"We didn’t deserve to win this game."
Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle, following Tuesday’s 122-120 OT loss to Golden State
Tomorrow night I’m going to see the premiere of the highly anticipated Super Hero flick Captain America: The Winter Soldier and I’m as excited for this as I’ve ever been about anything. It would take something really, really deflating and turrible to dampen my mood as Thursday night approaches.
The Dallas Mavericks provided me with that gut punching, rip your heart out and blame society for everything kind of moment Tuesday night.
In a game that meant the world and more, the Mavs absolutely blew it. Facing the team ahead of you by 1.5 games, a chance to make it .5, instead the Golden State Warriors, missing both members of their starting front court, came into the home court advantage-less American Airlines Center and defeated the Mavericks in such a familiar fashion i’m running out of different ways to say it.
The Mavericks continue to play absolutely no defense and don’t produce easy baskets putting it all on the ability to hit jumpers and outscore the opposition.
Apr 1, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guardStephen Curry
(30) hits the game winning shot in overtime over Dallas Mavericks guardJose Calderon
(8) at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
On top of a perfect 4-4 from downtown by Dirk Nowitzki and 3-3 from Vince Carter in the 2nd quarter, the Mavs were a scorching 14-21 from the field in the quarter as well as 8-10 from three, totaling 41 points and jumping out to a nine point halftime lead.
But it’s the Mavs.
It didn’t take long for a Rick Carlisle timeout in the 3rd and shorthanded Golden State jumped on Dallas in the third to take a lead into the 4th quarter.
You might say the defense tuned up for both teams in the 4th, but really the Mavs and Warriors just got cold from the field and the game limped into overtime where Jermaine O’Neal got whatever he wanted whenever he wanted – including a block that sure looked like a goaltend on Dallas’ final possession – because when the Mavericks did try to apply defensive pressure to the “Splash Brothers” they left the basket completely unguarded.
Because you can’t do both at once, right? Out of the question for this team to play regular defense.
The Mavericks did jump up by four but left Klay Thompson WIDE open for a triple with 2:18 left that made it a 1 point game.
The vibes were bad, as they have been all year in clutch moments for the 2013-2014 Mavericks. The baskets at one end were coming in high pressure, high difficulty situations and on the other it was a wide open shot from behind the circular line or inside the square box. You can guess which team was getting which looks.
Several moments of misery, misery, misery later the game was tied 120 apiece and All-Star dancer-in-place Stephen Curry hit the game winner with .01 remaining, which is probably more miserable than a buzzer beater, putting an end to this latest Dallas Mavericks heartache.
Apr 1, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and forwardDraymond Green
(23) react after Curry hit the game winning shot in overtime against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The franchise record 8-game home stand rounded out at 4 wins and 4 losses, an absolutely foreign concept to Mavs fans to see the team take so little advantage of playing on their own floor, especially in such a crucial time of the year in such crucial games.
Without their two starting bigs in David Lee and Andrew Bogut, the Warriors made the most of a vintage Jermaine O’Neal performance at the age of really-frikkin-high-number and sophomore goofball and not talented basketball player Draymond Green.
Coach Carlisle elected to matchup with the Warriors adjusted lineup, limiting starter Samuel Dalembert to just seven minutes. Yes, Dalembert’s +/- was -15 in very little time, but he’s been such a huge part of the Mavericks recent success when they have success (sigh) that the abandonment of Sammy D came back to bite the Mavericks far too many times.
Jermaine O’Neal had 20 and 8. THAT. SHOULD. NOT. HAPPEN.
Jordan Crawford Mirza’d again off the Dubs bench but Mark Jackson played all starters minus O’Neal at least 41 minutes. Tired legs? Nah. The Warriors shot 57% en route to the huge, huge, huge win on the road.
It was a game the Warriors would have loved to escape with a win – but one the Mavericks absolutely needed to have.
The crippled Warriors came out on top against a fully healthy Mavericks team…in Dallas. It just doesn’t add up, on the other hand it actually does, because that’s how this season has gone.
Apr 1, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (far left) comes onto the court and yells at officials during overtime against the Golden State Warriors at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports