Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Warrior Mentality, Part 2

The Mavs and the Warriors played the best game of the playoffs last night, a nail-biter rife with big shots, big attitudes, and Mark Cuban looking like he was going to go home and cry. That was until Dirk played like an MVP, blocking a shot and hitting two deep threes, followed by an icy performance at the free throw line.

The Warriors went up by nine late, thanks to flawless penetration by Baron Davis and red hot three point shooting by his wings. Then the unthinkable happened: Davis stopped getting to the hole and what had been Golden State's lifeblood became their bane. The Warriors kept jacking treys, missed them, and blew what would have been arguably their biggest win as NBA players. What was Nellie thinking, allowing his team to fire away at will, watching the game pass from his hands to Dirk's. What was Stephen Jackson thinking when he got ejected? As usual, nothing.

You cannot take anything away from Dirk and co., but this game was the Warriors' to lose. One drive, one easy bucket, one drip to the line--finito. Now the upstarts face a must-win game six, lest they had back to Dallas for game seven.

Mark Cuban must be thanking the basketball Gods. A loss last night would've sent shockwaves through that organization. Instead, Baron Davis's head got a little bigger, his jaw a little more swollen from all the trash talking he did. Davis must dip during games and the badass beard does little to cover it up. Cuban's team was saved for at least one more game.

This series has shades of Kobe vs. Phoenix last year, when the Lakers went up 3-1, only to bow out in seven. Golden State won last night's game, and then they lost it. It wasn't either or, it was both. Expect Dallas to come out even more aggressively in a game six dandy. The Mavs may have taken Golden State's best shots, does Oakland have anything left?

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