5:30 p.m. PST
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
TV: CSNBA/HD | Radio: KNBR 680
Blog buddy: Mavs Moneyball
This is exhausting. Seems like just yesterday that I was writing about the importance of the game against the Memphis Grizzlies, both to get past Dysfunctional Atmospheregate and because the Grizz were on their tails in the playoff seeding race. Then they played a great game, beat Memphis, everyone rejoiced, breathed deeply, had a great Saturday despite the rain, and assumed we had the New York Knickerbockers game in the bag.
And then oh lord, what a stinker. Ain't none of us that should be surprised by a playing-down-to-the-opponent feet-dragger, and yet, I was — surprised, disappointed, despondent. I was at Oracle for both weekend games, and one couldn't help but get their hopes up after beating the Grizzlies that all would shake out the correct way — the Warriors' way.
Nope, I should know better. That's just not how this thing works. The Warriors Way is a different way than one that's easy, sensible, or uplifting. Instead it's a way of pain, a way of self-imposed obstacles and ceaseless opportunities to blow it.
A handful of days since Friday, and here we are: an extra game back from the Portland Blazers, and a game.5 ahead of a glutty triumvirate of hungry teams in the Phoenix Suns, Grizzlies, and now the Dallas Mavericks, tonight's opponent.
The Mavs sport the 4th best offensive production in the league. They're efficient, they don't turn the ball over, and while their defense is as poor as one would expect from a team that features Monta Ellis, Dirk Nowitzki, and José Calderon, they are excellent at forcing turnovers of their opponent — which I'm sure we're all excited about.
In addition to having the 4th best overall offense, the Mavs are also 4th in FG% from 16 feet in — you know, that area where the absent Bogut has most of his impact. So that's already tough. Here's some more for you: their bench has the third highest TS%, while our own backup unit on the season, even ignoring the missing starters, is second to last in the entire league. Their bench can't protect the rim, but I dunno if our bench could hit the broadside of a Dallas-area barn regardless.
You might be surprised to find that after cherry-picking stats that make us look bad, I feel terrible about the outcome of this game and am worried sick. But I am, absolutely. If I had to bet money I'd say we were still going to end the season as the sixth seed, but I'd also ask the ATM for a balance summary. There's some work yet to be done. Losing to the Knicks made a lot of extra work for this team, and while winning the Memphis game may have quelled the talk of a dysfunctional atmosphere temporarily, our current situation has done nothing to quell the dysfunctional atmosphere that is between my ears.
I hope you guys are feeling better about this than I am. Please provide optimism in the comments below.