Friday, May 08, 2009

Warriors-Mavs Revisited

As I was researching a few things for our recent post on the greatest first-round series since 1984, I ran across an e-mail I had sent to a friend who was traveling around Europe while the Warriors-Mavs series was going on in 2007. After updating the highlights of her trip, she said, "no idea whats going on in the world of american sports.
give me an update!!"

So I gave her the full rundown on the Warriors-Mavs series, which was heading into Game 6 at that point. I found it quite fun to read that e-mail, and to simply be transported back into the wild heart of that series - which can really be described no other way than "insanity" - so I'm going to print it in entirety below, in case you'd like to do same.

A few thoughts I had after re-reading:
- There are so many important details which provided color and excitement to this series that I had completely forgotten, and this is from a series just two years ago. It speaks to how difficult it is to rate playoff series from the last 10, 20, 30 years, when you mainly have the final scores to look back on in an attempt to jog your memory. Games can be compelling even if the score is not close (I'd cite Lakers-Rockets Game 2 as an example of this), and they can be drudgery even if the score is close (hello, Knicks-Heat).

- I was reminded again that the Warriors-Mavs series was just complete insanity, unlike any other series I've ever seen. Insane upset, insane style of play, insane crowd, with an insane coach orchestrating the whole thing. As great as Celtics-Bulls was, I'd have to say Warriors-Mavs is still my favorite first-round series.

- I am amused that the one Mavericks player I praised without reservation in this e-mail was also the youngest player in their rotation at that time (23)... yet was also the main player that they chose to trade in the aftermath of this debacle. I still can't believe that Dallas did not overhaul the top of its roster after the trauma of two consecutive playoff meltdowns.

All right, here you go, hope you enjoy:

the dallas-golden state series is turning into one of the all-time great first-round series. the only way i can describe is 'insane in the membrane' because it's almost beyond my comprehension at this point.

baron davis has been playing absolutely out of his mind, and the warriors basically just play a completely cuckoo style - think the suns but with better athletes and much less discipline.

gs stole game 1 in dallas and then the mavs came back in game 2 after looking shaky. the warriors kind of unraveled as baron got thrown out (kinda lame ejection) followed by crazy steve jackson getting very justifiably tossed and then not leaving the court "in a timely manner", although quite an entertaining manner in which the word "b****" could be lip-read approx 456 times.

now, game 3, remember, was the first playoff game in oakland in 13 years and those people went ABSOLUTELY NUTS - wildest NBA environment I've seen in a few years. GS blew them out of the gym.

game 4 was an absolute classic. crowd was crazy again and really lifted the warriors. lots of crazy plays - baron hit a halfcourt shot at halftime and then made a crazy steal and race to the basket at the end of the third. but then the warriors fell down 8 late in the 4th before a frantic rally to win with lots of people like matt barnes making 3s. the crowd really willed them to this one.

at this pt, mavs looked totally discombobulated on offense and dirk had really not stepped up and was taking a lot of [doo-doo] for it (and avery keeps running out of time outs).

I thought G4 would be the best game of the entire playoffs... and then G5 was even better. mavs went up 21 in the 2nd quarter and i thought that no way would GS get back in it. they fought back to within 6 at the half and then made it even throughout the third and fourth. strangely, GS had built the 3-1 series lead by shutting Dallas down more than by outscoring them, but G5 was an absolute shootout.

back and forth in the fourth quarter - three-pointers galore, devin harris unstoppable off the dribble, baron hitting j-rich with a halfcourt alley-oop late in the game, matt barnes dunking in traffic left-handed. then the warriors pulled ahead and baron hit a ridiculous off-balance three to put GS ahead 112-103 with about 2-3 minutes left, and i thought 'oh my god, this series is over' and started wondering if dallas might trade dirk for KG b/c this was such a huge failure.

THEN, dirk FINALLY stepped up, hit back-to back threes, made a huge block, was aggressive and drew some fouls. harris made more big plays, baron fouled out, the warriors got a little tight, and dallas closed on a 15-0 run to win 118-112.

just two absolutely insane games in a row, with dallas on the ropes both times, and now GS is up 3-2 with the series headed back to Oakland and that crowd tonight, and i absolutely can't wait.


At 11:04 AM, Anonymous AK Dave said...

Great recap! I love to remember these old series... I loved Knicks-Heat, however. There has never been so much bad-assness on the court at once since then.

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