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PLAYOFF RECAP: Warriors 97, Mavericks 85 - Do You Believe?!!

What a game and what a great time to be a Warrior fan! We couldn't have asked for anything more in this first game. The Warriors struggled in the first half but survived because Dallas wasn't able to capitalize. The first half was just awful with just 38 points and 33% shooting. They shot 2-13 from three in that half and really looked sloppy. The shots that we have become accustomed to falling, just weren't going down. Wide open 3-pointers were hitting the back iron, layups that usually roll in didn't, and they lost at least 4 points at the free throw line. Thank goodness for the second half because the team really stepped it up outscoring the Mavs 49-37. Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson came in as the leaders of the team and came up with great games. Each guy led the team one half.

Baron Davis
Whoa. Boom Dizzle, B Diddy, MVP, whatever you want to call him, he came to play tonight. His 10 rebounds in the first half were big as he was one of the guys crashing the boards and securing possessions for the Warriors. Then his 19 points in the 3rd quarter really defined the game. He threw the team on his back and just took over. He posted up Devean George, drove the ball in the lane for layups, and knocked down BIG 3 pointers to put the Warriors up 6 after 3 quarters. If not for Baron that quarter, the Mavs might be celebrating a win, not the Warriors. His final line for the night, 33 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals. Ballin!

Stephen Jackson
The Warriors really struggled in the beginning and were lucky to have the game tied at 38 at the half. Jax really carried the team in the first half with 12 points. He came through with his all around game to keep the game close. The Warriors are damn lucky to have this guy on the team because he's become a leader. When he's on the floor, everything seems to flow a little better. He seems to have great timing for making big plays. For instance, off of a Barnes offensive board, Jax was about to pull up from 3, but found a cutting JRich for an uncontested layin. He also had a few big 3's down the stretch to keep the Mavs away.

Matt "Mohawk" Barnes
Was he big or what? He was Mr. Hustle out there tonight. He had two big offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive that led to buckets. Then, after JRich blocked Devin Harris's breakaway layup (which was NOT a foul), Barnes threw in the dagger with a corner 3 ball over Dirk. His hustle, excellent D, and efficiency on the offensive end were all the little things that the Warriors needed tonight. Plus he sported the mohawk.

Jason Richardson
He struggled tonight but had a couple of key buckets. He shot 5-12 for 13 points which isn't terrible, but it was the way he did it. He went 1-7 from 3 and 2-4 from the line. I really thought JRich was going to step it up tonight, but thank goodness for Baron. I think Wednesday will be JRich's night. He just doesn't have two bad games in a row and now he's got the playoff jitters out of his system. These Dallas fans crack me up.

Dirk Nowitzki
Who is this guy? I haven't seen the MVP candidate when he plays the Warriors. 14 points and 4-16 from the field, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, and 1 LOSS. Except for the one dunk he had, he played soft. For the entire game, he was bigger than any Warrior player yet couldn't manage to post up or get a rhythm going. I've never seen a potential MVP play with such little aggression, fire, and a complete inability to lead his team. The Warriors once again did an excellent job on him by completely harassing him no matter who was guarding him. Whether it was Jax, Baron, JRich, Pietrus, or Monta, the Warriors made life miserable for him by constantly bringing the double team. Dirk could have turned the game around late in the game by hitting what would have been a humongous shot. With the Warriors up 2 and Dirk trailing a Dallas fast break, he spotted up wide open from his favorite spot on the arc. The result, a long miss and a Warrior rebound. If he hit that shot, Mavs go up 1 and the momentum completely shifts. It's hard for me to believe that he'll play this poorly for more than 1 game because he's been so good against every other team. But this Warrior team really knows how to defend him and if they can keep up the intensity on Dirk, it'll give them a great shot to win each and every game.

By the way, what's up with the Dallas big 3, Dirk, Josh Howard, and Jason Terry? Dirk played poorly, Josh Howard disappeared in the 4th quarter and so did Jason Terry. These are supposed to be the playoff vets. Can you say shut down?

