Through three games, the Oklahoma City Thunder are outscoring the Dallas Mavericks by 66 points. And yes we won Game 2, I promise. Albeit by the slightest of margins not denting that massive +/- set by 38 and 29 point losses, but the series is 2-1. Somehow it is.
7 for 33 shooting actually helps explain it.
Before the series, I said that to win Dallas would have to find a way to hang with OKC in the point and rebounds department. Already depleted more than any other team in the league outside of Memphis, the Mavericks are facing a fully healthy Thunder squad in a make or break postseason tour with Kevin Durant‘s free agency looming.
Aside from the -66 in the points column, the Mavs are getting out-rebounded by 44, a number set for destruction after a 56-33 discrepancy in Game 1.
The simple truth of the matter there is Dallas often plays a three point guard lineup with Dirk Nowitzki or David Lee at center while the Thunder have rebounders throughout the roster. The Mavericks weren’t a good rebounding team during the year, 20th in the league while OKC was first with 48.6 a night, and combining those tangible numbers with the fact that Zaza Pachulia has completely forgotten how to play competent basketball, it’s an ugly equation.
So my two keys were scoring and rebounding, and we’re getting boom roasted.
I had another key, though. Even if we achieved my main game plan I still noted in the Mavs Fanatic Playoffs Roundtable that “the biggest X-Factor in the series, in my opinion, is that the Thunder miss shots. I just don’t think this Mavericks team is good enough to control its own fate.”
In review, the Mavericks win this series came with Kevin Durant missing a career-high 26 shots and the Mavs overcoming historic odds at 14 point underdogs.
It will probably take another miracle, but we’re just five days removed from one and tonight we’ll need another to even up this Western Conference First Round series.
If we could get the ball to Dirk, open or not, that’d be great. He can’t create space like he used to, especially against the sizable, athletic, active (and dirty?) Thunder bigs, but if we’re gonna go down we better go down trying to get the ball to #41.
Giving up 131 points isn’t an option. If the Thunder shoot over 48% (or heaven forbid Game 3’s 56%), we’re toast.
But there’s a chance to even things up in improbable fashion, ensuring another home game in Game 6 with a chance to take the Thunder to 7, or maybe win Game 5 shock the world and just go play the Spurs. Unlikely, but we have a game won already.
The Mavericks host the Thunder on ESPN (National) and TXA 21 (Local) at 7 P.M.
Let’s. Go. Mavs.