After the Dallas Mavericks stunning game 3 win over the San Antonio Spurs, we were lucky to have Dallas Mavericks’ TV play-by-play announcer Mark Followill take time out of his day to answer a few questions for us via E-mail.
This is his 8th season announcing the Mavericks and 12th season with the team overall.
You can also follow the voice of the Mavericks on Twitter: @MFollowill
Also, thanks to our own Ace Feltman (@MFFeLtman) for initiating the interview. He’s been chasing down Followill since he was 6 years old.
With the Mavericks currently leading the series 2-1, we take a look at how things have gone and where they may lead with the Spurs.
The Smoking Cuban: Have to start with that remarkable game winner by Vince Carter. What were your thoughts as the play developed? Also, Where would you rank the intensity of the AAC after the make?
Mark Followill: Having seen that inbounds play many times this season and knowing that San Antonio probably had it well scouted I was just wondering what option the Mavs would have. I suspected they were sitting on Ellis & they weren’t going to let him catch it. Fortunately it went to Vince and he hit the shot. It was awfully loud in the waning moments of Game 4 of the 2011 Finals when Dirk scored and Mike Miller missed the 3 & when Jason Kidd and Jason Terry hit 3s late in Game 5. But for my money I don’t think I have heard a singular eruption of sound like I did Saturday. I still bet no one realizes I said “HE HIT IT!!!!!” when Vince’s shot went in, the screams of 20-thousand people obviously overpowered being a inch away from the mic and I don’t think that has ever happened. The rush of adrenaline while it was happening almost makes you feel numb.
TSC: The Dallas Mavericks currently hold a 2-1 series lead on the San Antonio Spurs. Are you as shocked as the rest of population or did you see this type of fight from the Mavericks coming into the series?
Followill: I expected there would be a tremendous fight from the Mavs, too many good players and too much pride not to expect that. However you can play well and when you are playing against another very good team you still have to have some good fortune. Certainly they have had some of that go their way, most of it because of their own hard work, game plan and staying the course.
TSC: Not much can be said about the adjustments and schemes Rick Carlisle has come up with for this series. Including the 2011 Championship run, at this point, has this been one of his best coaching performances on the Mavericks sidelines?
Followill: It will be hard to top 2011 but so far this has been Grade A work from RC. He has pushed the right buttons with the center rotation in the last two games, has ridden the hot hand at the right times like Calderon in Game 2 and Ellis in Game 3. A big part of the defensive game plan has clearly been to prevent being burned at the arc like they were in the regular season and so far they have done a good job there.
TSC: Monta Ellis easily had his best postseason performance of his career in the Game 3 win (29 points on 12-22 shooting). How important will his play be the rest of the way, especially considering Dirk Nowitzki has yet to match his scoring average in any of these three games yet?
Followill: Much like the regular season, Monta will continue to be as important as any player on the floor for Dallas. He can score in bunches, take pressure off Dirk, and brings a unique element to the Mavs offense by getting to the basket for easy points for himself or opening up easier opportunities for his teammates.
TSC: Excluding Ellis and Nowitzki, which player(s) do you see needing to be huge for the Mavericks?
Followill: You can make a case for a lot of players, they need Dalembert’s presence with legit size and the ability to protect the paint, Calderon gives them a knock down shooter who needs to keep competing and battling like he has been on defense. Also the bench has to continue to hold their own against San Antonio’s great bench, with guys like Harris providing a lot of scoring in
the first 2 games or a player like Vince making a play at crunch time.
TSC: For the Spurs side, which player(s) do you worry about drastically turning this series?
Followill: Well I expect everything from here on out to be super-competitive so in close games great players can take over and make great plays to win the game so of course I am going to first be concerned with their big three of Parker-Duncan-Ginobili. Outside of that Danny Green hit more 3s against Dallas over the last two season than any other player in the league so if he gets hot then he could be a difference maker.
TSC: Finally, for the Mavericks to pull off the upset, what must they continue to do and/or fix? How do you see this series playing out the rest of the way?
Followill: During the regular season I thought the Mavs demonstrated they could compete and execute at high levels but I thought they had trouble sustaining it over long stretches, they have done that in this series better than any point in the regular season and have to keep that up. They also have got to force some sort of anomaly for the Spurs in each game…
In Game 1, held San Antonio to 3/17 shooting from the arc & were in position to win.
In Game 2, forced 24 turnovers, 10 more than normal for the Spurs and won.
In Game 3, they outperformed San Antonio in the clutch moments of the game, something that rarely happened to San Antonio in the regular season. Remember the Spurs were (10-1) in the regular season in games decided by 5 or less. They owned close games but the Mavs made one more play yesterday.
-Once again, we’d like to thank Mr. Followill for taking time out of his day to answer our questions.