Mavs 118, Warriors 112 (Game 5)
- Now this was the type of game we expected to see in the series--back-n-forth explosive offensive production, defense be damned. Basically, it came down to who could score more with 3pt barrages from both sides--a combined 26. G-State was 16/35 from deep, Dall was 10/21.
-Dirk came thru at the last possible instance with 2 cold-blooded 3pts and one monumental block that might have saved the season. Warriors made runs in the 2nd half based around 3pt. barrages. But the Warriors' probably hurt themselves down the stretch by not managing the clock better & questionable shot selection. But this is the way Nellie lets his troops play, so you live this way or you die this way.
- Well, the Warriors finally played the defense we expected tonite, not very good overall (check our previous post where we broke down how Golden State's 3-1 lead was actually more due to D than O). Letting easy shots go thru the lane, players way out of position and haphazardly going for turnovers--now this is the type of defense Nellie's known for. The Mavs shot 50.6% from the floor. I thought the Mavs' improved ball movement had something to do with the Warriors looking out of place. The Mavs had 22 assists while they only averaged 16 apg in the 1st 4 games.
- Mavs were extremely determined to attack the paint. Something we stressed they needed to do (check Mavs-Warriors post). They outscored the Warrios 40-30 in the painted area. The only other time they outscored G-State in the paint was Game 2-- a win. But their transition defense continues to be a sorespot--28 fast break points for the Warriors. The Mavs are allowing G-State 26.2 fast break ppg; I imagine that's unacceptable to Avery. In general, the Mavs defense was nothing special.
-The Mavs looked to set up Dirk closer to the basket more often and it worked fairly well. The Mavs guards did a better job trying to enter the ball to Dirk. Especially if they are going to front Dirk, you have to move the passer up toward the foul line extended so there is a better angle on the lob & it makes the weakside help or double trickier. Dirk's aggressiveness paid off in 15 free throw attempts. Dirk justified his MVP selection today--30, 12 (4 off) & 14/15 Fts.
- Devin Harris kept the Mavs alive for most of the 4th before Dirk could finish the job. His penetration gave the Warriors fits--Devin scored 11 of 16 pts in the 4th. Josh Howard continues to be Dallas' most consistent all-around performer (23, 8 rbs & 5 assts). He wasn't missing much on his pull-ups (10/16) and was the Mavs' main defensive disruptor, roving around for 3 stls.
- Dallas' bench corps added some pop to the festivities. Rarely used Austin Croshere hit 3 3 pts, Stackhouse continued to be erratic from the field but still managed 15 pts, & Diop was a perfect 5/5 mostly on point blank shots & added 7 rebs. Diop quietly had an effective night on defense.
- The Warriors got two huge lifts from their bench in Pietrus & Barnes. Barnes (16 & 6 rebs) continues to be a tough assignment for the Mavs with his combo of outside shooting, slashing, & general overall hustle. Pietrus had his 2nd solid game in a row with 11 & 10 rebs, and has showcased his improved outside jumper. Baron & JRich continue to be impossible guards for Dallas by driving, posting & jumpshooting. JRich had 23 on 9/16 & 5/10 from 3pt. Baron ended with 27 on 10/16 & 3/5 from deep.
- All I know about Game 6, the atmosphere in Oakland is going to be insane-o. Mavs trying to compete vs. the Warriors & that crowd will be mighty tough.