Great win for Dallas. It was a game where they couldnt execute on either end in the second half like they wanted to, but they found a way to make the plays that counted down the stretch. Dirk and Devin Harris were excellent. Its a great time to be a Mav fan. The future is brighter than today, and today the Mavs are giving the NBA Champions more than they can handle.
Dirk had an outstanding game again. The guy has really stepped up his all-around play. His assist to Stack, offensive rebound off of a Stackhouse brick with 7.9 to go, and the subsequent free throws really show you what an MVP is supposed to do to win close the game. He did that on a severely sprained ankle. No one outside of Dallas really knows this, but Dirk plays hurt alot. He's one of the toughest guys in the league. I wouldnt want another superstar on my team (maybe LeBron). The guy does what it takes to win, and comes out of giving himself to a complete team effort with 27 and 15. Greatness. The Dirk haters can suck on that for awhile. While they're at it, they can shove the pill down their throats that Dirk's team has outplayed the NBA Champions for the first three games in an away series. The Mavs are one boneheaded Stackhouse play away from looking to sweep the Champs next week.
If SA cant adjust to Dirk and Harris on the pick n roll, the series is over.
I fully expect Pop to find a way to throw a wrench into that play though. He's an excellent coach, but what do you do? If you pull Bowen off of Dirk to help, Dirk is open to catch a pass and penetrate the lane or pull up for a jumper. If you rotate Howard's man, he beats his defender with a ball fake and heads to the rim. If you rotate Terry's man, you have an easy path to the lane for Terry. There is a never-ending stream of Mav attackers off of the dribble. It must be a nightmare for Pop, and is proving to shred the most prolific defense in the league over the past few seasons. Pop will have to find a way to stop Dallas's dribble penetration to win.
I still expect the Spurs to take a game in Dallas, and I never expected Dallas to win the series. Everything up to this point of the series has been a surprise to me. Dallas has been the superior team for the first three games. I expected them to overtake SA next season after the youngsters get a full season in their respective roles, but they are stepping up beside Dirk right now. Terry hasnt played well and Stack's been a mixed bag, but Harris has been consistently outstanding and Howard has been dominant at times. Howard is due his usual production upswing home game in game 4. If he and Harris can get points, assists, steals, blocks, and rebounds, then Dallas will be nearly impossible to beat considering that Terry is out there wreaking havoc, Dirk is doing his thing, and Damp is cleaning up the boards and blocking shots.
Great game Mavs, but game 4 is a necessity.