dirk whhhyyyyyyyy

The Dallas Mavericks: Another year, another crushing first round exit for the Mavericks...a team that some people were predicting would make the NBA Finals. And in the process, Dallas became the first number two seed to be beaten by a number seven seed since the NBA went to a seven-game series format for the first round.

What a kick in the balls for Mavs fans. On the one hand, the team has won at least 50 games for the past 10 years. On the other, they've been whupped in the first round in three of the last four seasons. That includes early exits as both the first and (now) second seed.

What can I say? Fail is in this team's DNA.

Of course, it's worth noting that Dallas went down fighting. After scoring a franchise playoff low 8 points in the first quarter -- yes, you read that correctly -- and falling behind by as many as 22 points in the first half, the Mavericks went on a furious run and actually took a one-point lead in the third quarter. But it's hard to maintain that kind of back-from-the-dead momentum, especially after falling into a hole that deep...

...and of course they couldn't.

Said Tim Duncan: "I think we took a lot of their energy, a lot of their effort getting back into it after being so far down. Hopefully we used that against them and closed the game out."

And now all Dallas can do is wait until next season...and hope Dirk Nowitzki doesn't decide to opt out of his contract.

Said Dirk: "Going into the playoffs as a No. 2 seed, it is all we could have wanted. We just happened to see a tough No. 7 seed that got rolling at the right time. ... I haven't really thought about my future. I guess I have some time now to think about my future and think about my options."


Added Jason Terry (2 points, 1-for-7): "To me, it's a failure, you don't win a championship, I mean we failed. That was our goal. Life's not over, you work hard on your game individually and come back next year hoping we can do it again. As of right now, it's a failure."

Countered Brendan Haywood (2 points and 3 fouls in 21 minutes): "The only reason (the Spurs) were the 7 seed is because they've been hurt all year. This could have been the Western Conference finals. The teams are that good. This isn't like a monumental upset or anything. You all are talking like this is the NCAA tournament and the 15 seed just beat the 2."

Whatever makes you feel better, Brendan.

Did you know: The Mavericks have the second-highest payroll in the league?

Mark Cuban, cryptic quote machine: "I'm not proud of the NBA. I'm not proud of my inability over the last 10 years to have an impact like I want to have. So I kind of feel like I owe fans an apology. But that's just the way this business goes."

Cuban then "declined to elaborate." Probably because David Stern won't let anybody talk about officiating anymore.

Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion: I already paid tribute to the crappy performances by Terry and Haywood. Now how 'bout Kidd, who played a game-high 43 minutes but finished with only 3 points on 1-for-6 shooting and had nearly as many fouls (5) as assists (6). How did the Spurs shut down Kidd's offense in this series? By guarding his jumpers. That's it. That was the secret.

As for The Matrix, his 6/4/0 performance was a solid reminder why the Suns didn't want to give him a max contract a couple years back. And Dallas signed him through 2013-14!! Is that better or worse than the fact that they're paying Ericka Dampier (zero points and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes) more than $13 million next season? I'll let you decide.

Reggie Miller, quote machine: Basketbawful reader Greg with another awesome Reggie-ism: "The Spurs have one of the best coaches in George Popovich." A couple lesser Reggie-isms from last night that I jotted down: "A grown man professional," "the early on stages," and "the jubilee of Tim Duncan." I know, the last one is kinda-sorta okay, but it sounds pretty fruity, doesn't it?

The Portland Trail Blazers: There sure is plenty of blame to spread around in this one. LaMarcus Aldridge blocked some shots (5) and worked the boards (9), but he forgot which way the rim was (5-for-17). Ditto for Andre Miller (2-for-10) and Brandon Roy (4-for-16, 1-for-8). And remember: After the Frail Blazers lost Game 5 in Phoenix, Roy blamed his sour performance on his role as a reserve. Well, things didn't really improve when he was promoted back to the starting lineup.

Said Roy: "I was happy I was able to play. I wasn't able to play as well as I liked. I didn't have quite the bounce that I needed but at least I can go into the summertime knowing that I'm healthy and I finished the season out with my guys."

