Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Reason We Live -- Round One, after Game 3

Astronomers call the line between night and day the terminator. The Mavericks know that line. We're riding it now.

After a nice display of exterminate, annihilate, destroy in Game 1 -- and kindly don't bore me with your moans of exasperation regarding the "free throw disperity," David Lord did some subtraction (factoring out the on purpose crap on Dampier) and the "disperity" is more like two -- the Mavs have dropped two, surrendered home court advantage, and awarded hope to the Spurs and their fanbase after they went a season of doing without.

The finger points in two different directions. One points at the refs -- Dan Crawford, who led the officiating teams in Games 2 and 3, has a suspicious habit of whistle-swallowing. He's called seventeen counting those two, and the Mavericks have won once. That stretches the concept of coincidence.

The other finger points at Coach. In Game 3 the Mavericks went with the 3-Guard lineup and finally got some offense going. We'd taken the lead--

--and gave it right back up again. Here's the Mavericks' offensive production, beginning at 7:32 with a Nowitzki made basket:

Nowitzki jump shot, made
Nowitzki fadeaway jumper, missed
Terry 3pt shot, missed
Kidd 3pt shot, missed
Barea jump shot, missed
Terry jump shot, missed
Terry jump shot, missed
Kidd free throws, 2-2
Nowitzki free throws, 2-2
Nowitzki jump shot, made
Kidd 3pt shot, missed
Barea driving jump shot, missed
Terry jump shot, missed (McDyess block)
Nowitzki jump shot, missed
Terry 3pt shot, made
Barea jump shot, made
Beaubois layup, made
Barea layup, missed
Haywood tip-in, made

The three guards had played almost the entire second half at that point. Dirk was the only player who got to sit for a couple of minutes. David Lord, "On possession after possession, the Mavs were so dead that one afther another they would pass up wide open looks, knowing they didn't have the freshness to take a decent shot." There goes early offense, which is meat and drink for this team.

Notably absent from that list are Butler and Marion. I accept and appreciate Coach's right to bench players he feels are not contributing. But isn't that the whole reason those men are here? At the very least to hold the line whilst the knights get fresh horses, change into spare armor, get some new lances? Coach decided the cost of giving them minutes was more of a risk than he could afford. Why? What does he know about these men that we don't?

The men themselves -- Marion, Butler and Haywood -- are not happy with what's been going on, and are -- in the politest possible way -- making that clear. Most of the answers to questions regarding minutes boiled down to "talk to the jerk with the clipboard." The word around the campfire this morning is the players held a meeting before practise to hash out a few things.

Whatever the problem, it needs fixing. Now. The Mavericks need those men if they plan to do anything this summer besides roast weenies. As nice as roast weenies are, they can wait until July.

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