It's not even funny how rocking the Oracle Arena's gonna be tonight.
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Series Tied 1-1
Radio: KNBR 1050
Tonight's the first playoff game in Oakland in quite some time (check out some footage of Game 3 vs the Phoenix Suns from 1994). I won't lie, I'm hyped like a fat kid with a dozen warm Krispy Kremes. I'm happy that the curse is over, but I'm even happier because...
Jessica believe upset too!
The Warriors took Game 1 in a pretty convincing fashion, but gave away Game 2 because they lost control of their emotions. There was a lot to like about Game 1 and lot to be disgusted about in Game 2. I have full faith that Nellie and rest of the coaching staff dissected the first 2 games of this series in every way imaginable to come up with an unstoppable baby game plan for tonight. I guarantee you the Warriors practiced smart and hard the past 2 days. I guarantee you they're ready for this. I guarantee you Warriors Nation is ready for this.
We're talking about practice, man. PRACTICE!
Let's hope each of the 8 fellas in Nellie's rotation took something valuable from practice:
Baron Davis: Be a catalyst for Warrior tempo. Push the pace, move the ball around, and help teammates get some easy buckets early on. A few alley oops will get teammates focused and the home crowd hyped. Post up the smaller, slower Mavs guards at every opportunity. On the other end put the clamps down on the inferior Mavs' guards.
Jason Richardson: JRich or Die Flying. JR, this squad, and the arena need a thunderous, ferocious dunk or two early on. Send a message- THIS IS OUR HOUSE. If that J isn't raining, post up or take it to the rack. JR should be able to take the Mavs' guards off the dribble. Keep up the nice rebounding. Step up the D against Josh Howard especially.
Stephen Jackson: No doubt, Jax is a cool cat. He just needs to keep his cool. Aside from the turnovers Action Jackson is the only Warrior that's played well in both Games 1 and 2. Channel that emotion to do big thangs on the court and not pick up T's.
Monta Ellis: Take it to hole strong and take care of the rock. Silly, unforced turnovers are completely inexcusable on the big stage. Win the matchup against flopper extraordinaire Devin Harris. MIP Monta > Flopper Harris.
Al Harrington: Stretch out the Mavs' D with some good shooting. Take Damp or Diop off the dribble and FINISH. Help the Warriors do some damage on the glass. Deny and front the entry passes to the low post. It's time to show up and show the world what Turtle Power is all about.
Matt Barnes: Keep up that hustle, but play smart. Crash the boards, D up Josh Howard, push the pace when bringing the ball up, and keep the ball moving around with sharp passes. Any 3's Barnes Baby knocks down are just icing on the cake. He's a poor man's Shawn Marion, but there's a lot of riches to be found for the Warriors if Barnes can contribute off the bench.
Andris Biedrins: Rebound and swat some shots to get the fast breaks started. Make sharp cuts off the pick and rolls to the basket. Finish those easy layups and dunks. This is no time for another one of those one minute man impersonations.
- Mickael Pietrus: What's with this star-struck, utterly lost version of MP2 that we've seen in Games 1 and 2? What happened to the goofy, crowd-pleasing, energetic LL Cool P? Once Mickael gets over the mental hump Air France is going to take off in this series. It's all mental. His corner treys, rebounding, defense, and drives to the hole off the bench could really be the X-factor tonight.
There's a reason Ellis to the Rim took home the MIP honors.
Don't let the Mavs forget why.
Keys to throwing up this W:
- Watch out for the active hands and double teams from the Mavs when the the rock is on the perimeter. They're taking chances and in Game 2 it paid off. The Warriors need to make that first pass fast or start that first dribble quicker. Don't expose the ball in the triple threat position. React faster.
- Move away from the ball. Too often in Game 2, it was an ugly 1 on 5 style of play where the other 4 Warriors hung out on the perimeter searching for David Hasselhoff in the Dallas crowd.
- Make Dirk continue to Nowitness this nightmare.
- Shut down Jason Terry, Devin Harris, and Jerry Stackhouse. These guys aren't on par with the Dubs' backcourt.
- Don't whine about calls. Did anyone really think the Warriors were going to get the calls in this series? The Mavs are a playoff tested team that was 2 wins away from the ring ceremony last season. It takes time to get the calls and respect from the officials around the league. Winning a few playoff games and even a playoff series will accelerate that process. Win now, whine later.
- Crash the boards and get those outlet passes to teammates streaking down court fast. Easy buckets = easier path to victory.
- Avoid half court offenses and sets. Make this a full court game. The Mavs can't hang.
- Eliminate those silly turnovers. The Warriors are the ones who force turnovers at a frenetic pace, not the Mavs.
- Execute Nellie's game plan flawlessly. If there's anyone who knows how to deconstruct the Mavs and drive them nuts it's Nellie.
- Run the Mavs out of the gym from the opening tip.
- Don't ever forget that an upset is very possible.
The Warriors are NOT losing tonight's game. Why? Check out the facts:
- The Warriors haven't lost a playoff game at home in 13 years.
- The Mavs' B-Rate media is scared [pree].
- The Dubs have never lost a playoff game with Jessica Alba in attendance.
- We know the Warriors are going to win this series and so do the Dallas newspapers [stedanko].
- The Warriors have won 7 of 9 against the Mavs.
- The Mavs' are scared.
The poll up at Mavs Moneyball.
For those of you lucky enough to score some tix tonight's festivity represent to the fullest and stay classy [ALX8725]. A ton of GSoMers will be there, so make sure to get this party started right [see who's going to the game? by eddie925]. For those of you at home watching on TV turn up the volume a few extra notches and you'll feel like you're there with us. For those of you catching the game on the radio, turn up the volume... and then turn it up some more.
Vegas Odds: Mavs by 4.5 (as of 9:27am Fox Sports.com)
- Warriors by 7.
- Action Jackson continues his brilliant play without picking up anymore silly techs.
- JRich steps up big time and drops 25+ points with a big night on the glass.
- Boom Dizzle drops 10+ dimes.
- No Warrior gets a technical foul tonight.
- Al Harrington finally shows up in this series and knocks down at least 3 trifectas.
- The Warriors hold Dirk Nowitzki to under 17 points.
- Josh Howard looks like Scottie Pippen out there collecting 25-7-5 with 2 blocks and 2 steals.
- Devin Harris only flops 4 times tonight.
- It's so bright in the arena with all the yellow playoff shirts that people at home have to decrease the brightness and contrast levels on their TV sets. People listening on the radio have to turn down the bass level.
As far as I'm concerned this series is 0-0. This is now a best of 5 playoff battle and the Warriors have the home court advantage. Do you really believe the Warriors can't do this?
Didn't think so.
Cali > Texas
Bay Area > Dallas
Jessica Alba > David Hasselhoff
Warriors > Mavs
Let's prove it.
Let's do this.
Make sure to give us your predictions in the comments before tip off and post any comments you have during the game right here.
Stay tuned for the Recap!