I should also point out that Marcus Camby -- fresh off his big extension!! -- finished with 4 points, 4 rebounds, zero blocked shots and a game-worst plus-minus score of -18 in 21 minutes. The team's former starting center -- Zombie Juwan Howard -- had a single rebound and 2 fouls in 16 minutes.

I'd also like to point a finger at the man defending Jason Richardson (28 points, 10-for-16 from the field, 5-for-8 from downtown), but I'm not sure anybody was. And did I mention Portland was outrebounded 40-35, with the ancient Grant Hill grabbing a game-high 12 boards? Speaking of which, Hill advanced past the first round for the first time in his 14-year career...so yay for him.

The end result was the Blazers' sixth straight first round playoff exit...the longest active streak in the NBA.

Said Portland coach Nate McMillan: "Seemed like every time we were able to get close we'd make a mistake. Whether it was a turnover or a bad possession, they make you pay. Nash has had that MVP-type season. Richardson was big this series. Amare came with his 'A' Game tonight."

Ah well. The Blazers can look forward to being an up-and-coming team again next season...until the next round of crippling injuries hit them.

Alvin Gentry, quote machine: "At the end of the night, they shot 38 percent. To me, that's a credit to our defense. Nobody really talks about it, but we like it. In the locker room, we pat each other on the back."

Lacktion report: chris is proud to present Thursday's Nintendo Power playoff lacktion report:

Mavs-Spurs: Ian Mahinmi and Garrett Temple are getting a few more 1-ups after sharing the spotlight in savoring victory through 16 seconds as MARIO BROTHERS!

Suns-Frail Blazers: Earl Clark ate a bowl of Nintendo cereal in just 52 seconds to crunch out a Mario, while Juwan Howard has made it to the infirmary in 15:50 with a diagnosis of a 2:1 Voskuhl by negating a board with a pair of fouls and a piece of masonry.


Blogger chris said...
I wonder how much of the Mavs having such a high payroll has to do with THE Erick Dampier contract!

Blogger Jerry Vinokurov said...
There's nothing I'd like to see more than Dirk opting out of his contract and going to a team that might actually care to surround him with talent.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
No shout out for Steve Nash? The Suns probably could have won the game in the first quarter and spared themselves a couple scares if it wasn't for Nash's momentum-killing turnovers.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
bleeh, don't use hoopshype for salary information anymore, use HoopData. I've already found a few incorrect values, in addition to the site being heavy with ads and popups, and HoopData collects from multiple sources with more total information.

Blogger Leland said...
I didnt watch the Dallas v San Antonio game, from the looks of the box score Roddy played well and shot well. It amazes me when coaches are afraid to make adjustments in the line ups in the playoffs.

On one side, I get it, the team has a certain chemistry with a given line up. Or, said player has proven his worth in the league (Kidd).

HOWEVER, certain players who have proven their worth eventually lose their skills and become less efficient and consistent i.e. kidd. He needs to shoot the ball to open the lanes for other players so that he can maximize his playmaking ability. But, when Kidd's shot isn't falling well, there is just no way he's driving past anyone to the bucket. I bet Erika Dampier can guard him 1 on 1.

I guess my point is, the playoffs are do or die, and especially and obviously in an elimation game. If a certain player just doesnt have it going you need to switch it up. Otherwise you are only fooling yourself. Kidd can't turn it on and score 15 in a quarter anymore or play lock down defense.

Roddy may not have the resume of work that Kidd has but Kidd sure can't perform like Roddy.

I guess this is a prime example of why this site exists. Plain bawful coaching.

Damnit San Antonio!!! Phoenix is playing well, but there is no way they can beat SA if Nash's hip is bothering him and he submits performances like last night's in 2nd round.

I hate San Antonio and George Popovich with a passion.

Blogger Dooj said...
How many times will I hear about Lebron's elbow?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It's funny how the bitching about officiating has ceased as soon as the Suns won the series. I'm sure it's bound to intensify in the next round vs the Spurs.

Here's Crawford doing a great job: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaZIAXJJDKQ

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
I feel Jarred Bayless deserves a mention in the WOTN for getting stuffed, man-style, by zombie Grant Hill. Isn't he supposed to be athletic?

