Friday, May 20, 2011

Mavs/Thunder Game 2 Post Analysis

Keyword???  DELIBERATE.

From my analysis, it looks as if the Mavs intentionally tried something different, and stuck to it.  Despite the fact they knew they might lose.  Unlike Game 1, the Mavs didn't feed Dirk early and often.  When they did feed Dirk, he played hot potato, and got rid of the rock to others.  Much to their dismay, "the others" weren't as scene stealing as Ferrell and Wahlberg were, in the movie of the same name.

Despite their contrarian gameplan, the Mavs didn't account for the freakish performance of the OKC bench.  And the OKC bench octopule handidly  won this game.  I would have never though that OKC had a chance with Durant scoring only 24 points.  Watching the 1st half pace, I thought that OKC was going to punch themselves out, ala Ivan Drago.  Instead, they benched their starters, except Durant, and won the game handily.

Moving forward, I see the Mavs slowing things down, and feeding Dirk early and often, in Game 3.  Just as they did in Game 1.  I look for the Mavs to play more zone defense, taking Durant and their perimeter shooters out of the equation.  I don't think Harden and Cook will be able to have open, uncontested 3's, in a zone situation.

It doesn't take Einstein to see that this matchup is a good ole fashioned battle between youth and experience.  I see the Mavs taking their experience to DELIBERATELY have OKC play a pace like Game 1.  When I look at OKC, I see a young colt, ready to bust out the gate, giving their all to the finish line.  But an experienced horse handicapper knows, you need to know pace to win a Stakes Race.  I see Game 2 as the Mavs, an experienced and savvy racehorse, allowing a young colt in OKC, to run themselves out, and leave the finish line to the experience.

GAME 3 PREDICTIONS: Now that the Mavs see that they can't win at OKC's pace, they will DELIBERATELY slow things down, and make it more about DIRK.

Mavs 102 - Thunder 87


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