ESPN’s David Thorpe Says Dallas Mavericks Will Force 7-Game Series
ESPN’s David Thorpe, on The Lowe Post Podcast, predicted the Dallas Mavericks to force a 7 game series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Zach Lowe, of ESPN.com, hosts his well-known podcast called The Lowe Post Podcast every week where he brings on guests from across the NBA family such as Jeff Van Gundy, Adam Silver, and Kyle Lowry. This past week he had longtime NBA coach David Thorpe to preview each of the first round series in both conferences.
To start off the latest podcast, they spent the first eight minutes of the podcast taking in detail about the Mavericks/Thunder series. To the surprise of some, both Lowe and Thorpe believes the series could be an interesting one due mainly to the fact of new coach Billy Donovan going up against one of the best in the business in Rick Carlisle.
“It’s a tough match-up in the first round in a coaching standpoint (for Donovan) because right now Rick Carlisle is in his laboratory devising some kind of diabolical way to slow down Russell Westbrook. Zach I remind you it was just two years ago where Carlisle came up with a brilliant scheme to slow the Spurs pick-and-roll offense.”
Thorpe and Lowe go on to talk about how that Dallas Mavericks team took the eventual champion Spurs to a 7-game series in what would be the only tough match-up for the Spurs.
Lowe goes on to talk about how this series should be a series where Oklahoma City makes a statement. That if they want to truly be put in the same category as the Spurs and Warriors then they need to take care of Dallas quick. But Thorpe thinks this could play right into Dallas’ hands…
“If they [Thunder] come out trying to force the issue…it’s going to cause turnovers. Cause Dallas just won’t let them do that. Remember that Dallas has multiple guards that handle the ball well. You can trust them handling the ball in the playoffs. Rick Carlisle has done such a great job getting guys who people thought were done.”
People, including Dallas fans, like to knock on the fact that Dallas has so many veteran guards on the roster but it could come as a positive come this postseason. Having the ball in the hand of experienced veterans play into the fact that the Mavericks finished second in the league in turnovers per game.
After they finish talking about how the Thunder could shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers, Lowe then turns to two things that he finds interesting from the Dallas perspective.
“First, I think this is a series for Justin Anderson to play a role because he’s got a shot to defend both of those guys and that allows them to be switchey when they run that Westbrook/Durant pick-and-roll. Second, this isn’t the worst match-up for Dirk. Dallas has to hide Dirk on defense all the time but Ibaka isn’t super threatening. Adams isn’t super threatening…I think this is a series where Dirk can kind of survive, and when that happens, they have a puncher’s chance to have some interesting games.”
Seeing a big series from Justin Anderson would bring a lot of enthusiasm to the Dallas fanbase as it has been awhile since they were excited for a rookie. As far as Dirk goes, it will be interesting to see who he guards and if the Thunder can guard him on the other end of the ball.
"“This has the chance, Rick makes things interesting.” -Lowe"
Then Thorpe drops a golden nugget when talking about the Mavericks…
“Remember the year when they [Dallas] won the championship. It started with a poor performance in L.A. against the Lakers when Corey Brewer, who had not been playing for Dallas very much, had an unbelievable half. Dallas came back and won the game. Corey pretty much never played again and they won the championship. If Dallas can get one of those guys in the first or second game to get that belief going, that is when you are talking about a puncher’s chance. That’s when there might be a Game 6 or 7.”
Next: How Dallas Can Stop Westbrook and Durant
Thorpe just gave all of Dallas some hope that the city was lacking heading into Saturday night. Even though Thorpe and Lowe do think that the Thunder takes the series, if Dallas does indeed force a long series, it would be somewhat of a moral victory for Dallas.
We can only hope for a seven game series.