PLAYOFF OPEN THREAD - Game #4: Warriors vs Mavericks - Take Control

Update: A tanker exploded on I-80 last night at the Macarthur Maze blowing out a major section of the freeway. Check out DaAzNJRich's diary and sfgate.com for more.

The elevated roadway that crumbled carried eastbound traffic from the Bay Bridge onto Interstates 580 and 980 and Highway 24. The broken concrete fell like a blanket over the roadway below, which connects southbound I-80 to I-880...major backups are expected, especially tonight when the Golden State Warriors take on the Dallas Mavericks in the fourth game of their playoff series and Oakland's Oracle Arena. The Oakland A's are playing Tampa Bay at 1 p.m. at the coliseum next door.

So if you're going to the game and coming from SF or North of Oakland, take BART or leave really early. Here are some alternate routes


Warriors (W-L): 2-1

Mavericks (W-L): 1-2

Time: 7:00pm PST

TV: FSN Bay Area, TNT

Radio: KNBR 680

Forget about the last 3 games, this is the only one that matters now. The Warriors need to treat this game like they absolutely must win. A win puts the Warriors up 3-1 and firmly in control. A loss gives homecourt advantage back to the Mavs meaning the Dubs would have to win 1 of the 2 games in Dallas and game 6 at home. So, if the Warriors can win game 4, they take control of the series, put the Mavs in desperation mode and have a chance to shock the world.

These playoffs are about adjustments. When something isn't working, you need to make a change. We've seen this 3 times now in the first 3 games.

Game 1
We saw the Warriors come out and play their style of the game while the Mavs mixed up their lineup to counteract what the Warriors were doing. It didn't work out so well for them as the Warriors took game 1 in Dallas.

Game 2
The Mavs played their style of game by using the same starting 5 that they've been using the entire year. Instead of Dirk at center, That Lazy Bum started at center with Dirk playing power forward. The Warriors fell apart in that game and the Mavs' adjustment helped them win the game in a blowout. During halftime, a certain TNT announcer proclaimed that the series was over and the Mavs would sweep the rest of the games.



Game 3
The Mavs went with the same starting lineup as in game 2, but this time the Warriors made an adjustment. With Al Harrington in a funk, Nellie had to get some production from his center spot. In steps Andris Biedrins to start the game at center. Matt Barnes got some burn at center too. Warriors win big in game 3 at home.

Game 4
So what does that mean for game 4? What adjustments will both coaches make? The Mavs' 67 win starting 5 just got beat down badly, so what is Avery going to do? I think he's going to go with that same starting 5 of Harris, Terry, Howard, Dirk, and That Lazy Bum. If that lineup falters, how crazy would it be if he went even bigger. A lineup of Terry/Harris at point, Stack at shooting guard, Dirk at the 3, then Diop at the 4 and That Lazy Bum at center? Sure they'd be slow but they'd gobble up every single rebound. Put it this way, the Mavs can't match the Warriors speed and they need to use their size as an advantage, not disadvantage.

As far as the Warriors go, it'll be interesting to see when Nellie goes back to Al. Biedrins should start this game because he was effective down low in game 3. We need Al to step up and play like he did during the last 20 games of the regular season. He's struggling right now, but Warriors Nation has his back and want him to play well. His body language makes it look like he's got no confidence. If he can knock down some jumpers, I think he'll start to get rolling. One other adjustment the Warriors are making, they're bringing in a real celebrity (not David Hasselhoff) to sit courtside, she needs no introduction:



One last thing, in addition to the usual "Let's go Warriors, let's go", "Deee-fense", and "Overrated" chants, I thought we should come up with some more creative ones, not the whole "You Suck" chant. I'll start it off but feel free to post some more in the comments.
- When Dirk is shooting free throws: "DOOOUGH-BOY, DOOOUGH-BOY"
- When Damp comes in the game: "LA-ZY BUM, LA-ZY BUM"

Vegas odds: Mavericks by 3.5 (as of 9:58 am pst)

Predictions:

  • Warriors go up 3-1 in the series with a 9 point win
  • JRich struggled in Dallas, but came up huge in the return to Oakland. He's on fire right now and he keeps it going with 24 points.
  • Al Harrington's offense has been MIA the first 3 games. Warriors Nation wants to see him do well and needs to help him get going. Every time he makes a bucket expect the crowd to get real loud. It's his turn to bring it.
  • The over/under on Devin Harris flops in the first quarter is 20. I'll take the over. It's sad that he's so quick and could be a nice defender, but he resorts to flopping to try to get calls. Someone tell him that flopping just isn't in the spirit of the game.
  • Dirk stays soft. I still think he does the Pillsbury Doughboy commercials. Jax should poke him in the belly and see if he giggles. Hoo hoo.
  • Baron and Jax always bring it, expect more of the same tonight.
  • Dubs Nation stays loud. At game 3, I couldn't hear the whistles or the PA announcer. In game 4, I don't expect to hear them this time either. Mavs players aren't used to real fans and what we sound like. Everyone going to the game, get loud! Everyone watching on tv, get loud!

Make sure to give us your predictions in the comments before tip off and post any comments you have during the game right here.

GO WARRIORS!!!

UPDATE:

WARRIORS WIN! 103-99

Just one more win baby!

Stay tuned for the Recap!

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