Dallas Mavs and MVP (Most inVisible Player) go down 3-1 to Golden State

dirk1.jpgSay it ain't so.  I mean I'm watching the game and I see what's happening, yet somehow my mind is having a hard time grasping the concept that the hometown team is down 3-1.  And to make it worse, they're down to Nellie and the G State Warriors.

Everyone keeps saying the Mavs are a 67 win team who should impose their will on the Warriors.  To that I say that none of those 67 wins came against Golden State, so it really doesn't matter in this series.  If the Mavs sweep the #8 seed in the season series, they're a 70 win team and we're sweeping the Clippers right now. 

But tonight, Josh Howard comes out as if he's the only Maverick who wants to win.  He scored 20 in the 1st half to single-handedly keep the Mavericks in the game.  But then he let someone else borrow his jersey in the second half, because #5 only had 2 points after halftime.

Jerry Stackhouse had a great 3rd quarter on his way to leading the team in scoring with 24 points.  But he also led the team in turnovers, leading my mom to ask "is he passing the ball to the invisible man?" at least twice.

And then there's Dirk.   The same Dirk that we had to defend in his bid to be MVP this season.  The Dirk who many fans say will never lead a team to a championship.  The Dirk who faded down the stretch in a home game vs. the Suns late in the season (see Nowitzki lacks MVP look post ).

I'd love to somehow make it out that Dirk is hurt, because I can't find any other excuse for what has happened through four games in this series.   From the tipoff in Game 1, Dirk Nowitzki has been out of sorts.  He didn't hit his first 3-pointer until the last few seconds of Game 4. He's gone long stretches in each game where you wouldn't even know he's on the court.  And he insists on passing the ball to DeSagana Diop (who had a nice game) and Greg Buckner rather than take it upon himself to attempt the big shots in the clutch.  

Look at what the big time players did today: Baron Davis, 33 points and 8 rebonds; Kobe Bryant, 31 points and 9 assists, and Steve Nash 17 points and 23 assists.  All while Dirk has been outscored in the series by Stephen Jackson.

Other than Dirk, this game was decided by one stat: three-point shooting.  The Mavericks made one more field goal than the Warriors and 3 less free throws.  Yet Golden State made 4 more threes.  That's a 12 point difference from downtown.  It's hard to win when they get 3 points for their shots and you get two.

I don't know what Tuesday will bring, but an ill-wind is surely blowing.  And at this rate, the Dallas Stars may have to make some extra tee times for the Mavericks.   

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