A buddy suggested that the Raptors sign and trade Bosh for Dirk. That way we could have the homeless man's Dirk (Bargnani) and Dirk on the same team. Starting lineup: Calderon, random 2, Turkoglu, Dirk, Bargnani. They would make this year's squad look like defensive demons. Let's hope Mark Cuban is depressed enough to make this happen.

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
To back up Anon, here's Nash's line: 30 minutes, 10 points on 2-for-7 from the field and 5-for-5 at the line, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 7 turnovers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
I like sham for contract info. Very digestable.


Bye Blazers, Roy won them one by returning before he was ready, but lost them two. And congrats A. Miller who becomes the player who has played the most games without reaching the second round now that Grant Hill has moved on.

Anonymous UpA said...
How come, the older and less effective the player gets, the more money he earns?

It has to be a joke that by the time Kobe's wheels are falling off and he will be the second or third offensive option, he will be making way more money than today. Can someone explain this to me? How does the owners accept this?

Speaking of Grant Zombie Hill, I never knew, but he had never make it to a playoffs second round...


Anonymous Sorbo said...
So glad the Lakers never traded Bynum for Kidd (like Kobe wanted before the 2008 season). As bad as Fisher gets punked by younger, quicker guards, Kidd would have been repeatedly destroyed.

Where would you rank Dirk with the 2010 free agency crop? I have him behind Bron/Wade but in front of Bosh. And where would be a good fit for Dirk? I think he would be a better fit in Chicago than Wade, but that's an argument of would you rather have the best player available or the player that best fits a system/style.

...and don't get me started on Dirk in Milwaukee. Could you imagine a Bogut/Dirk/Salmons/Jennings/Mbah starting five? That team would be fucking good, as long as Jennings matures with more of a team mentality (and not ball hog). Dammit Dirk, your stupid comment has me talking about 2010 free agency again, you prick!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Suns played great, cant take anything away from them. We came up short in effort/ability, but this was not the lost year it could have been with all our team went through. It is easy to make fun of but most teams would have folded, at least we showed heart which is more than some teams can say.

Blogger Dunpizzle said...
Special nomination for Jerryd Bayless


Blogger chris said...
Leland: Well, Roddy was supposed to be the Jud Buechler of the Mavs this season, judging by his playing time numbers (which mostly landed him in the lacktion report).

The difference is, in order to have an effective Jud type, you have to be a championship-caliber team first.

Blogger chris said...
And, why is it I find it awesomely LOL that "Mark Cuban Rule" was the automatically generated WOTD item the second-to-last time I refreshed? :D Juxtaposed against Sad Dirk, it manages to be perfectly appropos.

Anonymous Triple Double said...
Dirk will never win. For all the scoring stats (and lack of defensive), he simply doesn't pass the eye test. Great shooter. That's it.

Blogger Leland said...
UpA "How come, the older and less effective the player gets, the more money he earns?"

Essentially the lakers are paying Kobe that money this year and next year. It's a way to circumvent salary cap and avoid luxury tax in the present to have top level talent.


all the info on NBA salaries

Blogger Wormboy said...
The whole Dallas thing makes me sad. I really feel for Dirk. Here's a guy who has taken harsh emotional blows, and continues to get tougher and compete at the highest level. Yet he is crippled by his team (Dampier more than anybody, because with that salary you'd better be a franchise guy. Damp's vertical is about 6 inches. He wears knee socks to hide how pathetically skinny his legs are.). Yet Dirk doesn't trash his teammates. Name me 5 other NBA stars of that level who wouldn't totally rip their teams after every early exit in the last years. He's a real character guy, and he just can't catch a break.

As for the others, what a let down. Kidd has been very streaky in the playoffs. Me, I don't want the man to score. But his assists are what tells the story, not his points. And then there's Jason Terry, whom I DO expect to score. Lame. Caron Butler did come through, but just not enough from the rest of the team.

