahoma City will play better in tonight's Game 2. Russell Westbrook will make more than three shots and coach Scotty Brooks will not simply be content to sit and watch his team foul Dirk one-on-one. But if certain aspects of Game 1 repeat, won't mean a damn thing what OKC does.

J.J. Barea and Jason Terry both scored 20+ plus, the first bench duo to accomplish that in a conference finals since way back in '91 with the Pistons' Vinnie Johnson and Mark Aguirre. But while Dallas' bench bewildered the Thunder, Dirk buried them with a playoff performance we've rarely -- if ever -- witnessed in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Started pondering this yesterday: Is Dirk's Game 1 the greatest individual playoff game in the history of our local sports?

Key words: Playoff.

Please consider it before you start wildly and emotionally throwing "Nolan kickin' Ventura's ass!" or "Emmitt's shoulder game!" into the discussion.

Not applicable.

While certainly landmark performances and indelible memories, neither was a playoff game. Smith's heroics against the Giants came in the regular-season finale that landed the NFC East and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs for the Cowboys, but Ryan's fabled headlock of Ventura occured in an early-August win which merely improved him to 3-3 and his team to 54-53.

I'm talking legendary stuff with long-ranging implications. Just with a little digging I came up with these candidates:

MAVS

*Dirk Game 1 vs. Thunder '11: 48 points on 15 shots, 24-24 free throws

*Dirk Game 5 vs. Suns '06: 50 points

*Roy Tarpley Game 3 vs. Lakers '88: 21 points/20 rebounds

COWBOYS

*Chuck Howley Super Bowl vs. Colts '71: 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 12 tackles

*Troy Aikman Super Bowl vs. Bills '93: 4 touchdown passes

*Emmitt Smith NFC Championship vs. Packers '96: 35 carries, 150 yards, 3 touchdowns

*Michael Irvin NFC Championship vs. 49ers '95: 12 catches, 192 yards, 2 touchdowns

RANGERS

*Cliff Lee Game 3 vs. Yankees '10: 2-hit, 13-strikeout shutout

*Juan Gonzalez Game 2 vs. Yankees '96: 2 homers off Andy Pettite

*Josh Hamilton Game 6 vs. Yankees '10: Single, followed by 3 intentional walks

STARS

*Brett Hull Game 6 vs. Sabres '99: Cup-clinching goal in triple overtime

*Marty Turco Game 6 vs. Sharks '08: 61 saves in 2-1, four-overtime

As for results, the winner is either Hull (who won the Stars the Stanley Cup) or Aikman (who helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XXVII). As for sheer dominance, it's either Lee (who totally muffled New York in Yankee Stadium in Game 3 of the ALCS) or Turco (whose Game 6 defensive defiance allowed Dallas to reach the West Finals) or Smith (who almost single-handedly propelled his team over Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game.) And Hamilton deserves a nod not for what he did, but what a team feared he would do.

I enjoyed watching them all. If I had to pick the best -- because of the stakes -- I'd go with Aikman. If Dirk repeats his performance in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, we'll revisit.

You?


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20 comments
ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

In SFBL news, I went ahead and picked up Pablo Sandoval.

Anyone know how many players we can have on the DL?

ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

My Ambien hazed night with the Mrs. last night was pretty great. I highly recommend Ambien screwin'!

Mishon
Mishon

I know this wouldn't win, but Colby was great in Game 6 of the ALCS last year in the greatest Ranger's game of all time. I believe he pitched 8 innings and only allowed 1 run. I know it wasn't the greatest ever but the magnitude of the game puts it near the top for me.

Evan
Evan

 He was in the crease!

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

How about Cliff Lee's Game 5 against Tampa?

Dirk's game, given how one player can dominate a basketball game in a way only a QB or pitcher even come close to doing in their sport, has to be 1B to Aikman's 1A. 

Johnathan Gray
Johnathan Gray

I think I've had the best performance in local sports in a big game. In my state championship game in December, I ran the football 29 times for 320 yards and I scored 8 touchdowns. All in a days work.

Hook 'em

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I say Dirk, what he did was dang near perfection.  15 shots and he got 48 points. Enough said, one of the most proficient games in playoff history. 

Storm_71
Storm_71

I thought no one cared about the Stars RW.  

Redleather
Redleather

Lee Van Cleef used perhaps more epic sausage. He virulently unleashed passes on the high beast more totem. Forceful in the big of the Texas Rangers though Dirk Nowitzki quite noteworthy was a game his pompadours achieved greater once.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

2 DL spots, the rest take up active spots if you keep them, but our rosters are so big it prolly wont bother you 

Richie's hair plugs
Richie's hair plugs

IMO that was the greatest game in DFW history. To see A Rod (One of the biggest douches in the world, second only to Richie Whitt) strikeout looking was the icing on the cake.

5-7
5-7

Sorry to see you headed to the university of squandered gridiron talent. Good thing your commitment is still non binding. How do you manage to blogpost while in a high school classroom? (just wondering).

Mishon
Mishon

I can't wait to see you in a Longhorns uniform.

Richie Whitt
Richie Whitt

Back in the good ol (re: bandwagon) days we did. 

ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

Thank you sir. Now I just need Mauer and the Kung Fu Panda to get healthy....and for my starters to get me some W's.

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

 I'm right there with you on the greatest game in DFW history. The pandemonium at the ballpark was unlike anything I've ever seen in these parts. Taking down the big bad Yankees with Aroid at the plate - you couldn't have written a better script. Something we will all remember for a lifetime. But, since RW asked for the best individual performance - and not the best game - I almost have to agree with Scruffy. CLee's performance in game 5 against TBay was pretty damn dominant. This is really, though, a hard choice to make. We have been blessed with some pretty awesome playoff performances around these parts.

Johnathan Gray
Johnathan Gray

Dude...are you serious? I own this f-ing school. The teachers let me do whatever the hell I want.

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