Well, I think it was Tirico on the telecast who said something like, If you’re a Mavs fan right now all you can say is wow. And that’s exactly what I was saying. Wow. It was apparent early in game 4 that the Mavs came in on Sunday with the intention of ending this series and sending the Lakers on vacation. And on the other side of things, the Lakers just didn’t bring the intensity that is needed when playing to avoid a closeout loss, especially on the road. The Lakers looked slow, tired and mentally distracted most of the game. The major difference in the game was something as simple as pushing out on shooters quicker and better.
Jason Terry was straight out of NBA JAM and on FIRE. Terry finished the game with 32 points while going 11 for 14 from the field, Including an NBA playoff record tying 9 for 10 from the 3 point line. Peja was 7 for 7 with 21 points and JJ Barea added 22 points of his own. The Mavericks as a team tied an NBA playoff record of their own making twenty 3 pointers going 20 for 32 for the game. The Mavs took game 4, 122-86. The Mavs bench scored 86 in this one…yes, 86. Their bench would have sent the game into OT by themselves. (based solely on numbers) But in all seriousness, The Mavs just brought more to this series than the Lakers did and they came out with four straight wins and moved on with a big game 4.
Then there was what Mike Wilbon called, “Thuggish bush league behavior that ought to embarrass one of America’s most important sporting franchises.” Skip to late in the game…Odom received an early ejection with his hard foul on Dirk Nowitzki. The refs really had no choice but to toss Odom. The game was well out of hand, the Lakers were clearly frustrated and you can’t have players risking the health of players that will be moving on to the next round of the playoffs. If Odom wanted to send a message to the Mavs he needed to send it early in game 2. Try to set a tone then, even up the series. Then 54 seconds later Bynum decided he was also done playing and would like to take an early shower as well. Except Bynum took a much worse approach, landing an elbow on a mid air JJ Barea sending him straight to the ground. Bynum made no play at the ball and showed no remorse directly after either. Receiving an immediate ejection, Bynum then took himself towards the tunnel, removing his jersey in the process of leaving the court, showing everyone watching what a real class act he is. Even after the game he showed no remorse for his actions in his comments, stating “It is what it is.” He clearly doesn’t get it and I know that Dr. Buss does not want his organization represented like that. Then there’s the other part to this game. Was it the last of Coach Phil Jackson’s career? If indeed this was Phil’s last game, it’s a shame that it ended like this and that his team represented him like they did. The man is nothing short of a legend.
But in the end this one was about the Dallas Mavericks. For them a quick series and now a chance to rest their legs, notably Jason Kidd who was mentioned with a chuckle by Dirk and others after game 4. The earliest the Mavs will play will be Sunday, which will give almost an entire week of rest. They will face the winner of the series between Memphis and OKC and I can tell you that the Mavs don’t care one bit which one they play. They will look to continue their success and carry their momentum into the Western Conference Finals.
About the Author
Written by Andy R Strom
I was born in Dallas, TX and raised in the suburb of Coppell, TX. I grew up eating and breathing sports. I "buy local" when it comes to my teams, Mavs, Cowboys, Rangers, Stars, Longhorns. I am 28 years old and currently live in Wisconsin where I graduated college from the Univerisy of Wisonsin Whitewater with a degree in health, human performance and recreation with a minor in coaching. I still follow my teams just as much now as when I am living back in Texas, they're just a little harder to see in person now. However, I follow all major sports and teams and love a good debate.