And Marion is the worst. This is the guy who wanted to be first banana on a team, right? I can't say I've ever seen anybody fall so spectacularly short of their own hype. What a numbskull. He blew his last shot at redemption with me. Now I consider him to be a bigger ass than Kenyon Martin (though at least Marion doesn't have the stupidest tattoo on Earth).

Blogger GigittyGigitty said...
Well, Dampier's contract has an early termination option, which means he can be easily used in a sign and trade. Let's just assume that Dallas won't pay him this sum. The bigger concerns are actually Marion and Kidd: Can Dallas get rid of these contracts? And, more important, will they trade them before Dirk decides to look for another team. Marion might of course also be used as some sort of an overpaid sixth man or defensive role player. Dallas might even have to decider whether they'll try to move Terry.

Blogger Wormboy said...
PS BTW there's no humiliation losing in the first round to this Spurs team. This ain't Captain Jack's Warriors. At the beginning of the season, I put good odds on the Spurs winning it all. The injuries concerned me, and I'm still worried about Timmy's being a full level short of his prior glory, but this is a great team. And I love seeing McDyess play his canny veteran game. If Timmy continues to improve, and RJ can contribute within the system, this could be a champion. Especially if the Lakers continue to be the headcase underachievers.

Which is all to say that Dallas losing to one of the best NBA teams is not humiliating. A Spurs team of this caliber *should* be a 1-3 seed, not 7. Just a fluke of injuries. The Spurs are easily the savviest team in the playoffs. It mostly comes down to Timmy. Can he perform? Or will Manu and Parker with the intermittent Hill and RJ be enough? I suspect not. Timmy will need to be impact in a few games to get past the Lakers.

And I fear the Suns are outmatched here. I'd like to see them advance, but I don't think they will. Nash's story is very like Dirk's (or McDyess, for that matter--I'd love to see him get a ring.) Of course, no Horry to cheat them out this year. :) But I just think Phoenix is not good enough. Not the previous firepower, not enough D, Nash one step slower.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
There's nothing I'd like to see more than Dirk opting out of his contract and going to a team that might actually care to surround him with talent.

You can accuse the Mavs of many things, but refusing to surround Dirk with talent is definitely not one of them. They may not have surrounded him with the right talent but it was not for lack of trying. Cuban has never been afraid to spend ungodly ammounts of money trying to get his team over the hump.

Are Suns fans happy that they get to face the weakest Spurs team in a decade and have a chance to finally knock them out of the playoffs, or pissed off that San Antonio is once again primed to stop their march to the (conference) finals?

Blogger starang said...
I LOVE watching the Epic Fail Sauce that is the Mavs. What a joke that team is. And as a Suns fan...good point on the Matrix...he always pissed me off in the playoffs when he wouldn't show up...

Blogger starang said...
Why the Nash Bashing? Yes, not the greatest game...but his around-Aldridge pass to Amare and that huge 3 pointer 3 ft behind the line sealed that game up. He did what he had to do...win the game.

Lets not waste bawfulness on the Suns when we have the Mavs to make fun of.

That team is terrible.

Anonymous tabman5 said...
Leland - I totally agree with you about the bawful coaching. Rick Carlisle deserves a mention in today's post. The Mavs' main problem throughout this series was having no one besides Dirk who could out the damn ball in the basket. Terry and Kidd sucked it up all series long, as did Marion. Butler finally woke up the past two games, but blame part of that on Carlisle's ridiculous benching of him in favor of freakin' Jose Juan Barea and Jason Terry in Game 3. Mavs fans have been screaming for Roddy Beaubois to get playing time, his speed and athleticism, ability to get to the hole and shoot the 3 ball were sure to give the Spurs fits and help Dirk with the scoring load. But Carlisle waits till Game 6 is all but over with the Mavs facing elimination to finally make this adjustment. And sure enough, combined with a gutsy 2nd half performance from Dirk (as well as good play by Caron), the Mavs are right back in it. The Spurs had no answer for Roddy. Then Carlisle inexplicably benches 2 of the guys that got the Mavs back in the game--Roddy and Caron--for most of the 4th quarter, while JET and Marion and Kidd suck it up out there. Absolutely ridiculous. And this is coming from someone who has actually liked Carlisle the past two years, seems like a really smart X's and O's coach, however, his coaching in this series was epic fail. So much so that that Spurs fans over at Spurstalk.com are naming him the MVP of the series.

