I don't know if this makes any sense at all, but here goes. Last night felt so good to be part of Dub Nation that I actually felt bad for the Dallas Mavericks.
At least WE had a great time out!
We're their worst nightmare.
Best team in the NBA? HAHAHAHA
This season the Dallas Mavericks won 67 games, good for one of the best regular season records in NBA history.
But who cares?
That was the regular season. This is the playoffs. NONE of those 67 wins came against the Warriors, but 3 of those 15 losses did. NONE of those 67 wins mean anything right now. The only record that matters is Warriors 2, Mavs 1 with the home court advantage belonging to the Warriors.
For those of you keeping track, the Warriors have now won 8 out of the last 10 games against the Mavs (3 of 4 in the 2k5-2k6 regular season, 3 of 3 in the 2k6-2k7 regular season, and 2 of 3 in the 2007 NBA Playoffs). In any sport a .800 winning percentage against another team is what we call "OWNAGE".
The Warriors OWN the Mavs. Anyone who isn't ready to admit that is just acting foolish (ahem, the national hoops commentators who didn't do their homework, the quiet and soft Mavs' fans, and the b-rate Dallas sports media).
Great teams have a certain mystique about them. Even when opponents are up by 10 or the game's close, you know the great team is going to pull it out in the end. Great teams toy with the opposition, especially 8th seeds. The Mavs are NOT a great team.
I haven't had the chance to run this pic since GSoM friend Damon Bruce's nicknamed "Dunmurphy Sisters" left town, but thank you Dallas...
Reality Check: The Mavs are soft- Charmin soft.
Greater than the sum of their parts
Let's run through the key stats from the game:
Field Goals: Mavs 38.8% (31-80) vs Warriors 48.1% (39-81) - Edge Warriors. The Mavs missed a ton of good looks at the basket, but the Warriors have had better shooting nights too.
3-point Shooting: Mavs 26.7% (4-15) vs Warriors 26.1% (6-23) - Tie. Neither team shot the ball from downtown well.
Free Throws: Mavs 67.6% (25-37) vs Warriors 73.5% (25-34) - Tie. Props to the baseline sections in the arena for making it extra tough for the Mavs to collect those easy points from the free throw line. You could tell the home crowd was getting to Dirk when he missed those 2 FT's in a row. Still, both teams made the same amout of FT's so the game really wasn't won here.
Rebounds: Mavs 44 (17 offensive) vs Warriors 46 (12 offensive) - Edge Mavs. I'm actually amazed the Warriors came out on top in the end on the battle on the glass. For parts of the game it looked like the Warriors couldn't buy a rebound. The Mavs controlled the boards for the majority of the game and their 17 offensive boards kept this 18 point blowout from being a 40 point blowout. Props to the Warriors for outrebounding the big boys even if it was due to some padding at the end.
- Assists : Turnovers: Mavs 16 assists : 16 turnovers vs Warriors 16 assists : 14 turnovers - Slight Edge Warriors. Neither team moved the ball particularly well or took care of the rock. This is pretty surprising when you consider how well the Warriors typically move the ball around at home.
These number sure don't indicate that the Warriors thoroughly dominated the Mavs in Oakland last night. So how did they do it? 2 reasons: 1) Heart and 2) The Golden Crowd.
The Warriors racked up a whopping 52 points in the paint to the Mavs' embarrassing 30. How does the smaller team dominate the points in the paint by that much? The 3 H's: HUSTLE, HUNGER, and HEART. Plain and simple, the smaller Warriors had it last night and the bigger Mavs didn't.
It's become commonplace for the national media, the Dallas media, and Mavs' fans to clown the Warriors as "midgets" and "thugs". I'll somewhat accept the "midget" claim, although when 6 feet and under people are calling guys over 6'6 "midgets" there's just something a strange. However, the "thug" claim is completely unwarranted and straight up silly. There are no criminals on this team. Sure, Action Jax has made some mistakes in the past, but if you don't think he's the first guy you'd want as a teammate, then you don't know how hoops and life works. The only crime these fellas have committed this spring is mentally torturing the Mavs.
TRUE WARRIORS tonight:
Jason Richardson: JR came to play tonight on both sides of the floor. The one constant that he's brought to the table is his rebounding and he continued the great work on the glass tonight. His scoring must've drove Mavs' coach Avery Johnson nuts.
Baron Davis: Boom Dizzle kept taking it to the rack fearlessly, exposing the Mavs' Charmin soft interior. Again, height doesn't matter. The 3 H's do.
