These past few nights TV has been the best it has ever been. We had Manchester United vs. Manchester City, my favorite show Family Guy and the Emmy Awards. But there was one thing that really has stood out through it all, the NBA Playoffs. We have had three straight nights of unbelievable games. Whether it is the Heat pounding the Knicks, the Clippers making a miracle comeback, or the two very heated, competitive Thunder vs. Mavs games. And that is what I want to talk about. Earlier in my, What the hell happened in the Clippers game last night?, I had thought that the Clippers vs. Grizzlies series was going to be the best to watch, but I stand corrected, that is for sure. Both of these Thunder vs. Mavs games have been exciting, fun and just enjoyable to watch. Whether you are a basketball fan or not, or even hate the two teams, this series brings back old fashioned basketball. The physical play, great defense and overall tenacity of the players and coaches on the floor, you can see just how important this series is. Plus, the atmosphere of Chesapeake Arena is always electrifying, it is almost as if you are at a college basketball game with drunken kids screaming and yelling. All of these things add up to an unbelievable series that is a must watch.
In game 1, we had all the theatrics to prove how great of a series this is. The Thunder trailed by seven with 2 1/2 minutes left before rallying to take the first game by a score of 99-98. All ended by a game winning jump shot by Thunder forward, Kevin Durant, who hit the shot from the free throw line with 1.5 seconds left. “It’s the playoffs,” Durant said. “No matter how it gets done, you’ve got to do it.” But I don’t want to make it seem like it was all Thunder. Mavs star forward, Dirk Nowitzki, had 11 points in the final 5 minutes, reminiscent of last years NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. At the end of the game after Durant’s game winning bucket, the Mavs were unable to take a timeout because they did not have any and it hurt them. “If you have a timeout, you can move the ball (to half-court) and maybe have a look at it,” said Nowitzki, who had hit two free throws with 9 seconds left to put Dallas ahead. “But if you don’t have a timeout, that’s definitely a buzzer-beater.”
Game 2 was no different as both teams headed into Chesapeake Arena last night, knowing they were in for a battle. Dirk Nowitzki was hoping for the same kind of friendly bounce that allowed Kevin Durant to put the Thunder ahead in their first-round playoff series. When the ball didn’t go down, the Mavs had to settle for another frustratingly close loss and an uphill climb to survive in their first postseason since winning the NBA title. “I’ve made it 100 times. It bounced, hit every part of the rim and bounced off,” Nowitzki said. “That’s kind of the way our season’s been going.” Russell Westbrook led the charge for the Thunder going (29,2,2), while Dirk led the Mavs (31,6,1,1). But the true story of this game was free throws. Free throws had allowed the Mavs to make a large run in the second half to cut down the Thunder’s lead, suffocating them from running away with the game. But free throws helped the Thunder as they went 35-37 for the game. This allowed a slumping Kevin Durant (5-17) to get going and score his 26 points to go along with his 10 rebounds.
All in all, I can’t wait to keep watching this series. Dirk is not going to let his team get swept so I don’t see that happening at all, especially since they are now heading to Dallas for 2 games. But I will stick to the prediction I made in my Western Conference article, Thunder in 6.