Congratulations to Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. They collectively played amazing basketball against the Spurs. It seemed like every SA double team was met by a perfect cut, a perfect pass and a solid finish. Every man-on-man advantage was exploited. Nowitzki was huge the entire series. Terry, Stackhouse, Harris, Howard and even Van Horn all came up big at various points in the series.
I have to wonder if Dallas can sustain this level of offense throughout the rest of the playoffs. Are they really this good? Can Dirk lead his team to a title? Can he do to Rasheed Wallace what he did to Bruce Bowen? I have a feeling we'll find out.
The title of this post is, in my opinion (and da Blade's), the theme of this post season: "No daggers." It seemed like we rarely if ever got that one huge basket; the one that would force the other team to call a time out. We had the opportunity to win both games 4 and 7 at the buzzer, and both times we missed makeable shots; a 11' fade away from Duncan and what amounted to a layup for Manu. These teams were too evenly matched for the Spurs to afford wasting both those opportunities.
SA made a valiant comeback effort tonight, but in the end their lack of young, quality depth did them in. Players 30 years and older played 179 of the 265 minutes for the Spurs and only 79 minutes for the Mavericks. The Spurs longevity had everything to do with their extreme quickness deficiency that was the story of the series. It is impossible to play good defense when half of your players cannot stay in front of anyone on the court.
The Spurs need to get younger in the offseason. Much, much younger. Bowen has clearly lost a step. NVE is worthless. Barry is a defensive liability who's one skill really isn't that hard to find. Horry looked washed up during the playoffs. Oberto showed virtually nothing all-season when you consider he's already 31 years old. Rasho's only useful against about half the teams in the league. Nazr's not coming back. Finley was money in the playoffs but isn't getting any younger... and he's a free agent.
The Spurs top 3 is still capable of winning a championship, but they needed help in 2005 and they will need even more help in 2007.
A thought that crossed my mind while writing this... I wonder if J.R. Smith would have made a difference against the Mavericks... just to pour salt in the wounds.
Well Spurs fans, hopefully you can sleep well knowing your humble blogger was 84.78594% sure we weren't beating the Pistons anyway. As for me and this here blog... I don't know what's going to happen. The same can be said for my entire life actually. So it goes.
Have a nice summer. I think I am going to have a ham sandwich. Wish me luck.