Ok! So I didn't call the game PERFECT. I did call the EXACT point total the Thunder scored (87). However, I did think the Mavs would score more than 93.
I feel like Freddy Roach predicting Manny to KO Hatton in the 3rd, while Pacman threw the the most demolishing left hook in boxing history, and KO'd Ricky in the 2nd. ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO PUNISH ME???
Like I said, PACE is the key in this series. I referenced Horse Racing before, and I'll do it again. The favorite of the Preakness today, Animal Kingdom, failed to acurately gauge the pace, and failed in his attempt to win the triple crown. To the good fortune of the Mavs, they were able to gauge the PACE correctly. Therefore winning the contest in the homestretch.
Moving forward, I see the that the Mavs know the pace they should play. Strong, physical defense. Going to the zone when needed. Running the offense through Dirk. Let the game, on the offensive end, come to them. Pretty simple, and I think the Mavs have the Cliffnotes.
I still think that the Thunder have the mentality of a young, well bred racehorse, with no training. They have all the tools, but not the adequate training. They want to poke their noses in front, often and early, but that will not earn them the win. With that said, I don't believe that OKC has the ingenuity to adjust. And even though Westbrook scored 30pts tonight, in a game where he needed to prove himself, a majority of the wind has been taken out of his sails, since they lost. In fact, I still haven't gotten out of the habit of thinking off the ultimate NFL failure, Michael Westbrook, ever time they say Westbrook, during this NBA playoff series.
I don't see this getting prettier for OKC. The fact they were let back into the game, might have been because David Stern, and the NBA brass, made a call to Carslile to make the game more of a contest. Especially since the NBA's cash cows (Lakers and Celtics) aren't in the equation right now. A non-climactic, non-Reality TV style finish, would end up in bad ratings come game 4.
Assuming the Mavs don't get any calls to throw a game, or at least shave points, from the NBA brass, I presume they will move on after winning the next two games. My full, pre-game analysis will follow, as we grow closer to the game. At that time, I hope to get BOTH teams scores correctly.