- Dirk Nowitzki on last night’s loss (via Tim MacMahon): “There are good losses and there are bad losses, and this is definitely a bad one…We just didn’t have it down the stretch. We were a step slow. Offensively, we looked lost. Defensively, they could get to the basket any time they wanted to and they hit some timely 3s. But it’s really our fault.”
- Whatever the opposite of a ‘silver lining’ is, Eddie Sefko may have found it: “They were going against a Warriors team that used only six players. Yet they got beat to every loose ball in the fourth quarter and couldn’t keep up with the Warriors’ motion offense. Worse, the Mavericks had to use all their heavy lifters for long, exhausting stretches. That certainly will have an impact on their legs at some point tonight in Houston.”
- Adam Lauridsen of Fast Break chimes in with the difference between the Stephen Jackson/Corey Maggette-led Warriors and the younger, more energetic model we saw last night: “With Jackson or Maggette on the court (and Nelson on the sideline), the response to the second-half adversity would have likely been to pound the ball in one or two mismatches while everyone else stood around. Instead, with Jackson gone and Maggette and Nelson out, Smart had the team stick with a simple attack — let Monta look for early shot-clock seams in the defense, and provide safety valves at the three point arc in the form of Morrow, Curry, and Radmanovic. The plan hit some rough patches, but it ultimately proved to be enough to bring home the win.”
- Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie has a fair assessment of last night’s perimeter dynamics: “With just six players on hand, while playing its fourth game in five nights, the Warriors looked as fresh and as active as they’ve looked in years. The ball movement was spot on, heaps of extra passes, and Golden State worked a quickness advantage. Actually, the Warriors didn’t really blow past the slower Maverick backcourt. It just turned out that Monta Ellis (37 points, eight assists, four steals, 11 turnovers; seriously) and Stephen Curry (18 points, six assists) went nuts on the Dallas D.”
- Dirk Nowitzki, community man.
Despite early indications that Shawn Marion would play tonight, he’s still questionable for tonight’s game according to Rick Carlisle (via Eddie Sefko). Here’s to hoping he gets a little burn against the defenseless Dubs.
There also has yet to be a conclusive timetable set for Josh Howard’s return, and Erick Dampier’s mystery illness continues to keep him out of the lineup and has not been cleared to practice yet.
But at least it’s another fair(ish?) fight, as the Warriors will be without Kelenna Azubuike, Raja Bell, Andris Biedrins, Devean George (a huge loss), Ronny Turiaf, C.J. Watson, Brandan Wright, and Corey Maggette. The Mavs are missing two or three starters, the Warriors are missing a platoon. Only fair, right?