Stephen Jackson: Action Jackson wasn't looking to get his, he was looking to get others involved. He made his teammates better tonight with his passing and oncourt leadership. Now THAT's how you channel that emotion, Jax.
Matt Barnes: Can't knock the hustle of Barnes Baby! In typical fashion, Barnes was everywhere. Unlike Game 2, he played smart as well.
Andris Biedrins: Al Harrington has yet to show up in the series and rather than wait for him to stop being "shell shocked" if you will, Nellie elected to start Andris and it paid big dividends. Andris' rebounding and dunks made a tremendous difference tonight. Each time he threw it down, it ignited the home crowd.
- Monta Ellis: Thanks for not dropping a trophy to start a home game a la Chris Webber 13 years ago. Ellis to the Rim had that killer instinct tonight and finally outplayed flopper Devin Harris in this series. There's a reason why Monta took home the Most Improved Player honors this season and the Mavs found out why tonight.
MIP! MIP! MIP!
- Brian McKnight: Man, that Anthem sounded good!
Brian's welcome here- ANYTIIIIME!
I'll just leave everyone with this: Don't ever forget, David beat Goliath.
The Golden Crowd
Last night's crowd set record levels for attendance and sitting up in the nosebleeds aka The People's Section I couldn't help but feel like I was in a surreal place.
Dub Nation was FIRED UP!
All those yellow shirts, all those crazy chants, all those playoff starved fans, and all that energy. I'd be lying if I told you this didn't seriously affect the Mavs' already fragile psyche.
You could SEE the power of The Oracle.
Some of the chants at the arena:
- Let's go War-ri-ors! Sure, there's nothing spectacular about a chant like this, but in how many other arenas are the fans packing the stands and screaming this 17 minutes before tip-off? On my BART ride home 2 hours after the game at every stop folks were still pumped up and chanting this. It's amazing how much love the Bay has for this squad. Mavs fans got nothing on us.
So many Golden People- before the game even started!
DEE-FENSE!: The Warrior players heard these chants and reacted by bringing it on the defensive end. The Mavs heard these chants and reacted by choking on the offensive end.
Barkley Sucks! I know folks are mad at the Chuckster for saying the Warriors wouldn't win another game in this series, but I think everyone is taking Barkley a little too seriously. While he does definitely provide some valuable insights, he's mostly the jokester on TNT's Inside the NBA. Why does everyone place so much emphasis on what some goofy, old, friendly, cranky, smart, ring-less NBA-great has to say? (Ooooh, the contradictions.)
- Cuban Sucks! How about we start the "Cohan Sucks!" chants before any these weird "Cuban Sucks!" chants? I have nothing but respect for Cuban. He's the best and most passionate owner in the NBA. Let's just say that if Mark Cuban owned the Warriors instead of the inept Chris Cohan there wouldn't be a 12 year playoff drought in the Bay Area.
Yo Mark don't look so sad-
Sell the Mavs and buy the Warriors!
The Oracle Arena in Oakland is the best home court advantage in the league. In the near future the Warriors are going to be a premiere free agent destination. People are going to want to play here for less money. 1-Bay.
Special shout out to Yahoo Sports and ESPN's Daily Dime (thanks xacto) for coming up with the catchy, "original" title Golden State of Mind.
Yahoo's NBA Page after Game 1.
ESPN's Daily Dime after Game 3.
Yahoo NBA and ESPN's Daily Dime- Ya'll been sleeping for quite some time. We've been doing this for this for years. Well, it's nice to see you guys are finally in a golden state of mind even if it took you some time to come around.
Prior to this game fan favorite Jason Richardson had turned out back to back mediocre performances in this series. It was just frustrating to watch him in Games 1 and 2 of this series. JR finally made it to the big stage this year and he wasn't showing the world what we've known for years: This man can ball. Tonight he showed the world just that by dropping 30 points and collecting 8 rodmans.
Oh ma word! Can you believe this crazy shot went in?
There were so many times last night when JRich or Die Flying was just on fire. Whether it was his insane behind the back and 1 layup or his crazy fast break communication and trey with Baron Davis, JR represented the Dubs to the fullest tonight.
Warriors Nation's dream resumes on Sunday.
The Mavs' nightmare resumes on Sunday.
Photos: Hash Photography, AFP/Getty Images/Jed Jacobsohn/ AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Warriors vs Mavs Series