Lunar Adventures: exploring a little bit of everything
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Friends of LunarAdventures:
The Maverick roller coaster ride
Oh, Dallas Mavericks, why do you put me on such an emotional roller coaster?
Fervent sports fans will recognize the emotional strain from the Mavericks series so far:
- Game 1. Mavs favored going into the series, Dirk Nowitzki is supposed to be unstoppable. “No one on Houston can guard him!” The result? Mavs and Dirk struggle, lose at home.
- Game 2. Mavs should bounce back, now that Houston has given them a wakeup call. They play better, leading by as many as 10, but lose on McGrady jumper with 7 seconds left. Michael Finley tries to match, but rims out at the buzzer. Home crowd is totally deflated.
- Game 3. Everyone has written off the Mavs. The media is all over them. Maybe Dirk isn’t all that, after all. Maybe Avery Johnson isn’t all that. Maybe Finley is washed up. It looks like everyone is right — the Mavs struggle. But out of nowhere, they post a 20-0 4th quarter run and beat Houston.
- Game 4. Hope springs once again in the Dallas basketball world. Now the Mavs are rolling. Now they’re going to go and take care of business. But the offense struggles again, and the Mavs fall behind again. Frustration mounts. But then the Mavs put together another strong run, great defense, and a great shooting from Finley and Jason Terry to get another come-from-behind win.
And that brings us to tonight — back in Dallas, with the series tied 2-2. The American Airlines Center is going to be as raucous as it’s ever been. Dirk needs to have a strong performance, and the defense needs to keep doing what it’s been doing. The defense has been doing a better job of closing out on Houston’s 3-point shooters. Sura, James, and Barry were really making the series difficult back in games one and two, when they weren’t missing anything. When they don’t have a hand in their face, they’re still making their shots — but the increased defensive pressure has hurt their percentage.
On offense, the Mavericks really need to cut down their turnovers. Steve Nash’s Mavericks were always on top of the league in turnovers and in free throws — and those extra few points are often the margin of victory in a two point game. The Mavericks lost game 2 by 2 points — if they had hit 3 more free throws, or turned two tunover posessions into scoring posessions, they would have won. Easy to say “could” and “would,” but this team DID in the past. They need to return to that.
Mon May 2nd, 2005 5:21 pm