After a Game One like that, what really can you say? Dirk Nowitzki is playing at a level that is head and shoulders over everyone else, including Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Derrick Rose. All you can do after a game like that is tip your cap and hope the Thunder figure out a way to hold him to under 40.
Mayberry writes in his post-game notes that, while the loss does not lie squarely on the broad shoulders of Serge Ibaka, he is the one guy who needs to man up. The reason why is because he is the only guy who is capable of slowing down Dirk.
Young brings for a glimmer of hope. Despite the dominating performance by Dirk, there was the briefest of moments when the overmatched and defensively challenged Thunder had a shot to get the game to a single possession in the 4th. The team still battled, despite the historic performance.
SB Nation's Mavs site takes a look at how the Mavs secured victory last night.
I think this quote by Thabo Sefolosha is most apt:
I think we've got to play even more physical early in the game...There's not a whole lot we can do to adjust except letting him shoot or letting him go where he wants. That's definitely not something that we're going to do."
More links after the jump.
If you watched the game, especially the first half, you could see that all of Dirk's mechanics were working flawlessly. I think that free throws and jump shots work together - the more fluent one becomes, the more likely the other is to follow.
The title could refer to either Dirk or the Mavericks as a whole. They scored 20 points in the 1st quarter and 101 through the next 36. That's staggering, especially for a team that does not really fast break.
Stein writes about the standards Dirk and his shooting coach have set for him. It is pretty incredible that Dirk (or anybody) can actually hit them on a consistent basis.
The old school Mavericks had a few thoughts in mind in how to attack the once stout Thunder defense. Scott Brooks is probably counting Nowitzki rainbow jumpers in his head as we speak.
Are we sick of the "young vs old" shtick yet? The Thunder threw six guys at Dirk and nary one of them made a difference.
Hopefully Russell Westbrook will be wearing blinders and earmuffs for the remainder of the playoffs.
Dirk serves notice to the Durant's, Rose's, LeBron's, and Sefolosha's of the world that he's still the most consistent performer in the playoffs.
A combined 79 free throws were attempted last night, which in part helped inflate what was already a high-scoring playoff game. Mayberry touched on this element as well - how can one series (Memphis) be called so differently from the next?
The great thing about games like #1 is the anticipation it creates for everything afterward.
Durant's name is worth as much to a product as Stephen Colbert. That said, I'm not sure even Stephen Colbert could manage pulling the stoic Durant off-message.
The Cavaliers were once again the NBA Draft Lottery winners. David Khan continues to be a poor sport.
Blott writes up his analysis of how each team did in the lottery and where they will go from here.
Commissioner David Stern says that in June the CBA talks will commence.