Wormboy - I agree with you, people are gonna make too much of a #2 losing to a #7. The Spurs were injured all season and definitely wouldn't have been a #7 seed if they had been healthy and playing as well as they are right now. Besides, it's so close in the West that everyone after the Lakers is basically a #2 seed. For what it's worth, when the Mavs beat the Spurs (#3) last year as a #6 seed (I incorrectly said they were a #7 seed in a previous comment) no one was screaming bloody upset. The teams were that close in talent level.

Like other readers here, I feel for Dirk. Dude laid it all out there, ripping the Spurs for 25 points in the 2nd half after picking up 4 fouls and barely playing in the 1st. Once again (like Denver last year), he was the best player in the series (27ppg, 8rpg, 55% fg, 57% 3p, 95% ft, are you kidding me?!) but is unfairly going to take a lot of crap from people for "choking" or not being "tough enough." Bullshit, he severely outplayed his counterpart in Duncan, but had no one playing close to the level of Manu or Parker. What could've been if Carlisle had given Roddy a chance, we will never know.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Nash's stats are bit misleading. 6 of those assists game in one big swoop when he was pushing the tempo of the game PAST ludicrous speed. Then, when they settled down back to ridiculous speed it got a lot better. I suspect Coach instructed him to push that hard, but I have no evidence of that.

I also texted Bawful that the Mavs were done at the end of the 1st quarter. I almost ate my words; the Mavs showed one of their rare flashes of mental toughness, but they just don't have the capacity to keep composure (ahem, DIRK). I think Rick Carlisle has improved that some, but you just can't make a 7-year old girl stand up in an NBA game. Also, for the record, the Mavs comeback was aided by a number of farcical bank shots by Dirk.

wv: emodeat - the noun conjugating emotional defeat, the kind suffered by Dirk Nowitski every postseason.

Blogger Unknown said...
As a Mavs fan, still trying to put this year's failure into some sort of thought. I fully expected Rick Carlisle to get a Worst mention today. He was apparently the only person with two working eyes and a brain that didn't know Roddy Beaubois could actually play. Roddy most definitely should have got Barea's minutes this series. Roddy is already better than JJB and has way more upside. What really got me was even after Roddy B came in and was a major part of causing a 23 point swing for the Mavs, Carlisle elects to sit him out for the first 7+ minutes of the 4th quarter for Jason Terry, who was 0-6 at that point.

I still like Carlisle and think he's a good coach (not great, but good). Also, I'm not one of those jackass fans that calls for a coach to be fired after every time they fall short of a championship. But wow, talk about bawful and inexcusable coaching.

Dirk will get the blame for this series, what's new, but I don't see how anyone can call him soft. The guy took one helluva beating for 6 games and still managed to average 26.7 points on .548 shooting. His cast, although more talented than in years past, still managed to let him down.

Terry has had 3 bad playoff outings now in the last 4 seasons. Butler did nothing until Game 5. Marion pisses his pants whenever he plays against the Spurs, probably post trauma from all those whippings he received in Phoenix. Kidd, while I still think he can play and produce, was horrible. Haywood was an afterthought. JJB shouldn't have played more than 15 minutes for the whole series. Ericka was a Voskuhl specialist (once in Game 3 and again last night, Ericka killed a Mavs run when he allowed Duncan to outrun him down the floor and convert a 3 point play).

Anonymous jackofarcades said...
None of Ericka Dampier's contract is guaranteed next year. Which means they can cut him with no cap hit.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This photo (illustrating Marion's playoff chops) has been floating around since Marion was on the Suns: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62498538@N00/483757254/

Anonymous AK Dave said...
The difference between this PHX team and this SA team that will allow PHX to have a chance:

No Bruce Bowen.

Who is going to give Nash issues? Yeah, he's a "step slower" but so is TP and so is Manu. George Hill is to small to give Nash any real issues. Bowen was Nash's worst nightmare, and he sits in a studio now.

