No Game Is an Island: It’s Time to Shine the Flashlight Under the Bed

Posted by Rob Mahoney on March 25, 2009 under Previews | 10 Comments to Read

The Golden State Warriors visit the Dallas Mavericks
7:30 CST

Last season, it seemed as though the Mavs had made a breakthrough.  In the three games the Mavs played against the Golden State Warriors, destroyers of dreams, in 2007-2008, the Mavs went undefeated and won by an average margin of 17.3.  The tormenters had become the tormented, and Nellie’s role as a conjurer of cheap tricks was countered by experience, resolve, and twelve grown men being good and pissed off.

This season, the Mavs are 1-1 against the Warriors, but the game on everyone’s mind is the recent letdown in Oakland just two weeks ago.

Looking at the Mavs’ success over that period (significant point differential, 4-1 in the last 5 games), why are we even discussing the idea that the Warriors give the Mavericks trouble?  Why does Tim MacMahon even have to combat the theory that Stephen Jackson is a “Dirk Stopper”?

I’ve tried to dispel the mystique of Mavs-Warriors at least once already, but today I’ve come to remind you and myself of that in totality.  2007 is dead and buried; just as Mavs-Heat holds no regular season significance aside from disappointing highlight reels of playoffs past, Mavs-Warriors deserves its spot in the NBA annals, not lingering in the present.

The Mavs spent the proper time dissecting and analyzing their playoff woes.  They fully understand what the Warriors were able to do to them, found specific ways to counter those strategies, and have generally been pretty damn successful against the Warriors since that time.  You want a team that gives the Mavs trouble?  How about the New Orleans Hornets?  How about the Los Angeles Lakers?  How about the Boston Celtics?  The Mavs have flubbed games against the Grizzlies, the Bucks, and the Clippers, so why make more of a loss to the Warriors?  The Mavs are a good, not great, team that has had trouble all season with beating the teams that they should beat.  That’s explanation A and B for the most recent loss at the hands of the Dubs, and reason C is that the Mavs forgot how to rebound.

There are no monsters here, just a little kid creating reasons to be afraid of the dark, rationalizing a symptom as a disease unto itself.

  • Chaz

    At home, Phoenix in the rear view, players rested, Mavs have got this. Mavs better have got this. Probably going to race out to a large early lead and slowly give it up until a nail biting finish, i.e. The Mavs Special. :)

  • wacc_attack

    last time they were here we ran them outta the building. im hoping for a repeat

  • Victor

    lol. Chaz guessed the opposite of what happened–close all the way and then blew it open in the late 3rd/early 4th.

    JJB!

  • David

    Good job Mavs! Exactly what we needed.

  • Chaz

    Victor, yeah that was a good close! Mavs have had make or break third quarters this season, and that was a fantastic one.
    Though Utah had to have me rooting for them to beat Phoenix, and they couldn’t pull that off. Would have been the icing on the cake if Phoenix had lost after that win.
    Hopefully Mavs will ride that win into Friday night!

  • Victor

    What are you talking about?! Why would you root against Phoenix? Numerically, we’re closer to passing Utah than we are of getting passed by Phoenix. I’m rooting for Phoenix all the way. Last night was perfect. I really can’t wait for the Phoenix at Portland game. If Phoenix wins that, we’ll only be half a game behind (and we own the tie-breaker over them).

  • wacc_attack

    ya, gotta agree with Vic. I’m the biggest fan PHX will have the rest of their season. We’re 3 games up, with 7 games at home – where we have been straight up murdering people recently. If we play our game, we will not blow it. We have a couple relative gimmes in there (2x Minnesota), so we should be able to more than hang on. PHX has a decent amt of games left vs the teams we are fighting with for those coveted middle spots. If we take care of business, and if PHX attempts to take care of business on their own end (but falls juuuuust short and gets their hearts broken on national TV here in a few weeks), then we might be lookin at a 4-6 spot. And then, my friends, anything is possible. Can you imagine if LA gets punked by Portland in the first round (I say Portland based purely on that spanking they put on LA a few weeks back)? At that point the West is for the taking, and we have as good a shot as anyone.

  • Victor

    LOL. Wacc–there’s that optimism again. We have a much worse shot than the Lakers, Spurs, Rockets, and Hornets. And if the Jazz can win on the road…We, along with Portland and the Nuggets, have nothing but a snowball’s chance of winning the West. Right now, my sight is on the 7th spot. I like the Spurs. Ideally, I’d take the Blazers, but it’s unlikely that we’ll get matched up with them.

  • wacc_attack

    what’s wrong with optimism?

    i’d rather approach it the way i do then think, oh man we’re gonna blow it, no doubt.

    again, if someone picks off the lakers, it’s wide open. if we play well and win on Friday, i will feel a lot more confident about that statement. we can handle the spurs, rockets, blazers, utah (if we have home court). i dont think its that out of the question. and if you think it is, why even show up to play? lets just throw it.

    there have been enough upsets in the history of sports, that making anything a foregone conclusion is foolish.

  • Victor

    i’m not saying we have no chance. i’m just saying we have a very, very, very slim chance.

    i’m an emerging clippers fan too. and lemme tell you something–you can’t always expect miracles. in fact, when miracles seem to happen, you have to be realistic and realize your team’s history.

    clippers. up four. opponent’s got the ball? it’s not overly cynical to just expect LA to give up a four point play. seriously.

    and with the mavs, you never know when their inconsistency’s just gonna catch up to them.