Devin Harris
He played a great game, better than I thought he was capable of. He was just too quick for the Warriors to guard him on the perimeter especially when he gets that running start. On most of the drives, the Warriors gave him way too much room to get started. If you give a quick guy that much room, he's going to beat you every time and he did. Atma wisely pointed out that he's less effective when he goes left. So the two things to work on to slow him down are to get in his face more to be a little physical with him and if he going to beat you, make him beat you going left. Honestly though, I'd rather have him scoring than any of the other Dallas players.

Avery's Lineup
He started small and it didn't produce much as neither team really shot well in the first half. But he also went big in the 4th with both Diop and Dirk in the game and that's when the Warriors pulled away. Nellie played the same way he's been playing it for the past 20 games while Avery decided to switch it up. Avery needs to go with what worked the entire year and not make these changes. Dirk at center? Diop and Damp on the bench? It's amazing how the Warriors lineup can force even the best team in the league (record-wise) to be scared of getting run off the court if they don't try to run with the Warriors. It's ridiculous, but I think Nellie is already in Avery's head. The Mavs should be trying to impose their game on the Warriors, not adapting to what the Warriors do. Funny how that worked out tonight and will be interesting to see what happens in game 2.

Random Notes
Now I know the Warriors haven't been on national tv that much this season and they really just hit the national scene big time with their hot run to close the season, but TNT needs to learn the Warriors' names and how to pronounce them. Here are a couple of the blunders:

Junior Harrington? When did the Warriors pick up the Grizzlies 3rd string point guard?
Stephen Davis? Isn't he a running back on the St. Louis Rams?
Michael Pietrus? Dick Stockton, let me help you with the pronunciation. Say it with me, My-kel Pee-trus.

Zorgon and GSoM are big time!
He made it on tv not once, not twice, but three times with his awesome Unstoppable Baby sign. Atma first noticed it on the Diop free throws in the 4th quarter. Then during the Stephen Jackson post game interview, we saw him again. Lastly, KTVU news showed his sign on their 10 o'clock news. Sweet. Props to Zorgon for reppin the Warriors and GSoM big time in enemy territory.

Yahoo loves GSoM

Even Yahoo gives us respect. Unstoppable Baby!

It hasn't been this much fun to be a Warriors fan in a long time. So here's something that might warm your Warrior loving hearts. Here are a few frustrated comments from our friends over at Mavs Moneyball. It's funny, they still think that the Mavs lost the game, not that the Warriors won it. Maybe after reading the recap they will change their minds.

smt83: Dirk isn't living up the the MVP title...he has to step it up...he played like he was in 1st gear all night...I don't know what it is but the Warriors bring out the worst in us...WE NEED A LEADER...WHERE IS THE LEADER ON THIS TEAM...DIRK? J-HO? JET? Nobody tonight....

smt83why the hell does Stack think he is michael jordan?!?!?! He is the difference maker for this team and he played like balls...props to the Warrior THE ACTUALLY SHOWED UP!!!! We need to figure out who the hell we are and why we are the number one seed!!! This was embarassing...

brodyv: going to be some soul searching tonight... and a clinic on defending the perimeter tomorrow.

chevs10zr2: was that even a playoff game? where are the cowbells? where is dirk? where is damp? For once barkley made a good comment... WHERE IS THE LINEUP THAN WON US 67 games!!!!?????

For Wednesday's Game 2
Mavs fans, you haven't seen anything yet. This team is more than just Baron Davis. Tonight's Warrior team isn't nearly the same Warriors team that we've seen that past 20 games. If the Warriors step it up like they're capable of where the entire team is hitting on all cylinders, it will be a much higher scoring game. You know how this is an uncharacteristic win for the Warriors? Just 16 assists tonight. The Mavs denied the Warriors a chance to play their open court game by slowing the game down, but the Warriors were able to adapt their game and bring home the W. That's a great sign for the Warriors. Also, the Mavs fans will say the same thing about their team, that their team hitting on all cylinders will win. So it'll be a lot of fun to see both teams come out big in game 2.

Do I even have to tell you this one? Baron Davis baby! He came out big tonight and carried the team. We'll need more of the same the rest of the series if we want to knock off the #1 seed.


Also see PLAYOFF OPEN THREAD: Game 1 - Warriors @ Dallas - It's Time for over 300 comments on the game.

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