That said, SA in 6.

Anonymous Robert M said...
Second both things starang said... I hate Shawn Marion and his demon bird mothballs. As a huge Suns fan it's why I dislike Joe Johnson still (Sarver more of course) after he bitched into a trade when we would have had an amazing team the next year.

If we lose this year to the Spurs, I'm going on a week-long alcohol binge after finals end.

However, last night Nash was suffering from one of his many chronic injuries. Considering how hard he plays and never complains about anything, you have to give him a mulligan on games like this, especially with his big three and the beautiful pass around Aldridge.

Anonymous tabman5 said...
BadDave - Did you watch the game? Dirk had a total of one "farcical" bank shot in the 2nd half. He also had an and1 bank shot on Dice that was anything but farcical (or that might've been game 5). As for keeping composure, after the 4 fouls and Spurs' blitz in the first half when everyone was already writing the Mavs off, I think 25 points on 9 of 14 shooting while leading a 22 point comeback in the 2nd half counts as keeping your composure.

Blogger Tristan said...
I humbly request the official declaration (on this site, anyway) of "The Jubilee of Tim Duncan" as a semi-annual celebration.

Blogger Dan B. said...
I humbly request the official declaration (on this site, anyway) of "The Jubilee of Tim Duncan" as a semi-annual celebration.

I like the way you think.

Anonymous Axe Head said...
Bawful: Need to do an annual All-Ugly Team, guys who when you look at them, say, "that's a face that would stop the Suns". Here are my votes, without doing a lot of hard work:

Joakim Noah
Andre Kirilenko
Lebron James
Ron Artest
Brandon Roy

Chris Anderson
Tayshawn Prince

Coach: Gregg Popovich

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Suns in seven. If Robin Lopez wasn't injured, I'd say six. If you're the Spurs, who guards A''''mare or Nash. Then again, if you're the Suns, who guards Ginobli/Duncan? This series is going to be a lot closer than you may expect.

This way sound crazy, but didn't the Suns just prove they can win a series where the opponent slows the pace? Of course, the talent level of the Spurs is superior than the Blazers, but playing a slowdown style in Round 1 may have been the best thing for Phoenix: they're used to it now.

Blogger Dooj said...
@axe head

Gregg instead of Steve Van Gundy?

Blogger Jerry Vinokurov said...

You can accuse the Mavs of many things, but refusing to surround Dirk with talent is definitely not one of them. They may not have surrounded him with the right talent but it was not for lack of trying. Cuban has never been afraid to spend ungodly ammounts of money trying to get his team over the hump.

Perhaps "refusing" is an unfortunate choice of words. Let's say that the players who surround him on this Dallas team are, to put it in the kindest possible terms, not very good. The Dampier horse has been flogged to death, so let me just point out that the Mavs' two centers, legitimate 7-footers, combined for 2 points in game 6! That's abominable! Not only that, but the shambling corpse of Jason Kidd outrebounded both of them! Jason Terry? Ice cold for most of the series. Caron Butler? Played one great game, one good game, and four bad ones.

Sure, Cuban wants to surround Dirk with talent. But for whatever reason, he (or whoever is making the front office decisions) is a horrible judge of how to do it. None of the combinations have worked.

I like Dirk and I want to see him do well; he's a great player and a great professional, and to have his talent squandered on lifting this sub-par squad to 50+ games every year only to lose in the first round is a crime against good basketball sense.

Blogger chris said...
Dan/Tristan - The question is, with the multitude of Duncan Faces, can we ever really know when he is declaring a Jubilee!?!?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Jubilee (Christian), a special year for the remission of sins and universal pardon.
I vote yes on the Duncan Jubilee, I've got a sin back-up that needs some seeing to.

Not a B. Haywood fan, but he's kinda right: the Spurs have the same record as the Celtics, but they're in the West. Then again, so are the Mavs, so they should have been better, so fuck Heywood's lame excuse.

Great, another sin to work off.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
So on the day of Duncan Jubilee, will we have to walk around making a Tim duncan face at people?